Asian Games: Indian men secure 4-2 win over defending champions Japan

Asian Games: Indian men secure 4-2 win over defending champions Japan

Indian men's hockey team on Thursday continued their winning run at the 19th Asian Games, defeating the defending champions Japan 4-2 in their third Pool A match.

HANGZHOU: Indian men's hockey team on Thursday continued their winning run at the 19th Asian Games, defeating the defending champions Japan 4-2 in their third Pool A match.

Abhishek (13', 48'), Mandeep Singh (24'), and Amit Rohidas (34') scored the goals for India to help their side get an important victory. Genki Mitani (57'), and Ryosei Kato (60') scored the goals for Japan.

Abhishek (13') picked a deflected pass, and quickly turned around to strike the ball into the nets, putting India ahead by a goal to end the first quarter.

Mandeep (24') scored a fantastic goal with a diving tap after receiving a sublime pass from Nilakanta Sharma, and India doubled their lead. India continued to threaten up front, but Japan's defence managed to hold off India to 2-0 at halftime.

At the start of the second half, Japan started maintaining ball possession and made dangerous raids inside the circle. But the rock-solid Indian defence kept their calm and did not allow Japan any momentum in attack. India made the most of an early penalty corner in the third quarter as Amit (34') found the nets with a powerful flick and India went 3-0 up over Japan.

A perfect counter-attack early on in the final quarter led to Abhishek (48') turning the ball into the nets, after combination play with Mandeep inside the circle, and India went ahead by 4-0.

Japan made a dangerous run inside India's circle, but Sumit made another important save to deny the opposition. Japan finally found a goal from a penalty corner late in the fourth quarter as Genki (57') put his name on the scoresheet.

Ryosei (60') scored another goal for Japan at the stroke of the full-time whistle, but it was not enough to change the result as India secured a 4-2 win.

India will next face off against arch-rivals Pakistan on Saturday. IANS

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