khaskhabar.com : Thursday, September 28, 2023 9:38 PM
Hangzhou. The Indian men’s hockey team continued its winning streak by defeating defending champions Japan 4-2 in its third Pool A match at the 19th Asian Games on Thursday.
For India, Abhishek (13′, 48′), Mandeep Singh (24′) and Amit Rohidas (34′) scored goals to give their team an important victory. Genki Mitani (57′) and Ryoshi Kato (60′) scored for Japan.
India started the match with Jarmanpreet Singh making dangerous overlapping runs from the right flank to trouble the opposition. Japan’s defense was tested when Jarmanpreet picked up a long pass inside the striking circle and found Sukhjeet Singh in front of the net, but Sukhjeet’s tap went wide.
Goalkeeper Krishna Bahadur Pathak defended Japan’s late penalty corner well. A minute later, Abhishek (13′) picked up a deflected pass and turned quickly to put the ball into the net, putting India ahead by a goal and ending the first quarter.
Trailing by a goal, Japan looked to equalize with attacking moves, but Sumit made a crucial save inside the circle to avert the threat. Mandeep and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay put pressure on Japan’s defense with powerful shots on target.
After receiving a brilliant pass from Neelkanth Sharma, Mandeep (24′) scored a brilliant goal with a diving tap and India doubled their lead. India continued to threaten going forward, but Japan’s defense was successful in restricting India to 2-0 at halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, Japan started maintaining possession of the ball and made dangerous raids inside the circle. But the strong Indian defense maintained composure and did not allow Japan to gain any momentum in the attack. India made the most of a penalty corner early in the third quarter as Amit (34′) found the net with a powerful flick as India went 3-0 ahead of Japan.
Kosei Kawabe had a chance to get a shot on target, but the Indian goalkeeper made another brilliant save to keep the lead at three goals at the end of the third quarter.
A precise counter-attack at the start of the final quarter saw Abhishek (48′) put the ball into the net after combination play with Mandeep inside the circle and India went ahead 4-0.
Japan made dangerous runs inside India’s circle, but Sumit made another crucial save to thwart the opposition. Japan finally got a goal from a penalty corner late in the fourth quarter when Genki (57′) got his name on the scoresheet.
Ryoshi (60′) scored another goal for Japan as the full-time whistle blew, but it was not enough to change the result and India won 4–2.
India’s next match will be against arch-rival Pakistan on Saturday.
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Web Title-Asian Games: Indian men’s hockey team beats defending champions Japan 4-2