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Asian Games Hockey: Indian men's team defeat defending champions Japan

Abhishek, Mandeep Singh, and Amit Rohidas scored the goals for India, securing a crucial victory. Genki Mitani and Ryosei Kato were the goal-scorers for Japan.

Asian Games Hockey: Indian mens team defeat defending champions Japan

Indian men's hockey team defeated Japan


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 Sep 2023 3:59 PM GMT

The Indian Men's Hockey Team continued their winning streak at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, defeating Japan, the 2018 Asian Games Gold medalists, 4-2 in their third Pool A match on Thursday.

The match kicked off with Jarmanpreet Singh making dangerous overlapping runs from the right flank, causing trouble for the opposition. Japan's defense faced a test when Jarmanpreet received a long pass inside the striking circle and found Sukhjeet Singh in front of the net, but Sukhjeet's tap went just wide. India goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak successfully defended a late penalty corner from Japan. In the 13th minute, Abhishek capitalized on a deflected pass and swiftly turned around to score, putting India ahead by a goal to end the first quarter.

While Japan sought to equalize, Sumit made a crucial save inside the circle to deflect the danger away. Mandeep Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay applied pressure on Japan's defense with powerful shots on target. In the 24th minute, Mandeep Singh scored a fantastic diving tap goal after receiving a sublime pass from Nilakanta Sharma, doubling India's lead. Despite India's continued threats up front, Japan's defense held them to a 2-0 halftime score.

In the second half, Japan maintained ball possession and launched dangerous attacks inside the circle. However, India's solid defense remained composed and prevented Japan from gaining momentum in their attacks. India capitalized on an early penalty corner in the third quarter, with Amit Rohidas (34') finding the net with a powerful flick, extending India's lead to 3-0. Kosei Kawabe created a chance for a shot on target, but Indian goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak made another exceptional save, preserving India's three-goal lead by the end of the third quarter.

A well-executed counter-attack early in the final quarter saw Abhishek (48') scoring after a combination play with Mandeep Singh inside the circle, increasing India's lead to 4-0. Japan made a determined run inside India's circle, but Sumit made another crucial save to thwart the opposition. Japan finally found a goal from a penalty corner late in the fourth quarter as Genki Mitani added his name to the scoresheet in the 57th minute. Ryosei Kato (60') scored another goal for Japan as the full-time whistle blew, but it wasn't enough to change the result.

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