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Asia Cup Women 2017
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Indian girls annex 9th Asia Cup in Kakamigahara (11/5/2017)
--s2h team
Rani Rampal's Indian women's hockey team has annexed the ninth Asia Cup, defeating China on sudden death after both teams shared two goals in the regulation time in the tensely fought final today in the ninth Asia Cup at Kakamigahara in Japan. Its captain Rani Rampal who piloted the victory, as she scored both in tie-break shoot out and sudden death.

Navjot Kaur struck in the 25th minute after the Indians could ward off high press China's challenge in the first quarters. Despite dominating, India failed to strike further in the second and third quarters. China got a penalty corner in the 47th minute after successful referral. Tiantian Luo, the centre-forward sent a fierce push in to the cage to the right of Indian goalie Savita to level the score (1-1).


Chinese, who lost to India 1-4 in the league, were faster and quicker on the field and were threatening to score anytime. They forced three penalty corners in succession in the fag end of fourth quarters, but could not get past Sunita Lakra's and Deep Grace Ekka's charges. Indian defence made some amazing saves in this spell.

India did not give up. They relied on counters. Neha Goel and Lilima Minz were solid in the midifield. Navneet Kaur and Vandana were in the thick of things but goals did not come till the full time.

In the ensured penalty shoot out, India and China were 4-4 and Navneet Kaur got a chance to give India title when she went for fifth, but her effort was blocked by goalie Dinhuan Li.

Rani Rampal, who started the shoot out for India, again was again successful to side step Dinhuan Li to give India 5th goal in the sudden death. China's Meiju Liang came for her quota, but Savita did not give her space to work her way out, and she hit in desparation from close which Savita blocked. The ball rose high and fell out of the circle, giving Indians wide celebrations.

India has been a force in the Asian hockey, having won medals in every Asia Cup since 1989.

India lost won Gold in January 2004 in Delhi after winning Silver in 1999. India lost to China 2-4 when they met in the final at Bangkok in 2009.

India won bronze at Kuala Lumpur in the last edition.

Its over all second Asia Cup title for the talented Indian girls, and the first for the new women's coach Harendra Singh.

India last won the Asia Cup in 2004 beating Japan 1-0 in the final.

Harendra Singh, who got India Junior World Cup, was given charge of women only a month ago.

The title win has cemented India's slot for the London World Cup.

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