India beat Japan 2-0 in the second hockey Test
Uthappa and Dharamvir Singh score as India take a 1-0 lead in the series
Bhubaneswar, May 5 (IANS)
A confident Indian outfit pulled off a 2-0 win over Japan in the second match of the four-Test series here on Tuesday. The Indians surged into the lead through a 27th-minute strike from S.K. Uthappa, before Dharamvir Singh doubled the lead in the 48th minute.
The match had an interesting start where both the teams came out all guns blazing and played a fast-paced game.
While Japan was relied on planned offensives to enter into the Indian territory with their long passes, the hosts opted to strengthen their defence line. With both the teams unable to score on the opportunities, the first quarter of the game went goalless.
India begin to take control
In the second quarter, the rivals played defensively waiting for the right moment to attack. Despite very positive play from Japan, the Indians created several scoring opportunities as Birendra Lakra perfectly placed himself and passed the ball to Gurmail Singh who tried hitting the right flank but failed as he found the crossbar.
India then took the lead when Yuvraj Walmiki passed to Uthappa who flawlessly struck a beautiful field goal in the 27th minute. India held on to the 1-0 lead at half time.
The confident Indian boys tried to build pressure on the opponent team in the third quarter and displayed some lovely moves and interceptions.
Japan ran out of ideas
India intensified their gameplay supported duly by Pradeep Mor who made several attempts to score while the Japanese boys were seen a little restless as they could not find any gaps to put the ball into the net.
Amidst a very well organised defence from both the teams, the third quarter remained goal-less.
The fourth and the last quarter of the game began with the same momentum and the Indian team was seen attacking from the right flank. Japan made quick moves and continued to restrict the opponents from getting into the circle until Dharamvir effortlessly attacked the Japanese citadel in the 48th minute, landing the ball into the net, making it 2-0.
Keeping up the momentum, Yuvraj Walmiki made a reverse stick shot but the Japanese defenders stood tall.