The Indians, who topped the pool stage with an all-win record, scored through Mumtaz Khan (11th minute), Lalrindiki (15th) and Sangita Kumari (41st) to emerge winners in the quarterfinal match.
India’s best result in the tournament remains the bronze medal finish at the 2013 edition in Monchengladbach, Germany, where they defeated England 3-2 in shootout following a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time.
Against Korea, India made a sedate start but found their footing 10 minutes into the game.
𝗥𝗲𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲!The Junior Indian Women’s Hockey Team are into the semifinals of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior W… https://t.co/a2oXJpmCsj
— Odisha Sports (@sports_odisha) 1649407811000
The Indian players used their speed and defence-splitting runs to trouble the Korean backline, which resulted in two penalty corners, the first of which was capitalised by Mumtaz.
It was Olympian Sharmila Devi’s brilliant run and a resultant pass that created the short corner for India and Mumtaz deflected home skipper Salima Tete‘s slap for her sixth goal of the tournament.
Seconds from the end of first quarter, Lalrindiki doubled India’s lead by tapping in a rebound after Deepika’s reverse shot was saved by Korean goalkeeper Eunji Kim.
The second quarter was more physical from both the teams but it was India who dominated possession.
The Indian defence was impressive in the first two quarters as the Koreans hardly tested goalkepeer Bichu Devi Kahribam, whose only involvement in the first 30 minutes was when she comfortably kicked away Korean skipper Seona Kim‘s miscued shot just before half time.
South Africa earned their first penalty corner of the match after the change of ends, but Seona Kim’s deflection went just over the bar.
Minutes later, India extended their lead through Sangita, who pushed home in an open goal after Korean goalkeeper Eunji Kim was thrown off balance by Beauty Dung Dung’s miscued shot.
Despite enjoying a comfortable three-goal advantage, the Indians never let the momentum slip out of their hands and, instead, continued to press hard.
India will next face the winner of the other quarterfinal between three-time champions Netherlands and South Africa on Sunday.