Late drama as India pip China
There was late drama at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium last night as India beat China 2-1 to lift the 4th Women's Asian Champions Trophy.
With the score locked at 1-1, India were awarded a penalty corner in the final minute and Deepika fired straight into the net to the delight of the Indian fans in the stands.
The Chinese argued with both umpires that the penalty corner should not have been given, but to no avail.
"The girls did not understand why the penalty corner was awarded to the Indians in the first place because there was no real obstruction," said China coach Weng Hai Qin, 42, after the match.
"But it was a very good match which allowed the younger players to gain more experience. I'm happy with the girls' performance."
It was sweet revenge for the Indians as they had lost 3-2 to the Chinese in a round-robin match on Friday.
India took the lead last night through Deep Ekka via a penalty corner in the 13th minute.
China equalised in the third quarter through Zhong Mengling (44th minute), after failing to score from three penalty corners.
India coach Neil Hawgood felt that his girls fully deserved the victory.
"They didn't play smart on Friday, but they did a lot of things right in the final," said the 54-year-old former Australian international.
"The girls denied China a lot of space on the field and limited their field-goal opportunities really well. We were in control of today's match."
On the controversial last-minute penalty corner, Hawgood said that the view of the South Korean umpire standing on the Indians' side might have been partially blocked, but he believes it was still the right call.
Said Hawgood: "I'm very sure that if we watch the video footage and review what had happened, the goal would have still been given to us.
"China had the right to tackle and defend, but they didn't."
In the bronze-medal match, Japan beat South Korea 2-1.