Muscat (Oman): Indian Women’s Hockey team made a fine start to their campaign at the Asia Cup with a strong 9-0 win against Malaysia here at the Sultan Qaboos Hockey Stadium in Muscat.
Vandana Katariya (8′, 34′), Deep Grace Ekka (10′), Navneet Kaur (15′, 27′), Lalremsiami (38′), Monika (40′), Sharmila (46′, 59′) were the goal scorer for India on Friday.
The defending champions led by Savita Punia made an attacking start in the first quarter with fast-paced set-play. The first goal came through a smart assist by Neha Goyal to experienced forward Vandana who broke no sweat in converting the goal in the 8th minute.
India’s second goal came in the 10th minute via penalty corner courtesy Navjot Kaur who worked effortlessly in the frontline to earn India the PC. The goal was converted through a fierce strike by Deep Grace.
Meanwhile, the third goal for India came when Lalremsiami intercepted the ball and passed it on to a speedy Sharmila, who showcased her exceptional talent with the ball as she raced into the attacking circle only to make a perfect assist to Navneet.
A poised Navneet did well to beat the Malaysian defender added another goal and extended India’s lead to 4-0 at half-time.
After the break, India continued to pump Malaysia’s goalpost with a flurry of goals. It was Vandana who struck again in the 34th minute taking India’s lead to a formidable 5-0 while her younger teammate Lalremsiami extended the lead to 6-0 with a goal in the 38th minute.
The experienced Monika, who was later awarded the Player of the Match for her timely assists, scored India’s seventh goal in the 40th minute.
India continued to dominate the proceedings with better ball possession and created potential scoring opportunities in the remaining minutes of the game.
Lanky striker Sharmila added to India’s scoreline when she struck two splendid field goals in the 46th minute and 59th minute, sealing the match with a 9-0 score.
India will take on Japan in their second Pool A match on January 23.