Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur and Sharmila Devi scored a brace each as India thrashed Malaysia 9-0 in their opening match of the Women's Asia Cup hockey tournament on Friday.
India, looking to win the tournament and grab a place in the World Cup to be held later in the year, came up with a dominant display and scored thrice in the first quarter and once in the second to go 4-0 up by half-time. They were more successful in the second half as they scored thrice in the third quarter and a goal towards the start and end of the fourth and final quarter to seal and comprehensive victory at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex.
Vandana Katariya scored in 8th and 34th minute, Navneet in 15th and 27th minute and Sharmila in 46th and 59th minute while seasoned Deep Grace Ekka (10th min), Lalremsiami (38th min), and Monica (40th min) scored a goal apiece to complete the tally for India.
The Indians enjoyed total domination of their opponents and parked themselves in the opponent's half for most of the game. Malaysia did make a few attacks in the first half, skipper Savita was not troubled much by their forwards.
India has never lost to Malaysia in the last 17 matches and it did not look like that record would change on Friday.
The Indians went into the lead early and kept the Malaysians under pressure throughout the match.
Though it was their first match of the tournament the Indian forwards showed good coordination and the midfield too kept them busy.
Overall it was a good performance and gives the team a boost ahead of the next match against Asian Games winner Japan on Sunday.
(With IANS Inputs)
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