Fearless China retain women's hockey title
China shred the form book to retain their Asian Games field hockey title with a 1-0 win over listless Japan in the final at Doha.india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 12:34 IST
China shredded the form book to retain their Asian Games women's field hockey title with a 1-0 win over listless Japan in the final in Doha on Thursday.
Ren Ye scored the winner six minutes into the second session, deflecting in a penalty corner hit by captain Ma Yibo, as China avenged the 3-0 defeat by Japan in the preliminary match.
India won the bronze medal with a 1-0 win over South Korea in the play-off for 3-4 positions.
Japan had been the dominant team in the seven-nation round-robin league, winning five of their six matches by scoring 35 goals and conceding just two in the 2-2 draw against South Korea.
But there was little Japan and Kaori Chiba, the competition's leading scorer with 12 goals, could do to break the Chinese wall.
Japan's best chance came seven minutes before the final whistle when Tomomi Komori latched on to a pass from the left by Misaki Ozawa and pushed hard towards the goal.
But Chinese goalkeeper Zhang Yimeng, who brought off several fine saves, once again came to her team's rescue by palming the ball away.
China's win, however, meant India must go through the qualification rounds to earn a trip to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
According to the new qualification rules of the International Hockey Federation, India would have qualified along with both finalists if Japan had won.
The third direct spot from Asia would now go to a team from the Oceania region.
First Published: Dec 14, 2006 12:34 IST