Asia Cup hockey for women: India to face China in finals

ANI | Updated: Nov 05, 2017 13:05 IST

Kakamigahara [Japan], Nov 5 (ANI): Indian women's hockey team is all set to square off against China on Sunday to clinch the Asia Cup title here at the Kakamigahara Kawasaki Stadium.

Two weeks after the Indian men's team lifted the Asia Cup beating Malaysia in the final, Indian women will also vie for top honours by riding on captain Rani Rampal's optimism and finishing the game right.

"We are extremely motivated after the men won the Asia Cup. Now it's our turn to win. The mood in the dressing room is upbeat. Everyone is excited and fully prepared for the Final. We want to qualify for the World Cup next year by winning this tournament," Rani said.

Her confidence stems from the team's stupendous form in the tournament as they have remained unbeaten with convincing victories in the pool stage as well as the quarter final and semi-final against Kazakhstan and defending champions Japan respectively.

"The match against Japan was really good. Getting off to a good start was always the plan and every member of the team executed their specific role brilliantly. We played as per the strategies planned by our coaches and ensured there were minimal errors," Rani said on winning 4-2 against hosts Japan in the semi-final on Friday.

Though India notched up a formidable 4-1 win against world no.8 China in the pool stage, the Rani-led squad are aware that they need to bring their A-game to clinch the title.

During the Asian Champions Trophy last year, India had lost to China 2-3 in the pool stage but came back strongly in the final to beat them 2-1 in a crunch game.

"We know China is a good team and can be quite unpredictable. We can't take them lightly simply because we have beaten them before. We have worked on our game plan for tomorrow and focus will be on following the strategy made by our coaches," skipper Rani asserted.

With 27 goals thus far in the tournament, India's forward line has been rather fierce creating penalty corners and finding spaces to pump goals.

Off the total goals scored, drag flicker Gurjit Kaur has eight goals to her name and is also the third highest goal scorer in the tournament so far.

Navjot Kaur and Navneet Kaur have four goals each while Deep Grace and Rani have scored thrice. Young gun Lalremsiami has scored twice while Neha Goyal, Sonika and Vandana Katariya have a goal each to their credit. (ANI)