India’s talismanic skipper Savita did it innumerable times in the past and once again put up a match-winning performance as the hosts beat defending champions Japan 4-0 in the final of Women’s Asian Champions Trophy at Ranchi.
India were leading 2-0 after scoring early in the fourth quarter but after some good showing, Japan earned a penalty stroke following a penalty corner midway into the last quarter. But Savita, with her outstretched left foot, kept out Kana Urata’s shot.
The save broke the Japanese spirit and India went on the rampage from then on. Savita also made quite a number of good saves throughout the game, including a triple save from a penalty corner in the second quarter.
As for the goals, Sangita Kumari opened the scoring in the 17th minute before Neha, Lalremsiami and Vandana Katariya scored one each in the fourth quarter to wrap the game for India.
The match began at around 9.25 pm after one of the four light towers went dark and the players were forced to leave the turf even after warming up. Once the issue was finally resolved, it was Yuri Nagain who had the first clear chance for Japan but from a very close range she played it wide. India also had a chance but they failed to take it. They were finally able to take the lead two minutes into the second quarter following an error by Japan in their own half.