Asia Cup: India begins with a bangOctober 12, 2017
India outclassed Japan 5-1 in its opening Pool-A match of the 10th Asia Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday.
India, playing its first tournament under new coach Marijne Sjoerd, got off the blocks in the third minute when S.V. Sunil, after a fine one-two with Akashdeep Singh, pushed the ball into an open net. Japan equalised the next minute through Kenji Kitazato’s field strike. The Indians exploited every single bit of space given by the Japanese and utilised the wings to perfection to set up the attacks.
An inch-perfect scoop from Harmanpreet from the halfway mark found Lalit inside the ‘D’ and the striker slotted home in the 22nd minute with a reverse shot.
A few minutes into the second half, India extended its lead through Ramandeep, who scored a gem with a thundering shot from a tight angle after being set up by Sunil. Harmanpreet converted India’s second penalty corner in the 35th minute before making it 5-1 with a fine variation from its third penalty corner.
The results: India 5 (S.V. Sunil 3, Lalit Upadhyay 22, Ramandeep 33, Harmanpreet Singh 35 & 48) bt Japan 1 (Kenji Kitazato 4); Pakistan bt Bangladesh 7-0.