India next take on hosts Bangladesh on 13 October at 5;30pm.
They will look to keep up the momentum and press home their status as Asian giants.
Until then, it’s goodbye!
Scoreline at full-time
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 11, 2017
India now play on the 13th against Hosts Bangladesh before taking on Pakistan on 15th.
In the next match, Pakistan now play Bangladesh.
Good to see Sunil, Ramandeep Singh, Lalit and Harmanpreet (2) on the score board. The latter could have got his hat-trick but for a plucky Japanese goalkeeper.
Winning debut for Marijne as National Coach. It wasn’t an easy match in the first two quarters. But India came back and played with freedom in the 3rd and 4th to cement a 5-1 scoreline.
And India have won their opening match in the Asia Cup 5-1.
Japan now has their 2nd PC. But India defend and counter attack.
Off a counter-attack, Japan have their 1st PC of the match.
Harmanpreet misses as the goalkeeper makes a save. He would have loved to get a hat-trick in the first match.
India get their 4th PC in the dying minutes. Can they make it six against Japan?
India get their 5th PC. Can Harmanpreet get his hat-trick now?
That’s a close one for Akashdeep. He has had six chances in the match. But not his day. He has been in the right spot. But the shots have been weak and off target.
Akashdeep and Uthappa move but the shot is wide. India containing Japan now. The Japs are making a last ditch effort to get a few goals.
Stretcher is sent back. Ramandeep goes off the pitch. That looks heartening. India still lead 5-1 with around 8 minutes of action left in the 4th quarter.
More than 8 minutes left. Ramandeep seems hurt after getting into a tangle with Japan’s Shota Yamada. He seems hurt. Surrounded by Indian players.
It’s not a stroke. And Japan get the free hit.
Yoon Dong has pointed towards a stroke for Japan. the Korean umpire believes Chikte stick checked the Japanese forward. But the decision has now gone to the video umpire.
Sumit having a better 4th quarter. Single-handedly dominating the right wing. India has thrust, power and should have been up by more than three goals than the five they have at the moment. It’s been a good match for the Indian coach Marijne who is making his debut as National Coach.
India have their 3rd PC. And Harmanpreet is ready to flick.
It’s 5-1. Manpreet Singh engineers it and Harmanpreet flicks it in. Harmanpreet’s 2nd goal of the match.
India lead 5-1.
India rotating the ball around. Akashdeep has a look at the goal but his shot doesn’t have the power.
4th quarter starts. Japan need a few goals while India look to extend their domination and lead.
End of the 3rd quarter as India have a comfortable 4-1 lead. India have dominated and missed at least three sure shot goals. More goals, more confidence should be the mantra.
Yet another sitter missed. Ramandeep and Sunil move in. But Ramandeep cannot put the ball in.
Extremely close for Japan as Sunil misses a sitter, can’t control in front of the Japanese goalkeeper.
Akash Chikte saves. Keeps Japan away. Play largely confined to the flanks and midfield.
India get their 2nd PC of the match. Harmanpreet is there.
And it’s 4-1. India pushing hard for the goals now. Want to make the issue safe. Harmanreet gets his first PC goal of the match.
Slight confusion about the goal. Ramandeep’s strike happened so fast that the Japanese probably thought the ball tore through the side net. Video umpire confirming the goal.
India lead 3-1 in the 3rd quarter.
GOAL! And India have taken the lead. It’s 3-1. Ramandeep Singh gets the 3rd goal for India.
3rd quarter coming up. India are in the lead 2-1 and look to extend it to close down the match.
Scoreline at half-time
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 11, 2017
It’s a slender lead against an opponent who is fast on the counter. Japan had six counters in two periods and they went right into the Indian striking circle. Those are defensive lapses not only at the back but also on the players falling back.
And that’s the end of the 2nd quarter. India lead 2-1. But the lead could easily have been more. With the midfield moving up, it’s the forwards who need to be steady with their shooting prowess.
Kenta Tanaka misses a trap right in front of the goal. Close call for India.
But off a counter, India has put the ball into the Japanese goal. But the Korean umpire is asking the video umpire for a clarification. India get a free hit.
Pressure on the Japanese goal. If India can increase their lead, then they can seriously crack open the Japanese goal.
Perfect trap by Lalit off a high ball from the Indian mifield. Swings inside, almost 300 degress and the reverse beats the Japanese goalkeeper. India lead 2-1.
