World Hockey:Japan women get better of India in Asia Cup;Double for South Africa in Africa Cup of Nations

Asian Games champion Japan reiterated its supremacy as Continental leaders with an emphatic 2-0 win over the defending champions India in Asia Cup Hockey for women at Muscat on Sunday.

In Accra, it was South Africa all the way. The South Africans won both men and women titles to book their berths in the ensuing World Cups for men and women. While the South African men defeated Egypt 3-1 in the penalty shootout after the regulation period score of 1-1, their women’s team beat the hosts Ghana 3-1 to wrest the title. It was the eight successive title triumph for South Africa in men’s section.

Nigeria recorded a convincing 4-2 win over Kenya to take the bronze medal in the men’s section. In the women’s section, the bronze went to Kenya. After a goalless draw, Kenya won 3-1 in the penalty shootout. Earlier Zimbabwe defeated Uganda 2-1 to finish seventh and Nigeria got the better of Namibia by a solitary goal to take the fifth spot.

The game of the day, however, in Asia Cup for women where the Asian Games champion rocked the defending champions India by scoring once in each half. India, that had fourth place finish in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, could not come to terms with its game as the Japanese played to a strategy.

The Japanese girls defended well and made full use of their field scoring opportunities to surprise pre-tournament favorites India.

Perhaps it was not India’s day. It could not convert any of its penalty corners and even in run of play, most of its scoring chances went waste for being off the target.

Japan took the lead in the second minute through Yuri Nagai. Tanaka Saki consolidated the lead in the 42ndminute with a neat deflection of a free hit from outside the circle. It was India’s first defeat in two games.

In the Pan Am Cup for women at Santiago, Canada had a comfortable 13-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago while the US beat Peru 7-0.