Host nation take dramatic shootout triumph over Japan to win Gold in Changzhou
Home favourites China have retained the Women’s Junior Asia Cup in the most dramatic way possible, defeating Japan’s talented Junior Cherry Blossoms in a shootout following a thrilling, high quality final in Changzhou.
China - winners of the 2011 competition in Bangkok, Thailand - were twice ahead in the final thanks to strikes from competition top scorer Gu Bingfeng, who netted her 10th and 11th goals of the event in the Gold medal match. However, her strikes were overhauled on each occasion by a Japanese side that greatly impressed during the competition, with Marina Yagi and team captain Yukari Mano getting the crucial goals to take the match into the shootout.
China were successful in all three of their shootout attempts with Gu, Yuan Meng and Zhong Mengling doing the damage, while Japan’s Motomi Kawamura, Kanon Mori and Hazuki Nagai failed to find the target and handed China their second successive title.
The Bronze medal went to Korea, who clawed themselves back from the brink of defeat to claim a breathtaking 3-2 win over India. India entered the final five minutes of the match with a 2-1 lead thanks to goals from Namita Toppo and Lilima Minz, but two goals in three minutes from team captain Lee Minji and Cho Hye Jin gave Korea a stunning 3-2 triumph as well as that all-important Bronze medal.
A double strike from Hanis Onn helped Malaysia to a 3-1 victory over Thailand to secure a 5th place finish, while DPR Korea claimed a shootout win over Singapore to take 7th place at an event where they improved significantly in every match that they played. A 13-0 loss to India on day 1 was followed by an 11-0 defeat to China, a 4-0 loss to Singapore before going down 3-2 to Malaysia. Their progress was clear for all to see in the 7-8 play-off, holding a side that had convincingly defeated them just five days earlier to a 1-1 draw before winning the shootout 3-1. The result forced Singapore into 8th place, with Chinese Taipei finishing in 9th position.
More info about the competition can be found on www.asiahockey.org, the official website of the Asian Hockey Federation as well as on social media using the #wjac2015 hashtag.
Photo: (c) Asian Hockey FederationBack