Asian Games 2018: India vs Japan preview, telecast, date, start time and where to watch online
Defending champions India have annihilated both hosts Indonesia and Hong Kong in their first two matches but will face a higher level of competition when they take on Japan.
The Indian defenders have had very little to do thus far, and both Sreejesh and Krishan Pathak have been lone spectators in front of goal, while their teammates wreaked havoc in the opposition half. So much so, that coach Harendra Singh opted to take his goalkeeper, Krishan Pathak off in the dying minutes of the match against Hong Kong, which is something that is normally done when a team is trailing and needs to equalize desperately.
In this particular instance, the Indians had already scored 22 goals but refused to relent almost as if their survival in the tournament depended on every extra goal. The hunger to go the extra mile and break records is something that is indeed a revelation and speaks volumes about the standards that the team has set for themselves.
The Japanese are currently ranked sixteenth in the world and fifth in Asia. The Indians played their first match of the year against Japan in a Four-Nations Invitational in New Zealand and won 6-0, but struggled a bit in the second leg before prevailing with a 4-2 margin.
Japan beat hosts New Zealand - ranked ninth, in a classification match in the same tournament and thrashed the visiting Black Sticks 7-1 at home a couple of months back.
In the Oman Triangular Series held early this year, Japan, coached by Dutchman Siegfried Aikman stunned Pakistan 3-2 and are quite capable of pulling off big upsets.
At Jakarta, the Japanese beat Sri Lanka 11-0 in their Asian Games opener but only managed a narrow 3-1 win over hosts Indonesia in the second match.
Whether or not the Japanese have the calibre to challenge the Champions Trophy silver-medalists remains to be seen, as the Indians are in scintillating form and look quite unstoppable for the moment.
Here is how you can catch all the action
Event: Asian Games 2018
Venue: Jakarta, Indonesia
Date: 24 August 2018
Time: 18:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST)
Telecast: Sony ESPN, Sony Ten 2, Ten 2 HD, Sony ESPN HD
Live Streaming: Sony Liv
Live Updates: Sportskeeda