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