Potchefstroom (South Africa): India came up with a clinical performance to subdue South Korea 3-0 and storm into the semifinals of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2021 at the North West University grounds here on Friday.
Playing as a cohesive unit and maintaining their structure throughout the quarterfinal clash, the Indian girls dominated two-time champions Korea, who played well in defence but lacked the creative spark upfront to overcome the Indian defence.
Mumtaz Khan (10th minute), Lalrindiki (14th min) and Sangita Kumari scored the goals for India who now will meet the winner of the quarterfinal clash between three-time champions, the Netherlands, and hosts South Africa later in the day.
This is the second time that India have reached the semifinals in the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup. In the 2013 edition, India had reached the last-4 before eventually settling for a bronze medal.
India started well and scored twice in the first quarter via Mumtaz Khan, who deflected in a penalty corner attempt in the 10th minute, and through forward Lalrindiki, who tapped in a rebound off a shot by Lalremsiami from near the goalmouth in the 14th minute.
They continued to dominate the second quarter too but could not add any more goals to the score. Mumtaz, Lalremsiami Beauty Dung Dung and Sangita missed some great opportunities to score. While Mumtaz and Lalremsiami shot just wide, Sangita and Beauty were thwarted by the defenders as they went into the half-time break leading 2-0.
India, coached by Erik Wonink, continued in the same manner in the third quarter and Lalremsiami, and Beauty Dung Dung were thwarted in their attempts.
However, Sangita made it 3-0 when she shot home a disguised short pass by Beauty to get past the Korean goalkeeper and a defender.
India could have made it 4-0 in the fourth quarter but Sangita Kumari struck the upright from a narrow-angle after making a good run into the circle.
Overall, the Indian girls enjoyed 56 per cent possession as compared to 44 by the Koreans and created three penalty corners, scoring off one, while their opponents had just one, of which they shot wide. India made 28 circle penetrations as compared to 10 by Korea and unleashed 15 shots at the goal as compared to just four by their opponents.
All in all, the stats reflect the true ebb and flow of the match as Salima Tete’s India set themselves up for a shot at the title.