GOAL! Brilliant ball play by Lalit Upadhyay and India takes the lead 2-1. Brilliant Strike!!!
Japan saves it. Harmanpreet cannot get on top of the flick.
First PC for India in the match. Harmanpreet may take it.
Great save by Suraj Karkera. Deflects the shot away.
India needs thrust in the midfield. Playing Sardar as an extra defender is having a defensive mindset.
The 2nd quarter coming up. India needs to inject some speed into their play.
And that’s the end of the 1st quarter. Both teams locked 1-1 with India clearly holding the edge.
Chances being thrown away. Lovely subtle move by Lalit but Ramandeep cannot execute that reverse shot.
Great opportunity for Akashdeep. But the reverse hit flies over the Jap goal.
India slightly exposed on the counter against Japan. Dipsan and and Varun trying to come to terms at the senior level.
What a miss from India!! Sunil move to Akashdeep but the flick goes to the goalkeeper’s pads. Should have been the lead.
Things settling down after the fast start that produced a goal each. India needs to control the midfield if they want a flow upfront.
And the PC has been over-ruled. Back to field play.
Japan want the 3rd umpire to have a look. They are disputing it.
And that’s the 1st PC for India. Harmanpreet Singh is on the field.
Sardar playing full back with Harmanpreet Singh. Manpreet is the midfield. Japan tightly defend their citadel. It’s still 1-1 with 8 minutes to go in the 1st quarter.
Preview: Eyes firmly set on retaining the numero uno status in the continent, favourites India face a tricky campaign-opener against Japan in the men’s Asia Cup hockey tournament starting on Wednesday.
The Asia Cup will be the beginning of new phase in Indian hockey as it would be newly-appointed coach Sjoerd Marijne’s first test post the sacking of Roelant Oltmans.
It would be an arduous task for the 43-year-old Marijne to fill in the big shoes of Oltmans, who made a significant contribution to Indian hockey in his four-year tenure, lifting the Asian powerhouse from 12 to sixth in the world rankings.
Last edition’s runner-up India, led by midfielder Manpreet Singh, will be eyeing a perfect start to their campaign in Pool A which also features arch-rivals Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh.
Pool B, meanwhile, consists of defending champions Korea, Malaysia, China and minnows Oman.
The opening match of a tournament always holds greater significance for any team and India too would be hoping for a positive start ahead of their clashes against Bangladesh and Pakistan on 13 and 15 October respectively.
“The opening match is always challenging because we need to get over early nervousness and find our rhythm. The team is upbeat and ready for the first challenge,” said skipper Manpreet on the eve of their opener.
For Manpreet and India, the Asia Cup is a chance to assert their supremacy in the continent.
“We are aware that we go into this tournament as the highest-ranked team and we will aim to keep up the No.1 status,” the skipper has said.
The Indians last played Japan in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year where they won the encounter 4-3.
But the Indians can ill-afford to take Japan lightly as the Japanese have shown in the past that they have the ability to play fast-paced hockey with good attacks, making them an unpredictable team.
The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup was a prime example of this unpredictability as Japan stunned reigning world champions Australia 3-2.
“We have seen how they play and they are definitely one of the fastest improving sides in Asia. We can never take Japan to be an easy team,” the India skipper said.
The Asia Cup is also India’s lone international outing before the yearending big event — the FIH Hockey World League Final to be held in Bhubaneswar.
So after giving some top junior players good exposure in the recent tour of Europe, India have named a squad which has a good blend of youth and experience.
Goalkeepers Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera retained their spots whereas defenders Harmanpreet Singh and Surender Kumar make a return after being rested for the Europe Tour.
The tournament will also witness the return of seasoned pros like former skipper Sardar Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Satbir Singh and SV Sunil, who has been named the vice-captain.
The tournament will also give new coach Marijne a fair idea about what needs to done in the next 15 months, which will witness some high-profile tournaments like the Hockey World League Final, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the World Cup.
“The Asia Cup 2017 is a fresh start not just for me but also for the team which is mentally prepared to return home with the title,” Marijne had said.
“The Asia Cup is where I will get to see how the team reacts in match situations and where we are lacking and need immediate improvement,” he added.
In the other match of the day, Pakistan will take on hosts Bangladesh in Pool A.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Oct 11, 2017 04:20 pm | Updated Date: Oct 11, 2017 04:38 pm