Women’s Asia Cup: India beats Kazakhstan 7-1, enters semis

Gurjit Kaur scored three goals, while Navneet Kaur scored twice as India remained unbeaten in the tournament.

Gurjit Kaur (second from left) scored three goals for India in its 7-1 rout.   -  Getty Images (File Photo)

Drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur notched up a hat-trick as India hammered Kazakhstan 7-1 to enter the semifinals of the women’s Asia Cup here on Thursday.

Gurjit pumped in three goals (4th, 42nd and 56th minute), while Navneet Kaur scored twice (22nd and 27th minute). Deep Grace converted two penalty corners (16th and 41st minute) to ensure India remained unbeaten in the tournament, according to a communique from Hockey India.

Read: India beats Malaysia 2-0

India suffered an early setback when Vera Domashneva scored a field goal in the second minute to give Kazakhstan a 1-0 lead. India responded when a tactical manouevre in the circle won it a penalty corner in the fourth minute. The in-form Gurjit hardly broke a sweat to fiercely strike the ball past Kazakhstan goalkeeper Guzal Bakhavaddin and equalise.

The Rani Rampal-led forward line was smart in its attacks as it created penalty corners to put its opponent under pressure.

Read: India needs to focus on the bigger picture

The plan worked as a penalty corner won in the 16th minute was brilliantly converted through Deep Grace’s well-struck drag- flick that gave India a 2-1 lead.

In the following minutes, Navneet scored back-to-back field goals to take India’s lead to a comfortable 4-1 at the end of second quarter. Another PC awarded in the 41st minute was beautifully converted by Deep Grace. Gurjit was splendid with her drag flick and converted her second goal through PC in the 42nd minute.

The 22-year-old Gurjit struck yet another penalty corner in the 56th minute as she registered a hat trick of goals to end the match 7-1.