A 3–5 defeat to a team that had lost 6–0 two days earlier; Indian hockey team must admit! Japan shocked India in Asian Champions Trophy hockey semi-final In the final match of the group stage, India defeated the same opponents by half a dozen goals on Sunday. In the first semi-final, Pakistan lost to South Korea (6–5), while defending champions India and Pakistan were eliminated. The two teams will meet in the third place match tomorrow (3 pm). Korea and Japan will meet in the final at 5.30 pm.
Japan beat defending champions 5-3 in the final of the Hero Asian Hockey Champions Trophy in Dhaka (Bangladesh) on Tuesday. But India would have done worse if they had scored two goals in the final over of the match.
Shota Yamada (first minute, stroke), Raiki Fujishima (second), Yoshiki Kirishita (14), Kosei Kawabe (35) and Rioma Ooka (41) scored for Japan. Hardik Singh (17, 58) and Harmanpreet Singh (43) lost.
Japan will face Korea in the final while India and Pakistan will meet for third place. Korea beat Pakistan 6-5 in another semi-final.
Indian hockey has lost two titles in a month. They could not retain the Junior World Cup title in Bhubaneswar and lost to Japan for the second time in 19 meetings this evening.
India finished top of the round-robin league with 10 points (3 wins and a draw) after beating Japan 6-0 on Sunday, and their performance in the league was expected to be repeated in the semi-finals.
However, the Asian Games champions Japan had other game plans that they fully implemented and avenged their league defeat in one of the most important matches of the tournament.
The Japanese not only knocked out the enthusiastic Indians, but also knocked out the defending champions in all departments of the game.
It is very clear that the Indians were caught in the attack of the Japanese Blitzkrieg. The Manpreet Singh-led team, which won a bronze medal at the Olympics and scored 20 goals in three out of four outings, is still in a celebratory mood and never expected such a brutal reaction from Japan.
Overconfident and a little complacent, India were rocked by Japan’s fast all – out attacking style at the start of the match.
The Japanese were 2-0 up with five penalty corners in the first two minutes and the Indians could understand what was happening on the turf at Maulana Bhashani Stadium.
From the start, Japan made tremendous progress and the much-loved Indians could not keep up with that tempo from the first minute to the last.
The Asian Games champion made a decisive breakthrough in the Indian defense, with Harmanpreet and teammates coming together.
In the first two minutes of the match, they scored consecutive goals from Yamada’s penalty stroke in the first minute and from Fujishima’s penalty corner in the second minute.
In the 17th minute, Hardik Singh (1-2) increased India’s hopes to close the gap but they were unable to convert from the chances they created later.
India won their first penalty corner in the 20th minute but failed to convert Sanjeeb’s access to the ground. Captain Manpreet Singh teamed up with Gursahibjit Singh to score a goal from the rebound but the second could not connect well with the ball past the goalkeeper.
Meanwhile, Japan were forced into another breach by India, which won another penalty stroke in the match. In the second quarter, Krishath replaced Suraj Karkera (3-1).
After half time the Japanese dominance did not diminish as they played tirelessly in an attempt to advance and their strong defensive tactics kept the Indian attackers at bay.
India showed great consistency in the third quarter and conceded a goal in the 41st minute.
When Harmanpreet and Hardy scored a goal each for India in the last quarter, it was not enough to stop Japan from reaching the final.
After the defeat, Manpreet Singh said, “I can not describe (how I feel) that it was a lazy start. It was not the result we expected. It was a big lesson for us. We can not underestimate any team.
Seren Tanaka, the Japanese captain and player of the game, was enthusiastic, but his comments were realistic. “We did not believe we could beat India. We had a great opportunity last time but took advantage of the opportunity today. We hope to return to Japan as champions,” he added.
- India lost to Japan 3-5 in the semi-final in Dhaka on Tuesday
- India had beaten Japan 6-0 in a group-stage match on Sunday
- India will face arch-rivals Pakistan in the 3rd-place match on Wednesday