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India in women's Asia Cup hockey final, book 2010 World Cup berth

Last updated on: November 06, 2009 19:49 IST

It was double delight for the Indian women's hockey team on Friday. They edged out Korea 3-2 to sail into the Asia Cup final, which also assured them a berth in the 2010 World Cup in Argentina.

Jasjeet Kaur struck twice and Rani Ramphal also found the net to put India 3-0 ahead in the semi-final before the Koreans mounted waves of attacks and twice breached the defence to inject fresh drama in the match that, at one stage, threatened to be a lop-sided affair.

In Sunday's summit clash, India will lock horns with China, who beat Japan by a solitary goal, scored by Zhou Yu Diao in the other semi-final.

After missing a one-on-one situation, Saba Anjum earned India's first penalty-corner and Jasjeet's powerful drag-flick put India ahead in the eighth minute.

India could not make further dent on the Korean defence but Jasjeet again scored a peach of a goal early in the second half to give the team a 2-0 lead.

Rani later latched on to a midfield pass to score an athletic goal and India were cruising at 3-0 in the 55th minute.

To their credit, Korea did not throw in the towel. Instead, they struck twice to make a match of it.

The Indians survived some torrid moments as Korea forced two penalty-corners at the stroke of the hooter, but the gritty defence thwarted both to keep the lead intact.

India got a number of chances in the match but they did not bear fruit because of poor finishing by the forwards.

Midway through first-half, Saba and Surinder Kaur set up Rani Ramphal only to see her effecting a feeble shot. On another occasion, Rani's sliding shot was well-anticipated by the rival goalkeeper, Young Hui Moon.

With neat interception and tight marking, India dominated the first-half. Korea did win three penalty-corners in succession, but the usually sharp Seul Ki Cheon was rendered ineffective by the Indian defenders.

Goalkeeper Deepkia Murthy stopped two rebounds while another one was saved on the goalline by an alert Ritu Rani.

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