Sat, 29 Jan 2022

Donghae [Korea], December 4 (ANI): The Indian women's hockey team will begin their campaign at the Asian Champions Trophy in Donghae, Korea with an opening tie against Thailand.

The tournament scheduled to be held between December 5-12, 2021 will see India up against China, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia in the single-pool competition.

"The team's focus right now is to make a good start. This is our first international outing after the Olympics and playing the first match will always create some butterflies in the stomach. But we have prepared well and we are geared up for the challenge," India's ace goalkeeper Savita who is leading the team for this tournament said, as per an official Hockey India release.

In their second match on December 6, India plays Malaysia, who they had beaten 3-2 in the previous edition. Malaysia had subsequently finished fourth in the previous edition held in the same city as they had lost to China in the third/fourth placing match.

India will take on hosts and defending Champions Korea in their third match on December 8. In the previous edition, the Indian side had lost 0-1 in a closely fought final to the hosts and earlier in the round-robin league, India had held Korea to a 1-1 draw.

"We are looking forward to a tough challenge from hosts Korea and surely we cannot underestimate China or Japan who are Asian Games Gold medalists. After arriving in Donghae, we went through some good practice sessions on the pitch here to get acclimatized," said Savita.

"It is a beautiful facility they have here and we are not new to the conditions in this pitch, however, the weather is quite cold and getting used to this could be a bit of a challenge initially," she added.

India plays China on December 9 and Japan on December 11. In the previous edition, India got the better of both these teams as they had beaten China 3-1 and won against Japan 4-1 in the league stage.

The final will take place on December 12 between the topper of the pool and the team that finish second in the pool. (ANI)

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