Asian Champions Trophy 2023 was one of the memorable tournaments for India as they became the 1st time to clinch the Trophy for the fourth time in history.
This was also an important preparatory tournament for the host side as they get ready for the Asian Games 2023 in China. India came into this tournament after a third-place finish in the Spanish Hockey Federation International tournament against the Netherlands, hosts Spain and England.
The team could not prevail to the final of the tournament but was able to put up an outstanding show in Chennai to clinch the Asian Champions Trophy.
India was the only unbeaten team throughout the tournament. They won all their matches except against Japan in the league stage, where they clinched a draw. However, The hosts had a convincing victory over the same team in the semi-final. Though India had a tough fight in the final, they pulled things back to clinch the trophy. The host side was trailing 1-3 at one point but managed to win by 4-3.
Top 3 Indian Performers of the Asian Champions Trophy 2023
India had a smooth run in the whole tournament. They were tested only in the final, where the team pulled things back from 1-3 to win by 4-3. While it was a complete team performance from the side, three players stood out with their performances.
#1 Harmanpreet Singh
Harmanpreet Singh led the Indian attack from the front and scored in every single match of the Asian Champions Trophy. The Indian captain found the target whenever India was trailing and made sure to clinch the victory. Even in the final, when India was trailing 1-3, he scored in the 45th minute to make it 2-3 and inspired a massive victory for the side.
The Indian captain topped the goal charts with nine goals. Harmanpreet Singh will hold the key for the Indian team in the Asian Games 2023. The in-form captain will undoubtedly look to dominate in China as well.
#2 Mandeep Singh
Mandeep Singh played a major role in India's impressive run in the Asian Champions Trophy. He dominated the proceedings and was able to breach the opponents' defense with ease.
India scored a total of 29 goals in this edition and Mandeep Singh had assisted in most of them. He also found the target thrice in Chennai, including the semifinal against Japan. Mandeep Singh was rightly awarded as the 'Hero of the Tournament'.
#3 arthi Selvam
Karthi Selvam was one of the most-improved performers for the Indian side in this Asian Champions Trophy. The local boy turned up whenever India needed him. Notably, he had the maximum support from the Chennai crowd.
His opening goal against Malaysia in the league match, which played a major role in the team's 5-0 win, was voted the Best goal of the tournament, and he won the fan choice award for the same.
Karthi Selvam ended the tournament with two goals. His second goal came in the final moments of the semi-final against Japan, which India won 5-0. Apart from scoring, Karthi Selvam also assisted his teammates multiple times to find the target. He is undoubtedly one of the players to keep an eye on in this Asian Games 2023.