India beats Japan 6-0 in Asian Champions Trophy


Defending champions India crushed Japan 6-0 and went unbeaten in the preliminary round of the Asian Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament on Sunday.

Harmanpreet Singh (10th and 53rd minutes) scored a brace, while Dilpreet Singh (23rd), Jaramnpreet Singh (34th), Sumit (46th) and Shamsher Singh (54th) also put their names on the scoresheet for the India at Maulana Bhasani hockey stadium.

India, which has already sealed a place in the semi-finals, finished the preliminary phase of the five-nation tournament at the top of the standings with 10 points, ahead of Korea (6), Japan (5), Pakistan (2 ) and hosts Bangladesh (0).

It was India’s third trotting victory. Held to a draw by Korea in their lung opening, the team led by Manpreet Singh turned the tide by beating Bangladesh 9-0, while gaining the upper hand over their Pakistani rival before easily overcoming the Japanese challenge. .

India’s opponent in the semi-finals had yet to be decided. The dominant win will be a huge boost for India as they head into the tournament’s business end with full confidence.

They completely outperformed Asian Games gold medalist Japan in all departments. India dominated the first half. They got two consecutive penalty corners in the first six minutes of the first quarter, but couldn’t convert either. Soon after, Japan also lost a penalty corner as their striker took the shot aside.

India continued to attack and received another CP, this time Hardik Singh injecting the ball to perfection for Harmanpreet to send it home and give the holders a 1-0 lead.

The score could have been 2-0 towards the end of the first quarter if veteran Lalit Upadhyay hadn’t missed a goal. Just after the five-minute mark in the second quarter, Japan received a PC, India fired the decision but the TV referee found no conclusive evidence to deny Japan.

In the 23rd minute, the trio of Mandeep Singh, Shilanand Lakra and Dilpreet combined well and Dilpreet doubled India’s lead. Japan attacked as well, but the Indian defense foiled their attempts as the Olympic bronze medalists headed for the break with a two-goal lead.

Japan started the second half on the offensive, but it was India who scored their third goal thanks to a clean strike from Jaramanpreet. With a crucial PC coming in in the 36th minute, Japan looked to capitalize on the opportunity but Indian goalkeeper Suraj Karkera, who shone in the absence of regular goalkeeper P Sreejesh, made a superb save to push them back.

Japan tried to increase the bet by attacking in numbers. With India one man down, Japan looked to create an opportunity with Kenta Tanaka smashing the Indian defense with a solo run, but, once again, Karkera foiled the attack.

Japan continued to test the Indian defense, but the bottom line stood firm. India inflicted additional pain on Japan as Sumit scored in the first minute of the final quarter. Harmanpreet then increased the score to 5-0 as he smashed the ball into the upper right corner of the goal post for his second of the game.

Two minutes later – juniors Shamsher and Shilanand – combined perfectly as the first scored India’s sixth goal. Japan did their best to score but failed to penetrate the Indian defense. The dominance of India was such that it defended the five penalty corners awarded to its opponents.



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