Asia Cup hockey: India thrash Japan to start with a bang
SV Sunil, Lalit Upadhyay, Ramandeep Singh scored a goal each while Harmanpreet Singh hit the target twice as Indian hockey team beat Japan 5-1 in their opening match of their Asia Cup hockey in Dhakaother sports Updated: Oct 12, 2017 11:39 IST
Indian hockey team began its Asia Cup 2017 campaign with a 5-1 win over Japan in Dhaka on Wednesday. SV Sunil (3rd minute), Lalit Upadhyay (22’), Ramandeep Singh (33’) and Harmanpreet Singh (35’, 48’) found the target for India, who started the match with aggressive intent.
India’s first goal game in the third minute as a result of a counter initiated by Akashdeep Singh. He played a forward pass to SV Sunil, who then went past the goalkeeper before scoring.
Japan, however, were quick to equalize, scoring through Kenji Kitazato in the 4th minute.
Both the teams looked threatening in the second quarter, trying to take the lead in the match. India’s counter attacking was sublime, and, in the 22nd minute, forward Lalit Upadhyay beautifully trapped a lofted long ball, made a turn and shot at the Japanese goal to give India the lead.
The third quarter went India’s way -- they scored just two minutes after the resumption of play when Ramandeep Singh made a fierce strike from the right flank in the 33rd minute to give the Indians a 3-1 lead. The Indian team then won a penalty corner in the 35th minute which was converted by drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh to make it 4-1.
India did not let Japan make a comeback into the game and kept the possession, dictating the tempo of the game right through the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was all about keeping shape and possession for the Indian team but they did not stop attacking the Japanese defence. Their efforts were rewarded with a penalty corner in the 48th minute. Harmanpreet scored his second goal to make it 5-1 in India’s favour.
India will play Bangladesh in their next Pool A match on Friday,