The Indian men’s hockey team progressed into the final of the Asian Champions Trophy 2018 with a thrilling 3-2 win over Japan in the 2nd semi-final, played at Muscat, Oman on Saturday. Both teams played brilliant hockey but India held their nerves to win the match.
The Indian team started the first quarter on a positive note by earning a penalty corner in the 2nd minute but Harmanpreet Singh could not convert it into a goal. It was an attacking approach by the Indian hockey team to put consistent pressure on the Japan defence.
Another brilliant chance came for India when Gurjant Singh hit a shot but the Japan goalkeeper saved the goal. India could not make any use of their chances. At the end of the first quarter, scores remained 0-0.
In the second quarter, the Indian team continued to attack the Japan defence. India took the lead in the 19th minute when Gurjant Singh hit a powerful reverse shot in the D.
In the 22nd minute, Japan earned a penalty corner and a deflection shot by Wakuri levelled scores at 1-1. Japan earned a penalty corner but could not make use of it. Soon after, India gained a penalty corner as Chinglensana hit above the goal post. At the end of the first half, scores were 1-1.
The third quarter was an exciting battle between both defences. Japan played some attacking hockey but the Indian defence stood up. In the 44th minute, India earned a penalty corner and a deflection shot by Chinglensana gave a 2-1 lead. At the end of the 3rd quarter, India led 2-1.
In the fourth and deciding quarter, the Indian team attacked the Japan defence with their aggressive play. In the 55th minute, Dilpreet Singh scored a brilliant solo goal to give India a 3-1 lead. Japan earned their 3rd penalty corner and Zendana reduced the margin to 2-3. Despite their efforts, India won the match by 3-2.
With this win, India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy 2018 on Sunday.