China opened their Asian Games title defence of the hockey title in convincing fashion, defeating Hong Kong 9–0 At Al-Rayyan Sports Club in the morning of 2 December. In other first day women action, Japan nailed Malaysia 7-0, while Korea was much too strong for Taipei (8-0).
It could have been worse for Hong Kong with goalkeeper Yi Shan Queenie Ho keeping her opponents' score under double digits with some brilliant saves. China will also be looking to up their conversion rate after scoring just five times from 16 penalty corners.
China opened their account in the 4th minute courtesy of a penalty corner hit from Zhaoxia Chen and captain Yibo Ma grabbed the second a minute later from a penalty corner flick. A brilliant reverse stick goal from Ye Ren in the ninth minute extended China's lead 3–0.
Hong Kong then enjoyed a 14 minute-spell of good pressure with Ho keeping her side in the game with four excellent saves from penalty corners. Hong Kong had their only chance in the first half when Sophie Alice Foxall managed to make her way past the untested Chinese defence before seeing her weak shot saved by the Chinese goalkeeper Yali Nie.
Chen then grabbed another goal from a penalty corner hit before substitute LI Hongxia and Qiuqi Chen increased their lead, taking the score to 6–0 going into the halftime interval.
In the second half, Chunling Tang deflected the ball into the goal from a nicely-worked penalty corner set piece and Lihua Gao added another from a penalty corner. Chen completed China's rout from another penalty corner to record the first hat-trick of the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
After her team’s defeat, Wai Ting Amy Lip, Hong Kong’s manager was upbeat: ‘It's not about losing, it's about being competitive and putting up a good fight against a good team.’
In other action, Japan overpowered Malaysia 7-0, while Korea was much stronger than Taipei (8-0)
For all results and match reports, please click here.
Source: Asian Games, Doha, Qatar.
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