The Indian women's team was not as enterprising as their men in the hockey Asian Champions Trophy. They blew away a 2-0 lead, as Japan scored a controversial golden goal in extra-time, off a penalty-stroke, and snatched the bronze medal in Ordos, China, on Saturday.
India scored twice by the 28th minute, but the Japanese capitalised on Indian errors in the second half to not only equalise but score a golden goal through Ai Murakami and destroy India's dreams of going back home with at least a bronze medal.
India scored through Vandana Katariya (7th minute) and Rani Rampal (28th), while Japan's scorers were Rika Komazawa (52nd), Kaori Fujio (63rd) and Ai Murakami (76th).
Japan earned a penalty-corner in the 76th minute, which was saved by an Indian defender's stick. However, the umpire pointed for a stroke, claiming that the ball had hit the defender. And even though the Indians protested, the stroke stayed.
Yogita Bali, the Indian goalkeeper went the right way. but Ai Murakami's push had enough power to beat her.
India's coach CR Kumar was disappointed, but said that the umpiring was poor in the match.
"I cannot put everything on umpiring. We need to improve upon our fitness and play more high-intensity matches to be able to compete at the top level," he said.