Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2022: India begin title defence with 9-0 win over Malaysia

Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya and Sharmila Devi scored a brace each for the Indian women’s hockey team.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by Hockey India

India got off to a winning start at the Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2022 with a 9-0 victory over Malaysia at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat, Oman on Friday.

Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya and Sharmila Devi scored two each while Deep Grace Ekka and Lalremsiami also found the back of the board.

Following the big win, the Indian women’s hockey team moved to the top spot in Pool A with three points, pipping Japan who have a lower goal difference. Singapore and Malaysia are third and fourth, respectively.

Defending champions India, ranked ninth in the world, dominated against the 20th-ranked Malaysia from the start.

Vandana Katariya, making her 250th appearance for the Indian national team, drew first blood in the eighth minute after a proper team effort from women in blue.

Just two minutes later, Deep Grace Ekka doubled the lead with a low drag flick from a penalty corner.

With India dominating the match, the majority of the action was in the Malaysian circle. In the dying seconds of the first quarter, Navneet Kaur beat the opposition goalkeeper from inside the circle to make it 3-0.

The second quarter saw a much-improved performance from Malaysia, who defended in numbers.

However, the Indian women’s hockey team proved too strong and a searing drive from Navneet Kaur from close range ticked the scoreboard again, making it 4-0.

The trend continued in the third quarter as well, with India making constant forays in the Malaysian circle.

India added their fifth goal of the night with Vandana Katariya driving home a rebound in the fourth minute of the third quarter.

The Malaysia defence struggled to contain the ferocious Indian frontline as Lalremsiami and Monika added two more in quick succession to end the third quarter with the scoreboard reading 7-0.

Malaysia had a few chances in the final quarter, but the Indian women’s hockey team goalkeeper and captain Savita Punia thwarted all attempts with ease.

Devi Sharmila scored a brace in the last 15 minutes as India concluded the night with a nine-goal victory.

Next up, the Indian hockey team will square off against Japan on Sunday.

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