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Asian Games: Indian men's hockey team wins gold, qualifies for Paris Olympics

Indian men's team thrashed Japan 5-1 to win the gold medal at the Asian Games 2023 and booked the 2024 Paris Olympic berth.

Asian Games: Indian mens hockey team wins gold, qualifies for Paris Olympics

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 6 Oct 2023 1:20 PM GMT

Indian men's hockey team buried the ghosts of the 2018 Asian Games to thrash defending champions Japan in the final and clinch the gold medal at the Asian Games 2023 on Friday.

With the gold medal, the Indian team booked their berth at the 2024 Paris Olympics as the winner of the Asian Games directly qualifies for the Olympics.

It was a five-star performance from the Indian team led by skipper Harmanpreet Singh to decimate Japan 5-1 where the Japanese team hardly had control over the match.

This is India's fourth gold medal at the Asian Games after 1966, 1998, and 2014 editions.

India started with Hardik Singh and Jarmanpreet Singh combining for a move but Japan held on in the first quarter. Both teams battled it out in the midfield and India had one penalty corner which was saved by Japanese goalkeeper Kitigawa.

After 0-0 in the first quarter, India tried a brilliant variation from the penalty corner but it was skied by Amit Rohidas. Midfield maestro Manpreet Singh opened the scoring for India as he slammed a powerful reverse hit into the nets after picking up a loose ball inside the circle and India went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.

India came all out in the third quarter the pressure by the Indian forward line earned three back-to-back penalty corners for India. In the 32nd minute, Harmanpreet Singh converted one with a powerful drag flick.

Minutes later, Amit Rohidas (36') slammed a powerful flick towards the nets from another penalty corner to make it 3-0 for India, as errors in defence started costing Japan.

India scored early in the final quarter through Abhishek to put the game to bed. Japan pulled one back as Seren Tanaka scored one from the penalty corner but it was as late as it could get.

Harmanpreet Singh hammered the final nail in the coffin as he scored from a penalty corner in 59th minute to hand India fourth Asian Games gold.

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