India Suffered 3-5 Loss against Japan in Asian Champions Trophy

Asian Champions Trophy

In the second semi-final of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy, the 3-times trophy holder India witnessed a 3-5 hammering from Japan on Tuesday at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh. India completed the group stage being in the top position with 3 wins in 4 matches where they had beaten Japan by 6-0.

Hockey India twitted, “India fought back in the second half but couldn’t get past the Japan barrier. Well played, #MenInBlue. #IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2021”

Despite having more circle penetration (23) and more possession throughout the game, Manpreet Singh’s men fell short of Japan’s clinical attack and raw pace. Japan was able to convert only 1 of their total 6 penalty opportunities. But that did not restrict them from finishing with 5.

Japan’s Shota Yamada gave their team an early lead during the first quarter of the match through a penalty shot. Following Raiki Fujishima’s 2nd score Japan was ahead of India by 2-0 just within the 2nd minute of the match.

India could not make effective decisions under pressure which is why they struggled with Japan’s potent moves, speed and aggression. They were left clueless by the attacking trio of Kenta Tanaka, Takuma Niwa and Kazuma Murata who tormented the Indian defence.  

“Can’t quite describe that. Not the result we wanted. We were lazy a bit at the start, conceding 2 early goals. A big lesson for us is that we can’t underestimate any team, we need to be ready for the match tomorrow (Wednesday),” captain Manpreet said after the match.

India will now meet Pakistan in the third-match game on Wednesday in Dhaka. Pakistan was the joint-winners of the 2018 games along with India. They also lost the semi-final by 5-6 against South Korea earlier on Tuesday.

India had stunned Pakistan in the group stage match last week with a score of 3-1. They are now looking forward to defeating their arch-rivals once again to finish at the third spot in the tournament. 

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