It was a week to remember for the girls of Japan at the 3rd Under-18 Asia Cup, which took place at the Queen Sirikit National Hockey Stadium in Thailand from 16th-25th September. The Japanese youngsters became champions of the ten team tournament thanks to a 1-0 victory over the heavily-fancied China.
A big crowd turned up to watch the climax of an outstanding week of hockey action in Bangkok, and were not disappointed as the two finest teams at the event went head to head in search of the Gold medal. Both sides had a number of fantastic chances to score, but were thwarted by superb defensive work and brilliant goalkeeping. The only goal of the game arrived late in the second half, with Japan’s Minami Shimizu clinically executing a well-worked penalty corner routine. It was a fitting climax to what had been a high quality tournament which suggests that women’s hockey in Asia has a very bright future indeed.
The tournament Bronze medallists were India, who crushed Korea 3-0 in a match which took place ahead of the competition final. Incredibly, both India and Korea topped the Pool phase of the competition before being beaten in the Semi Finals by Japan and China respectively.
Away from the action on the field of play, the 59th Asian Hockey Federation Council Meeting was another important element of the proceedings in Bangkok. The conference took place on Saturday 24th September.
4 South Korea
8 Sri Lanka
10 Chinese - Taipei
Top Scorer: Nam So Ri (Korea) / Meisham Kiran Devi (India)
Best Goalkeeper: Manlika Thonhongsa (Thailand)
Player of the tournament: Haduki Nagai (Japan)
Player of the final: Luo Tiantian (China)
Information and Image supplied by Thai Hockey
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