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Indian women upbeat for World Cup

Schopman eyes greater results after Asia Cup bronze
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India women’s hockey team is determined to reach their peak form for the upcoming Women’s World Cup 2022.

The talented bunch of players missed out on the Asia Cup title in Muscat last week when they lost narrowly to South Korea in the semifinal.

Japan, who had beaten India 2-0 in the group stage, emerged champions after a comeback 4-2 win in the final against a hardworking South Korea.

India head coach Janneke Schopman said the overall performance of the team was satisfactory.

“Yes, we had a great outing in the Tokyo Olympics. But under the epidemic circumstances, things are not smooth for the players.”

“We have performed our best in the Asia Cup, though it was not the result which we wanted,” she told Oman Observer.

India blanked China 2-0 in the third place play-off of the Women’s Asia Cup in Muscat on Friday.

For India, Sharmila Devi found the target from a penalty corner in the 13th minute. The second goal was scored by Gurjit Kaur from another penalty corner in the 19th minute.

“I would say we are overall satisfied with the performance though we would have loved to be in the final. Result wise, we are not completely happy but performance-wise we are.”

Next up will be Women’s World Cup 2022 in the Netherlands and Spain for India in June and the coach said they are looking forward to it.

“World Cup will be great fun. We all are looking forward to it.”

“We have good experience in playing European teams. I think we will evolve better before the global showdown. There are some more players from whom we would choose from,” Schopman replied to a query on the preparations for the World Cup.

She said the Asian Cup has come up well and the tournament showed more standard than expected.

“The Asian teams have progressed well during the years. In the Tokyo Olympics, Japan had put up a good show and the same they are showing in Muscat,” she said.


The India head coach had told about better performance in the FIH Pro-League match against China on Monday.

The team put that into reality as they thrashed China 7-1 in the first of the Pro-League match against Asia Cup semifinalists China at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.

Navneet Kaur opened the scoring for India in the fifth minute with a field goal. Neha made it 2-0 in the 12th minute with another field goal.

Vandana Katariya opened her Pro-League scoring with a field goal in the 40th minute.

China made some serious efforts in the third quarter to take possession and attack more.

In the 43rd minute, Xue Deng’s cross to the box resulted in a wrong clearance by Indian defender Grace and rolled into the net for the first goal for China.

Then after India pressed for more goals and goals came aplenty.

Player of the match Sharmila Devi scored a brace next as India led 5-1.

Devi first converted a penalty stroke in the 47th minute and then found the target with a sharp second shot after her first hit was saved by China goalkeeper Surong Wu.

India piled more misery to China by adding two more goals as goal-mouth raids earned them two penalty strokes.

Gurjit Kaur (50th) and Pukhrambam Sushila (52) Chanu made no mistake from the spot as India wrapped up proceedings with a 7-1 margin.

India will take on China in the second match on Tuesday.

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