(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, June 9 (IANS) The Indian junior women's hockey team takes on Japan in the semifinals of the Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 in Kakamigahara, Japan on Saturday with the winner getting an opportunity to earn a place in the upcoming FIH Junior Women's World Cup 2023.
India confirmed their place in the last four with a resounding 11-0 victory over Chinese Taipei on Thursday. The impressive victory also meant that India finished the tournament's group stage unbeaten and atop the Pool A table.
Now, India prepare to face Japan in the semifinals on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the tournament's final and also confirming their berth in the upcoming FIH Junior Women's World Cup 2023.
Notably, the top three teams in the Women's Junior Asia Cup 2023 will earn automatic qualification to the FIH Junior Women's World Cup 2023, which will be held in Santiago, Chile from November 29 to December 10, 2023.
Ahead of the crucial match, captain Preeti expressed confidence and said, "As one of the leading teams in Asia, it is crucial for us to excel in the Junior Asia Cup. Our performance thus far has been commendable, and we aim to maintain this momentum going into the Semifinals."
"Also, we are aiming to qualify for the FIH Junior Hockey Women's World Cup 2023 and we are just one win away from accomplishing it, hence, the team will give its all in the semifinal against Japan," she added.
Notably, the Indian team displayed their dominance during the Pool stage, remaining undefeated throughout. They started their campaign with a resounding 22-0 victory against Uzbekistan, followed by a 2-1 win over Malaysia. In a thrilling encounter against Korea, they secured a 2-2 draw. They concluded the group stage with a convincing 11-0 triumph over Chinese Taipei, topping Pool A.
On the other hand, Japan have demonstrated strong form throughout the tournament, with notable victories against Hong Kong China (23-0) and Indonesia (21-0). Despite a 0-1 loss to China, they bounced back to defeat Kazakhstan 8-0, securing the second spot in Pool B.
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