China beat erratic Indian eves 3-1 in hockey
Doha, Dec 5 (UNI) Defending champions China seized the chances that came their way to overpower an erratic India 3-1 in a crucial women's hockey match at the Asian Games here today.
World number five China had beaten 13th ranked India 1-0 in the Madrid World Cup in September.
For China, who led 1-0 at half time, the goal scorers were Fu Baorong (2) and Ren Ye (1) while Surinder Kaur reduced the margin for India.
The defeat has put a question mark on India's medal prospects.
India will have to play much better and consistent hockey against Japan and Korea to hope for a podium finish.
''In the first session, we conceded too much space to the rivals,'' rued coach M K Kaushik.
''We improved a lot in the second session but that shows that we were not consistent. The girls will have to give an improved performance to stay on the course for a podium finish,'' he added.
The Chinese played a very attacking game in the first session and the Indians, in comparison, looked a lethargic lot. Their moves hardly posed any serious threat to the defending champions.
The Indians were lucky to have conceded only one goal in the first session in which they were overran by the Chinese and they have to thank their goalkeeper Dipika Murthy who brought off some stunning saves.
The Chinese surged ahead in the 18th minute when Ren Ye took advantage of the confusion in the Indian defence to sent the ball into the cage (1-0).
And after taking the lead, they piled up more pressure on the Indian defence but just could not beat Dipika.
The defence of both the teams were solid and only three penalty corners were conceded in the whole game -- two were awarded to India and one to China -- but all were muffed.
The Indians committed far too many errors and looked a struggling lot in the first 35 minutes, while the Chinese, despite there overwhelming domination, could not increase the lead.
The second half was a pleasant surprise for the Indian supporters as the side went full blast against their rivals in a bid to equalise. And this time it was Chinese goalkeeper Nie Yali's turn to prove a stumbling block for the Indians.
China captain and defender Ma Yibo too gave a rock solid display and frustrated the repeated Indian attacks spearheaded by skipper Jyoti Kullu, Saba Anjum and Surinder Kaur.
China sealed the match in their favour with two quick goals following tearaway counter-attacks. They struck through Fu Baorong in the 49th minute and the striker completed his brace seven minutes later to make it 3-0.
India finally hit back with Surinder Kaur sending the ball home in the 57th minute to reduce the gap (1-3) but after that the Chinese locked their defence and the Indians found it hard to get past them.
The losers lacked finish and the spark was also missing in their attacks which hardly looked incisive or threatening.
UNI HSB AY RS2014