Sports Hockey Japan

The Indian women’s hockey team beat Japan Nov. 3, 2017, and will meet China in the finals of the Asia Cup Nov. 5. (Hockey India Twitter photo)

KAKAMIGAHARA — India set its date with China in the final of the 9th women's Asia Cup after beating hosts Japan 4-2 in the semi-final here Nov. 3.

The Indian eves rode on a brace from Gurjit Kaur and field goals from Navjot Kaur and Lalremsiami to advance to a fourth Asia Cup final. India won the title in 2004 and finished runners-up in 1999 and 2009.

Gurjit Kaur gave India a perfect start, successfully converting a penalty corner in the seventh minute before Navjot Kaur's field goal in the ninth minute made it 2-0 for the tourists. 

In the same minute, Gurjit inflated India's lead to 3-0 with a brilliant field goal.

But Japan was no pushover. It managed to dominate the Indians in the second quarter and reduced the deficit to 2-3 through field goals from Shiho Tsujii (17) and Yui Ishibashi (28).

The third quarter saw Lalremsiami score her first goal of the tournament to put India ahead 4-2, and the defenders did well to keep the Japanese at bay thereon.

India entered the knockout stage of the tournament following big wins over Singapore 10-0, China 4-1 and Malaysia 2-0 to top their pool, and Nov. 2 defeated Kazakhstan 7-1 in the quarter-final.

On Nov. 5, India will aim to avenge its 3-5 loss to China in 2009 as the winner of this year's edition will qualify for the 2018 World Cup in England.

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