India notch up their first win of the Hockey Asia Cup 2017. The Indians have put up a supreme display today, completely running through the Japanese defence. While the first half between the two sides was a bit close, Japan completely lost the plot in quarter 3, and India ran through their defence.

India missed a number of chances but still managed to beat Japan 5-1 in their first match of Pool A at the 10th men’s hockey Asia Cup in Dhaka on Wednesday.

SV Sunil (3rd minute), Lalit Upadhyay (22’), Ramandeep Singh (33’) and Harmanpreet Singh (35’, 48’) found the target for India, who started the match with aggressive intent.

SV Sunil opened the scoring for India as early as the 3rd minute. However, Kenji Kitazato equalised for Japan in the very next minute.

The teams went into half-time with India leading 2-1.

Both the teams were neck to neck in the second quarter, trying to take the lead in the match. India’s counter attacking was sublime, and, in the 22nd minute,Lalit Upadhyay beautifully trapped a lofted long ball, made a turn and shot at the Japanese goal to give India the lead.

The third quarter went India’s way. Ramandeep Singh made a fierce strike from the right flank in the 33rd minute to give the Indians a 3-1 lead. The Indian team then won a penalty corner in the 35th minute which was converted by drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh to make it 4-1.
At the fourth quarter, Indian attacking didn’t stop and a result they were awarded a penalty corner in  48th minute.  Harmanpreet scored his second goal to make it 5-1 in India’s favour.
Japan too secured two scoring chances in the dying minutes in the form of penalty corners but the Indian defence were too tough for them to penetrate.

The Indians will next play hosts Bangladesh in their next Pool A match on Friday.

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