India were beaten 2-0 by Japan in the Women’s World League Semi-Final. In a match that decided the 5-8 placing in the tournament, India were overpowered in almost all departments of the turf. Japan took an aggressive approach to the game after a sloppy start. They won a total of 10 penalty corners during the match and scored from two of these.
But Japan’s goalkeeper Megumi Kageyama made a good save to deny India the early lead. Japan then turned the tide and kept hitting the Indian defence with wave after wave of attacks. The aggressive approach resulted in Japan winning their first PC of the match in the seventh minute which was successfully converted by Kana Nomura.
There were two more penalty corners that Japan won in the 8th and the 10th minute but India’s Monika and Savita came up with good saves, respectively. India did attack in the second quarter but were unable to break the Japanese defence.
Another big shot on goal for Japan came when Yuri Nagai cut inside the circle beating defender Gurjit Kaur but Savita came up with yet another noteworthy save.
A penalty corner in the 29th minute gave Japan their second goal. It was Naho Ichitani who converted the shot after they came up with a brilliant variation to trick the Indian defenders.
India did look to make amends after falling behind a second time. They won their first PC in the 51st minute but Gurjit Kaur’s fiercely-struck flick was well saved by Japanese goalkeeper.
Japan’s 10th penalty corner was saved by an alert Savita. Even after a repeated attempts at goal in the third and fourth quarter, India were unable to break the Japanese defence. India will play seventh and eighth placing match on July 22. India have thus far won only won one match in the World League semi-finals. The win came against Chile while they have played a 0-0 draw with South Africa.