Hockey: India go down to Japan in Women’s U-18 Asia Cup semis

Bangkok: India went down to Japan 2-4 (1-1) via a shoot-out in the semi-final match at the 4th Women’s Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament here on Wednesday.

Lalremsiami gave India the lead in the fifth minute but Tamura Ayana equalised for Japan eight minutes from the hooter to take the match to penalty shoot-out.

Both teams scored off their first two attempts, before missing on the third. India missed their fourth attempt as Japan’s final attacker converted the chance successfully as India went down 2-4.

India had a fantastic start to the game, scoring in the fifth minute after some brilliant interplay in their midfield. A deft cross from the right was met by Lalremsiami who reverse hit the ball into the goal to give India the lead.

From there on Japan slowly inched their way back into the game, building up play patiently. The Indian eves remained aggressive on the counter and played with speed to constantly blunt the Japanese attack, creating a few chances for themselves as well. The two teams went into the break with India leading 1-0.

In the second half, both teams settled into a slower pace, as the Indian eves controlled the possession, winning penalty corners while looking to penetrate into the Japanese defence.

They held solid at the back though, not letting Japan get a look in. However, Japan equalised in the 62nd minute via Tamura Ayana to send the game into a shoot-out where the Japanese prevailed.