New Delhi: The Indian women’s hockey team continued their splendid run to stun defending champions Japan 4-2 in the semi-final of the Asia Cup hockey tournament at Kakamigahara, Japan, on Friday. Goals from Gurjit Kaur (7th, 9th minutes), Navjot Kaur (9th) and Lalremsiami (38th) ensured India’s entry into Sunday’s final where they face China. India had earlier defeated China 4-1 in the league stage of the tournament.
On the day, India got off to a rollicking start by earning back-to-back penalty corners. Drag-flicker Gurjit gave India the lead in the seventh minute. Two minutes later, Navjot doubled the lead scoring off an assist from Vandana Katariya.Almost immediately, India earned a penalty corner and Gurjit was yet again on target.Japan unleashed a well-coordinated attack and found space for Shiho Tsujii to score past India custodian Savita in the 17th minute. Yui Ishibashi gave India the jitters when she scored another field goal to close the gap to 2-3 in the 28th minute.From there on, India played cautiously. Savita made a brilliant save to deny Japan at the start of the third quarter, while Lalremsiami scored to extend India’s lead to 4-2.