Women's Asian Champions Trophy: Gurjit Kaur scores five as India thump Thailand

Gurjit Kaur
Gurjit Kaur, second left, starred for India. File photo: AFP

Danghae (South Korea): Dragflicker Gurjit Kaur slammed five goals as India began their campaign on a roaring note, crushing Thailand 13-0 in the Women's Asian Champions Trophy Hockey here on Sunday.

Gurjit gave India the lead in the second minute after an infringement by Thailand in their defensive third prompted the referee to award a penalty stroke. Gurjit, who scored four goals at the Tokyo Olympic Games, smartly put the ball into the back of the net.


The early goal put Thailand on the back foot, and Vandana Katariya, the only Indian women's player to score a hat-trick at the Olympics, slammed the second goal five minutes later.

By the time the first quarter was over, Lilima Minz had added another field goal in the 14th minute, while Gurjit Kaur and Jyoti scored two more from penalty corners, giving India a 5-0 lead.

The second quarter started much the same way as India kept most of the possession, giving no room to Thailand to cause any danger. Within the first minute of the second quarter, Rajwinder Kaur, who made her international debut on Sunday, scored a field goal, and in the 24th minute, Gurjit scored her third goal and soon Lilima scored another from a penalty corner.

The Indian team demolished the Thai defence as they struck another penalty corner in the 25th minute through Gurjit, thus giving them a 9-0 lead at the end of the second quarter.

India dominated by continuing to make threatening circle penetrations from the left flank. But Thailand dug in deep and defended well for the first six minutes in the third quarter. But Jyoti scored another field goal in the 36th minute to exceed India's lead.

A well-constructed move from the middle late in the 43rd minute caught Thailand's defence napping as Sonika scored her first goal of the match.

The fourth quarter saw Navneet Kaur threatening Thailand's defence with deep runs from the right flank. But Thailand's defence managed to keep the danger at bay, preventing any further damage to the scoreline.

In the 55th minute, Monika managed to get her stick on a long pass inside the circle, as she deflected the ball into the back of the net. Three minutes later, Gurjit scored her fifth goal from a late penalty corner.

This was the India team's first match since the fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics. In the absence of captain Rani Rampal, who has been rested from the tournament, India is being led by veteran goalkeeper Savita Punia.

India's match against Malaysia, scheduled for Monday, will not take place due to Covid-related issues, the Asian Hockey Federation said.

India will next play hosts Korea on Wednesday.

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