On Sunday, India claimed yet another win at the ongoing Men’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy as they crushed Asian Games Gold Medalist Japan 9-0 for their third straight win in the round-robin stage of the tournament being played in Muscat, Oman.
India’s bank of goals was filled by Lalit Upadhyay (4th and 45th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (17th and 21st) and Mandeep Singh (49th and 57th).
Akakshdeep became the Man of the Match once again made the day with his brilliant attacks and marking his tick on the goals scoresheet in the 35th minute. Gurjant Singh (8th) and Kothajit Singh (42nd) also turned the scoreboard for India.
Previously, India had beaten Japan 8-0 in the pool stage of the Asian Games in Indonesia earlier this year, but still, Japan won the Gold medal and India has to settle with a bronze.
On Sunday, Japenese seems to be losing skills to convert penetrative move into a goal. It was India’s dominance that ensured the opponents didn’t have much hold on the turf to score even one goal.
India’s penalty corner stats also made for a satisfactory reading with three of those resulting in the goals.
The defending champions next locked horns with Malaysia on Monday.
India showcased an excellent and a nail-biting defense, hence proving they aren’t the underdogs. India withheld Malaysia in a zone where they had opportunities to score but failed miserably in front of India, which allowed Malaysia to hold their World No. 5 opponents to a goalless draw in a league match of the ongoing men’s Asian Champions Trophy.
The result had to effect in the league standings but had India in the top position ahead of Malaysia due to a goal difference. The match was none other than a revenge saga with wounds of defeat from Malaysia in the semi-finals of the Asian Games, still fresh.
Akashdeep Singh looked to have improved in his form, coming up with some brilliant assists that remained futile as India repeatedly lost possession inside the Malaysian 25-yard line.
Strikers Mandeep Singh and Dilpreet Singh seem to be losing their elements by the end of the game.
India’s defense was on point, denying the Malaysians circle entries and thus blocking their chances of earning penalty corners.
India will play their last league match against South Korea on Wednesday.