India beat Japan 4-1 in Women’s Asian Champions Trophy hockey

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DONGHAE CITY (Korea): Young forward Navneet Kaur fired a hat-trick as India began their title defence at the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in an emphatic fashion, registering a 4-1 crushing win over Japan here on Sunday.

Navneet starred in India’s win with goals in the seventh, 25th and 55th minutes. Anupa Barla (53rd) was the other goal scorer for India, who were playing their first match under head coach Sjoerd Marijne’s second stint in charge.

India were dominant right from the start as they displayed a well-strategised attack to break the strong Japanese defence at the Sunrise Stadium.

An early chance came when forward Vandana Katariya and Lilima Minz worked in tandem to create space in the striking circle. It was Navneet who picked up an assist from Vandana to send the ball past the goalkeeper, fetching India a 1-0 lead in the seventh minute.

India played with speed, kept the ball possession and stayed consistent as they kept up the pressure on Japan. Good defence, led by skipper Sunita Lakra, ensured Japan didn’t find too many chances in the circle.

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