Women’s Asia Cup: India tops group with third straight win

The in-form Indians defeated Malaysia 2-0.

India had to wait until the fourth quarter to score its goals.   -  P. V. Sivakumar (Representative Image)

India recorded its third successive win in the women’s Asia Cup - a 2-0 defeat of Malaysia - in the final pool game here on Tuesday. India goes into the quarterfinals as table topper with nine points.

Late goals by Vandana Katariya (54th minute) and Gurjit Kaur (55) saw the team through.

Malaysia played defensively in the first quarter, forcing India to wait patiently for its opportunities. Malaysia, however, put India on the back foot when it won the first penalty corner of the match in the initial minutes of the second quarter. An alert Rajani Etimarpu made a brilliant save.

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The teams were awarded a few penalty corners in the next phase of play, but they did not break the deadlock, which continued till the end of the third quarter.

Change of narrative

India held its nerve to turn the match around in the fourth. First, forward Katariya scored a sensational field goal in the 54th minute. In the following minute, drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur convert a penalty corner to double the lead.

Malaysia made desperate attempts in the dying minutes of the match but the Indian defence held sway to emerge victorious.

In its previous match, India had defeated higher-ranked China 4-1.