India outclassed Thailand 5-0 in the final Pool B match in the women’s hockey competition at the 18th Asian Games here on Monday.

Rani (37th, 46th, 56th minutes) scored a hat-trick while Monika (52nd) and Navjot Kaur (55th) also found the target in the fourth and final quarter to help India post a comprehensive victory.

Despite the big difference in the scoreline, it was hardly an easy affair for the Indians. Thailand gave a really tough fight in the first two quarters.

The Thailand defence was well organised and gave away very little space to the Indian forwards. The marking was quite good which did not allow the Indian forwards too much time and space with the ball for a large part of the game.

Thailand also preferred to sit back and play on the counter. As a result, although the Indians dominated proceedings and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession which put a lot of pressure on the Thailand defence, they were prevented from scoring in the first two periods.

The Thai players became more adventurous after half-time and created several attacks, which allowed the Indians to exploit the resultant gaps in their opponents defensive third.

Rani opened the floodgates in the third quarter when she found the target off the rebound. She doubled the lead almost immediately after the start of the final quarter.
The Indians completely dominated thereafter.