India blank Japan  6-0;  maintain unbeaten streak in Hero Asian Hockey Champions Trophy 

 Harpal  Singh Bedi

New Delhi: Playing  an all out attacking game, India outplayed Japan 6-0 in the Hero Asian Hockey Champions Trophy in Dhaka  (Bangladesh) on Sunday.

 For India who led 2-0 at half time ,Harmanpreet Singh, (10′, 53′) Dilpreet Singh (23′), Jarmanpreet Singh (34′), Sumit (46′), and Shamsher Singh (54′) were the goal getters  as  the .defending champions maintained their unbeaten run in the tournament

 India topped the round robing league with ten points -,three wins and a draw- and will now play in the semifinals n Tuesday.

India dominated the proceedings  in the first quarter  and  the Japanese defence  found it hard to ward off  flurry of attacks  and conceded several penalty corners early on in the first quarter.

Defender Harmanpreet  gave India the lead in the 10th  as he converted  a penalty corner. After that the defending champions virtually laid a siege around the  Japanese  citadel  and though  forward Shilanand Lakra and experienced striker Lalit  Upadhyay managed to get shots on target but failed to beat  goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa.

After bein under pressure for 15 minutes ,  Japan tried to counter and their 21st minute, they were awarded the  penalty but, the Indian defence denied  foiled that attempt.

 A counter attack  followed immediately and Dilpreet Singh  increased the  team’s tally as he scored a superb goal (2-0) Japan received another penalty corner in the dying minutes of the second quarter but were yet again unable to breach the stout Indian  defence. 

After half-time, Japan tried to open up the game and went on the offensive and attempted to make circle penetrations. Howevder their strikers were not able to put it across the Indian defence who left  no gaps for  the rival  forwards to get a shot away. Jarmanpreet Singh extended lead for then winners in the 34th minute  when he scored  from a reverse hit (3-0)

Goalkeeper Suraj Karkera made two good saves in the third quarter with Kenta Tanaka making threatening penetrations and India maintained their clean sheet going into the final 15 minutes of play.

Sumit made it 4-0  in the 46th minute after India surprised  their rival s defence with quick penetrations and passes.

Japan’s  defence further collapsed as  Harmanpreet  converted a penalty corner to make it 5-0 in the 53rd minute. A minute later, Shilanand Lakra combined with Shamsher Singh as the latter scored the 6th goal in the 54th minute.

Japan made few incisive moves  in the   dying  minutes, but  Indian defenders foiled all their attempts 

HSB

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