Potchefstroom (South Africa): India defeated two-time champions South Korea 3-0 to enter the semifinal of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup here at the North-West University on Friday.
In the semifinal, India will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between the Netherlands and host South Africa on Sunday. The last time the Indian junior women made the top four of the World Cup was in 2013 when they ended up on the podium with a bronze medal.
Mumtaz Khan (11′), Lalrindiki (15′) and Sangita Kumari (41′) scored in India’s win over South Korea. India got off to a strong start creating space in South Korea’s circle. A penalty corner in the 11th minute of the match proved crucial in putting pressure on their opponents when Salima Tete took the slap shot.
A well-worked variation saw Mumtaz find the perfect deflection to fetch India a fine 1-0 lead. In the following minutes, an attempt on goal by Deepika was put away by forward Lalrindiki, who pushed it past the Korean goalie Kim Eunji and added another to India’s scoreline.
India continued to build on a good start as they frustrated the Korea defence with potent attacking formations. The third goal too was a result of good on-field communication, a brilliant assist by Beauty Dungdung from the top of the circle, which was well converted by Sangita Kumari.
Previously, both Mumtaz Khan, who was named Player of the Match, and Lalremsiami had created scoring opportunities but they could not quite make the finishing touch. India began the last quarter with a clear intent to extend their lead of 3-0.
Within the first 20 seconds of the quarter, Lalremsiami took a find shot on goal but couldn’t find the pocket. India’s attack continued against the Korean defenders and resulted in their first green card of the match in the 51st minute.
The final few minutes saw India find an opportunity to take a 4-0 lead when Lalrindiki assisted Sangita who fired away to the post but the shot went wide. The domination of India showed with 28 circle penetrations and 15 shots on goal.