Indian hockey team registered a thumping 5-1 victory against Japan on Wednesday in the Asia Cup opener played in Dhaka. Star Indian hockey player Harmanpreet Singh scored a brace in the game while SV Sunil, Lalit Upadhyay and Ramandeep Singh were also on the score sheet. For opposition, Kenji Kitazato was the only one who could manage a goal for the abysmal Japanese side.

SV Sunil broke the deadlock only in the 3rd minute of the game and gave an early lead to India. But that lead lasted really short as Japan countered with a superb team build-up and equalising the score in the next minute. In 22nd minute, Lalit Upadhyay executed some world class ball play and scored a brilliant goal, putting India ahead again.

After Ramandeep Singh made it 3-1 in 33rd minute, Indian men made sure that Japanese team took nothing away from the game. In the next minute, Harmanpreet then led the team with example and converted a goal from penalty corner. In the 48th minute, he again took charge of a penalty corner and buried the ball into the net, putting the final nail in the coffin.

This sensational win against Japan must have issued a warning to other Pool A participants – Bangladesh and Pakistan – who will be facing India next. Indian hockey team is the favourites to clinch the Asian Cup title and they also will be looking to retain their status of being the top ranked team in the continent. But it remains to be seen how Indian team will fare in the rest of the competition under the tutelage of newly appointed coach Sjoerd Marijne.

First Published | 11 October 2017 4:55 PM
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