Salalah (Oman), Aug 28 (IANS) The Indian women’s hockey team won the inaugural Women’s Hockey5s Asia Cup on Monday, defeating Thailand 7-2 in the final. With the event serving as Asia’s qualifying tournament for the Women’s Hockey 5s World Cup 2024, India clinched their berth in the mega event.
India also qualified for the FIH Women Hockey 5s World Cup Oman 2024, finishing first in the Elite Group.
Mariana Kujur (2’, 8’), Monika Dipi Toppo (7’), Jyoti (10’, 27’), Navjot Kaur (23’), and Mahima Choudhary (29’) scored the goals for India. For Thailand, Kunjira Inpa (5’) and Sanpoung Kornkanok (5’) were on target.
India made an aggressive start in the opening minutes of the first half as Mariana Kujur (2’) gave India the lead scoring an excellent field goal.
However, Thailand scored two goals in quick succession through Kunjira Inpa (5’) and Sanpoung Kornkanok (5’) to put India on the back foot.
India responded immediately through the in-form Monika Dipi Toppo (7’) as she made a brilliant penetration and scored a fine field goal to level the scores.
India then took the lead through Mariana Kujur’s strike (8’). With four minutes remaining in the first half, Jyoti (10’) extended India’s lead to 4-2. At the end of the first half, India were leading Thailand 4-2.
At the start of the second half, a charged-up India continued to play with pace and precision, testing Thailand’s defence constantly. Their efforts paid off as captain Navjot Kaur (23’) added a fifth goal to the tally.
With three minutes remaining, Jyoti pumped in another goal to make it 6-2 and then Mahima Choudhary made it 7-2, sealing an impressive win for the Indian team.
For their triumph and excellent performance, Hockey India announced Rs 2 lakh to each player of the team, while Rs 1 lakh each for the support staff.
Congratulating the team on qualifying for the FIH Women Hockey 5s World Cup Oman 2024, Hockey India President Padma Shri Dr. Dilip Tirkey said, “I congratulate the Indian Women’s Hockey Team for an excellent outing and qualifying for the FIH Women Hockey 5s World Cup Oman 2024. This was a brilliant team effort by everyone involved and I wish the team the best of luck for the FIH Women Hockey 5s World Cup Oman 2024.”
Hockey India Secretary-General Bhola Nath Singh said, “Huge congratulations to the Indian Women’s Hockey Team on winning the Women’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier and subsequently qualifying for the next year’s World Cup. You have made the entire country proud. It has been an exciting tournament and all the efforts and training over the past few months have paid off with this win.”