Asian Cup | India won the first women’s Junior Asia Cup hockey title by defeating South Korea, PM Modi and Sports Minister congratulated

Photo: Twitter Kakamigahara. India lifted the Women’s Junior Hockey Asia Cup title for the first time by defeating four-time champions South Korea 2-1 here on Sunday. Anu and Neelam scored for India while Park Seo Yeon scored the lone goal for Korea. After a goalless first quarter, India took the lead in the 22nd minute through Anu’s penalty corner goal. Putting behind the disappointment of the semi-final against Japan, Anu fired past the left of the goalkeeper to put India ahead 1-0. However, South Korea made it 1-1 three minutes later thanks to a goal by Park Seo Yeon. Neelam put India ahead 2-1 in the 41st minute, which proved to be the decisive score, from the right side of the South Korean goalkeeper. The Indian team then retained their lead in the last quarter and registered a win. South Korea had many chances to score in the form of penalty corners but the team could not take advantage of it. India win the 2023 Women’s Hockey Junior Asia Cup, beat South Korea 2-1, in Japan Hockey India announces the players will receive a cash prize of Rs 2 lakhs each and support staff will receive a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh each for clinching their maiden Women’s Junior Asia Cup 2023… — ANI (@ANI) June 11, 2023 Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the team for winning the Asia Cup. He tweeted, “Congratulations to our young champions on winning the 2023 Women’s Hockey Junior Asia Cup! The team has shown immense tenacity, talent and teamwork. He has done our country very proud. Best wishes to him for his further endeavours.” Congratulations to our young champions on winning the 2023 Women’s Hockey Junior Asia Cup! The team has shown immense perseverance, talent and teamwork. They have made our nation very proud. Best wishes to them for their endeavors ahead. — Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 11, 2023 Sports Minister Anurag Thakur termed this victory as historic. He tweeted, “A wonderful and unforgettable Sunday. Hearty congratulations to our women power for creating history. They won the Women’s Junior Hockey Asia Cup title for the first time by defeating four-time champions South Korea with a strong display of their skill and passion. He said, “It is a proud moment that our exploration plans to groom young and grassroots talent are yielding such encouraging results. 17 players from this team have been associated with Khelo India and have honed their skills at SAI (Sports Authority of India) Bengaluru campus. We are very proud of you and the whole country is happy with your success. A super and unforgettable Sunday! Heartiest greetings to our #NaariShakti for scripting history as they win the first ever Women’s Junior Hockey🏑🏑 Asia Cup title by defeating 4-time champions South Korea in an emphatic display of skill and passion.🏆🏆🏆 It’s a moment of… pic. — Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) June 11, 2023 Earlier India’s best performance in the Women’s Junior Asia Cup was in 2012 when the team reached the final for the first time in Bangkok but lost 2-5 to China. Indian skipper Preity, who was adjudged player of the match, said she had chalked out her strategy for the tie after playing out a 1-1 draw against Korea in the round-robin stage. “We were well aware of the specific areas we needed to work on in order to defeat Korea,” he said. Preeti said, “We were nervous about the finals. However, we knew that to achieve something special, we would have to be at our best as a team. And we did just that. We are happy to have made our country proud. India started aggressively in the match. The team got a penalty corner in the very first minute but the Indian team could not take advantage of it. South Korea, however, found the rhythm on the counterattack and kept the ball in possession for a long time. Korea also got a penalty corner but Neelam kept the ball from going into the goal at the last moment. The first quarter remained goalless despite both the teams adopting an aggressive approach. Read this too South Korea put India on the backfoot by adopting an aggressive approach in the second quarter as well. Korea got a few penalty corners but the team failed to break through India’s strong defence. Anu then converted the penalty stroke to give India the lead. India’s happiness, however, was short-lived as Seo Yeon equalized for Korea with a precise shot from inside the ‘D’. The score remained 1-1 at halftime. In the second half, India went on the counter-attack and it paid off when Neelam converted a penalty corner to make it 2-1. India then focused more on defense and retained the lead and registered a win. Hockey India announced a cash award of Rs 2 lakh to each player of the title-winning team while Rs 1 lakh to each member of the support staff. India remained unbeaten in the tournament and also made it to the Women’s Junior World Cup 2023 to be held in Chile this year. Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said, “We are extremely proud that the Indian junior women’s team has won the Junior Asia Cup title for the first time.” “It will serve as a strong foundation for their challenge in the Junior World Cup to be held later this year,” he added. (with agency inputs)

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