Indian women’s hockey advanced to the semifinals with to hat-tricks from veteran striker Vandana Katariya, vice captain Deep Grace Ekka, and Deepika.
In their final group encounter against Hong Kong on Tuesday in Hangzhou, veteran striker Vandana Katariya, vice-captain Deep Grace Ekka, and Deepika each slammed a hat-trick as India stormed into the semifinals of the women’s hockey competition at the Asian Games. For India, Vandana (2nd, 16th, and 48th minutes) scored three field goals and Deep Grace (11st, 34th, and 42nd minutes) successfully converted three penalty corners. Not to be outdone, Deepika (4th, 54th, 58th) followed in her senior teammates’ footsteps in India’s defeat of Hong Kong.
Their names were also entered on the scorecard for Sangita Kumari (27th, 55th), Monika (7th), and Navneet Kaur (58th).
India are in first place in Pool A with 10 points after four games, and they have a far better goal differential than South Korea, which is in second place but still has a game remaining. In their final group league game later on Tuesday, South Korea will face Malaysia.
For the semifinals, two teams from each pool advance.
The Indians completely dominated the game as they played with Hong Kong’s defenders from the get-go, scoring six goals in the opening two quarters and seven more after the break.When Vandana scored off a pass from Navneet Kaur, India scored and quickly took the lead.The Indians quickly got back-to-back penalty corners, but they squandered the opportunities as Hong Kong fiercely defended.India quickly countered and Deepika, with Vandana’s help, scored to double their advantage.At the end of the first quarter, India led 4-0 as Monika and Deep Grace both scored two goals in rapid succession.Vandana scored her second goal with a tomahawk from the outside of the circle one minute into the second period.Sangita knocked in Monika’s pass three minutes before halftime, giving India a comfortable 6-0 lead at the break.After the switch of ends, the pattern persisted as India’s constant pressure led to seven additional goals.In the third quarter, Deep Grace finished off her hat-trick by converting two penalty corners.In order to complete her hat trick, Vandana added another tomahawk goal.After that, Deepika scored two penalty corners with dazzling flicks to tie her older counterparts.Every now and then, Sangita and Navneet also discovered the net.The second-placed team from Pool B, India, will play in the semifinals on Thursday.