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Asian Games

'Unlucky to concede after penalty corner deflection': Savita, Schopman reflect on China defeat

Indians looked unsettled in the big match against the hosts China to suffer a disappointing defeat after China took the lead with a series of penalty corners.

Unlucky to concede after penalty corner deflection: Savita, Schopman reflect on China defeat

India went down 0-4 to China in the women's hockey semifinals. (AGNS)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 6 Oct 2023 3:16 AM GMT

Captain Savita Punia and coach Janneke Schopman pointed to the deflections leading to the first two goals by China as the catalyst in India's 0-4 defeat in the semifinal in the Asian Games 2023 at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium on Thursday.

After being outplayed and consigned to the bronze medal match by China in front of a packed crowd, both captain and coach expressed disappointment with how coordination within the Indian women's hockey team was lacking.

"Definitely not the result we were looking for today. I'm quite disappointed with the performance of my team. Maybe it wasn't our day today, as we were not able to execute the plans we had made for this game... Everybody has a role to play, like the first rusher, the goalkeeper, the post person. There was a bit of a disconnect within the group today," captain Savita said after the match.

Indians looked tentative in the big match against the hosts after China took a lead with a series of penalty corners. It was in the 25th minute that the hosts earned their fifth penalty corner and Zhong made no mistake to hand the hosts the slender lead at half-time.

"We were unlucky when the touch from the first rusher in the penalty corner led to the first goal, and then the second goal too. They (China) are good at penalty corners, so our plan was not to give too many of them away," Savita said.

Coach Janneke Schopman also said her team was unlucky to concede too many penalty corners.

"It was also unlucky that the penalty corner deflection from our first runner went in. It is a problem that we get too many penalty corners given against us. But it was only after we went behind in the game that we finally started playing hockey," she said.

Even after this, the Indians continued to play defensive hockey and the ploy backfired as China secured back-to-back penalty corners 10 minutes into the second half and Zou found the back of the net again after getting a deflection from the stick of an Indian defender.

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