The Indian women's hockey team crashed to its third consecutive defeat, losing to China 0-4, under cold and windy conditions, in their last group match at the Asian Champions Trophy [ Images ] in Ordos, China, on Thursday.
China scored through Yudiao Zhao (6th, 66th minutes) and Yibo Ma (23rd, 65th).
At the break, China led 2-0.
India did try to put up a fight but the attacks were too sporadic to be effective. The forwards were wayward and without cohesion and the Chinese defence was never stretched.
China, on the other hand, bottled up the midfield and dictated play. After two goals they relaxed and waited for errors from the Indian defence to capitalise on it.
For India, the only player to leave any mark on the match was midfielder Asunta Lakra. She worked tirelessly and sent some wonderful through balls but it was quite apparent that the Indian forwards were not fully fit.
Rani Rampal, quite a poacher and a good striker, seemed out of sorts in the tournament.
India squandered as many as five penalty corners chances as their hits were not effective or sharp enough to trouble the rival goalkeeper.
If India kept the score line at four goals, credit must be given to goalkeeper Yogita Bali, who saved at least four goal-bound shots in the second half.
India will now have to come up with something out of the ordinary to beat Japan and pick a bronze in the tournament.
In an earlier match, Korea beat Japan 1-0 to finish second in the group and will now meet China in Saturday's final.
Korea scored through Cheon Seul Ki off a penalty-corner in the 14th minute.