IMAGE: India players celebrate a goal in their 9-1 win over Singapore in their Asia Cup hockey match in Muscat on Monday. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter
Gurjit Kaur slammed a hat-trick while Monika and Jyoti scored a brace each as defending champions India spanked lowly Singapore 9-1 to register their second win in Pool A and qualify for the semi-finals of the women’s Asia Cup hockey tournament in Muscat, on Monday.
After drubbing Malaysia 9-0 in their opener, the Indians slumped to an unexpected 0-2 loss against pool toppers Japan.
But the Indians put their last match defeat behind and dished out a much coordinated display on Monday to steamroll Singapore.
Gurjit (8th, 37th, 48th) converted two penalty corners, while Monika (6th, 17th) and Jyoti (43rd, 58th) scored two field goals apiece. The other goal getters for India were Vandana Katariya (8th) and Mariana Kujur (10th).
India will take on Pool B leaders Korea in the first semi-final on Wednesday, while Japan, who beat Malaysia 8-0 in another Pool B match, will be up against China in the other last four match.
The final of the tournament will be played on Thursday. The top four teams will automatically qualify for this year’s FIH World Cup to be co-hosted by Spain and Netherlands.
As expected, a much superior India completely dominated the match from the word go and pumped in four goals in the first quarter.
India started on a bright note and enjoyed possession with their brisk one-touch game.
India took the lead in the sixth minute through a field goal by Monika. Two minutes later the Savita Punia-led side doubled their lead through Mariana Kujur before Vandana Katariya deflected in seconds later to extend their lead.
Star drag-flicket Gurjit Kaur made it 4-0 by converting a penalty corner in the 10th minute.
India continued in the same vein in the second quarter and added another goal through Monika.
It was raining penalty corners for India as they earned as many as 15 of them in the match but made use of just three, which would definitely be a cause of concern for chief coach Janneke Schopman.
The play was mostly centred in Singapore half as the Indian defence was hardly tested till the 43rd minute.
Singapore managed just one shot at the Indian goal when they secured their only penalty corner which was converted by Toh Li Min.