Navneet Kaur does the star turn


Navneet Kaur scored a hat-trick as India got off to a rollicking start with a 4-1 win over Japan in their opening match of the 5th women’s Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament here on Sunday.
The young forward scored in the 7th, 25th and 55th minute, while Anupa Barla (53rd) got the other goal for India at the Sunrise Stadium here.
The Indian team was dominant right from the start as it displayed well-strategised attack to break the strong Japanese defence. An early chance came by when forward Vandana Katariya and Lilima Minz worked in tandem to create space in the striking circle.
Navneet picked up an assist from Vandana to send the ball past Korean goalkeeper to give defending champion India the lead in the seventh minute.
Showcasing talent
Then Navneet showcased her abilities as she drove into the 25-yard mark and assisted experienced forward Vandana to drive into the circle. Vandana’s clever return of ball from the right flank to an unmarked Navneet at the top of the circle saw her double the lead in the 25th minute.
India continued to keep up the momentum into the third quarter which was disrupted by rain. Three minutes into the third quarter, India won back-to-back penalty corners but could not convert. Japan too won three back-to-back PCs this quarter but could not beat the experienced Savita.
India’s third goal came off a brilliant assist by Udita to Anupa Barla and the latter beat the Korean defender to fire in a the goal in the 53rd minute.
India’s fourth came off a counter attack after Japan missed a PC opportunity in the 55th minute. Navneet took the ball into the opponent’s half, passed to Udita and positioned herself before hitting home with ease.
Aki Yamada scored a consolation goal for Japan in the 58th minute.
India next takes on formidable China on May 16.


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