India defeat Korea 2-0; to face Japan in final of Women's Asian Champions Trophy

India vs South Korea in Womens Asia CupRanchi: The Indian Women's Hockey Team recorded a decisive 2-0 victory against Korea in the Semi-Final of the Jharkhand Women's Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023, securing their spot in the highly anticipated Final. They are set to face Japan on Sunday at the prestigious Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh AstroTurf Hockey Stadium.

Salima Tete (11') and Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke (19') were the goalscorers for the home side. 

India took control of the game right away, pressing forward aggressively and winning their first penalty corner. It did not materialise, but India quickly recovered as they penetrated the circle, earning another penalty corner. During the second PC attempt, Deepika unleashed a powerful flick, but the alert Korean custodian saved it. India created another promising opportunity from the right flank moments later, but Monika's shot went wide. India continued their attack and were soon rewarded for their efforts as they finally broke the deadlock in the 11th, courtesy of a stunning goal from Salima Tete.  

India continued similarly in the second quarter, making attacking forays inside the Korean half. They earned their third penalty corner of the game and doubled their lead in the 19th minute. The Korean custodian saved Deep Grace Ekka's low drive, but the rebound fell to Vaishnavi, who slotted the ball home with ease from the near post to make it 2-0. Following that, Korea launched an immediate counterattack, sneaking into India's circle, but Captain Savita stood tall, denying the opposition a goalscoring opportunity. The visitors were on the verge of earning their first penalty corner of the game, but the decision was overturned due to India's successful video referral. India had their fourth penalty corner with two minutes remaining in the first half, but the Korean custodian denied the hosts a third goal.

The opening minutes of the second half saw both teams exchanging attacks with visitors putting up an improved performance both in the attack as well as the defence. They earned back-to-back penalty corners but missed out on capitalising on it. India too created potential goalscoring opportunities but the Korean defence line kept the home side at bay.India began the fourth quarter on an offensive note, with veteran forward Vandana winning India's sixth PC but falling short of converting it. With five minutes remaining until the final whistle, India was down to nine players after Jyoti (53rd minute) and Vandana (55th minute) were both shown yellow cards. And, in the following minute, Korea took advantage, earning another PC, but Savita made a spectacular save to prevent the opponents from scoring. Korea took off their goalkeeper in the dying minutes of the game to make room for an extra outfield player, but India held on for a thrilling 2-0 win to advance to the Final.

Japan advanced to the Final by defeating the reigning Asian Games Champions China 2-1 in the 1st Semi-Final.