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Hockey: Indian eves lose to Japan
December 09, 2006 22:20 IST
India's quest for a gold medal in the Asian Games women's hockey received a huge setback when they lost to Japan 0-2 in a round-robin league match in Doha on Saturday.
The defeat has virtually put an end to India's hopes of making it to the final of the tournament as they find themselves in the third position on the points table with a match in hand against strong contenders South Korea.
The Indians had themselves to blame for the debacle as they played below par, particularly in the opening session and allowed the Japanese to score both the goals.
The Japanese shot into the lead as early as the sixth minute of the contest through a field goal from Tomomi Komori who dribbled past a few defenders and slammed the ball in from close.
Three minutes later, the Japanese consolidated their position when Kaori Chiba produced another field goal giving no chance at all to the Indian custodian Dipika Murthy. The Indians are now placed third in the table with nine points from four matches while Japan top the table with 13 points followed by China with 12 points.
The top two teams will play the final while the third and fourth placed teams will battle for the bronze.
Indian coach M K Kaushik was understandably upset with the performance of the team.
"The girls played a very good game in the second half where they were very attacking. In fact we dominated but could not convert the chances. We are not getting the deflections we need inside the D," Kaushik said.
"The Japanese defended very well, at times all 11 were in the 'D'. In this type of game, we have to perfect our penalty corner conversions.
"Now that we have lost this game against Japan, we can only hope to win against Korea on the day after tomorrow, and then we can get the bronze medal," he added.
Doha Asian Games 2006: The Complete Coverage