This has been a superb performance from India and Rupinder Pal Singh's six goal haul has taken them to rollicking 10-2 over Japan. Barring a bit of slip up in the third quarter, India were really good and did not let Japan breathe. Thank you for joining us for the live coverage.
Q4 15' India 10-2 Japan - End to end stuff here as Japan try to score by crossing the ball in from the left hand side of the end line. India regain possession and now passing the ball around. Last minute of the match and Japan still try to attack but the weight on the pass is too much from Sakamoto. The hooter blows and it is over.
Q4 13' India 10-2 Japan - Four minutes remaining in the match and India are now in cruise control mode. Other than the third quarter, this has been a near perfect performance from Roeland Oltamns' men here. India get the ball in the circle. Nikkin gets it and cannot finish. GOOD SAVE again.
Q4 11' India 10-2 Japan - The ball is played across the Japanese goal and Nikkin forces a good save from the goalkeeper. He does not get hold of it. Good goalkeeping. India attack again but a misplaced pass gives the ball to Japan.
Q4 9' India 10-2 Japan - Though he is not on the scoreboard at the moment, Sardar Singh has been superb today in midfield. SHOT by Ramandeep is saved by the Japanese goalkeeper. Excellent reverse it and even better goalkeeping.
Q4 7' India 10-2 Japan - India are back on top in the game here and looking confident once again. The intensity is quite high and they are looking hungry despite being 10-2 up. Eight minutes remain in the match.
Q4 5' India 10-2 Japan - Rupinder Pal Singh gets in a hit and GOAAALLLLLL by Affan. The umpire reviews if the ball is in but the decision stays. GOAL. India are leading 10-2.
Q4 4' India 9-2 Japan - India have replied well after a rather poor third quarter and Japan are on the backfoot once again. Chinglesana holding the ball for too long there. India are passing the ball within their own half. No harm in doing that as they control the tempo. Sardar with a beautiful ball to Akashdeep and Japan survive again.
Q4 2' India 9-2 Japan - The goal has reinvigorated India's confidence and they are looking to gain the momentum back. Another penalty corner for India here. Rupinder Pal is lurking again. Can he get his sixth on the night? GOAAAALLLLLLLL Not the most convincing shot but enough to get past the defender.
Q4 1' India 8-2 Japan - India attack at the start and win a penalty corner straight away but Japan refer it. UNSUCCESSFUL as the call stands. Ramandeep injects the ball and Rupinder with a ROCKET. GOALLLLLLLL!!!!!! India get their 8th.
The final quarter of the game to begin shortly.
Q3 India 7-2 Japan
Q3 15' India 7-2 Japan - Sardar Singh with some good stick work close to line in the Japanese half but loses the ball eventually. Affan wins the ball and a counter attack results in GOOALLL, NOOOOO. Almost. They should have scored there. Japan frantically clear the ball and now have possession. They attack and take a shot but Sreejesh saves.
Q3 12' India 7-2 Japan - This quarter has belonged to Japan so far as India have not managed possession for an extended period of play. India are looking low on energy and would like to get a few more goals under their belt. They have attacked the circle from all parts but the right is the favoured one.
Q3 10' India 7-2 Japan - Sloppy defending from India and Japan have been rewarded for their energy and pressure. They have started the second half brightly and India are not looking sharp. The game gets underway and Sardar threads a beautiful pass. India attack and win a penalty corner. Rupinder hits and it is saved. Ramandeep and Talwinder attack again but Japan manage to get the ball out of the circle.
Q3 8' India 7-2 Japan - The third consecutive penalty corner and he tries a variation that does not work out well. Unnecessary attempt there as Japan escape that piece of attack from India. Japan have the ball back and India are pressing. Japan are moving it well and Affan fouls the Japanese forward. Penalty corner eventually to Japan due to a Foot Foul. SREEJESH What A SAVE. They take corner and Japan score GOOALLLLLLLLL!!!
Q3 6' India 7-1 Japan - Roeland Oltmans looks a bit worried here and rightly so. India have lost momentum and cannot hold to the ball. Although there is no looming threat but the composure is lacking. India get a penalty corner right as we say that. Rupinder is standing. Uthappa injects the pass and this time it is SAVED. Another penalty corner. Rupinder hits it hard and Kitazato takes a blow. OUCH
Q3 4' India 7-1 Japan - India string a few passes together but lose it again. Japan are showing good intent here. Ball goes out and India get it again. Lakra plays it to Kothajit, who passes to Sardar. India trying to get their momentum back but Japan are holding on to the ball really well here. They are playing the waiting game.
Q3 2' India 7-1 Japan - The third quarters begins and Japan get it underway by trying to keep possession. They have kept the ball well and attack into India's circle. The ball takes a deflection and goes towards Sreejesh, who slaps it away. Bright start from Japan.
The second half is set to begin and we would expect India to increase the intensity and maintain the shape like they did in the first 20 minutes.
We will be back shortly with the second half.
Q2 15' India 7-1 Japan - The first half comes to an end with India slowing down the tempo but go into the break with a lead of six goals.
Q2 14' India 7-1 Japan - Akashdeep with a reverse hit shot but it is saved. Soon after that, he is shown a card. India have lost a bit of steam here but still leading by six goals. Japan try to attack but end up conceding Free Hit to India. They are now controlling the tempo and have slowed it down. Less than two minutes remain in the second quarter.
Q2 12' India 7-1 Japan - The goal has given Japan a lot of confidence and they are looking to attack again. A lot of players slipping due to the rain. India get the ball back and pass it around in the midfield. Free Hit to India.
Q2 10' India 7-1 Japan - India will not be happy by conceding the goal and they are up and running again. Controlling the ball and passing it around.
Q2 8' India 7-1 Japan - Delightful hockey from India and Japan are absolutely clueless. Right as we say that, Sardar loses the ball and Japan break. They score. GOAAALLLLLLL. Japan have a consolation here. Kenta scores.
Q2 7' India 7-0 Japan - Finally something for Japan as they get a penalty corner courtesy Yusuf, who cannot get his leg out of the way. Japan take the penalty corner but it is defended well. India break on the counter and a swift move results in yet another penalty corner for the Men in Blue. Talwinder puts in the pass and Rupinder scores. GOAAALLLLLLLLL
Q2 6' India 6-0 Japan - India are being ruthless tonight and Japan are staring at conceding in double digits. Ramandeep and Talwinder have been electric today. They are up again as the midfield strings passes between them.
Q2 5' India 6-0 Japan - GOOOALLLLLLLLL India score yet again as Talwinder with a reverse hit. Beautiful link-up play between him and Ramandeep.
Q2 4' India 5-0 Japan - India's captain has been stunning today, showing why he is so deadly with penalty corners. Brilliant from India and they do not stop as Sardar Singh is showing great class and vision here. He is threading beautiful passe here. Japan need to be careful as they are giving a lot of space to Indian midfielder.
Q2 2' India 5-0 Japan - India start the second quarter just like the first one and are full of intensity. They snatch back the possession and enter the circle. Chinglesana helps them gain a penalty corner. Ramandeep injects and GOAALLLLLL. Rupinder Pal gets his hattrick. He has scored again.
We are underway again!!!
Q1 15' India 4-0 Japan - GOAALLLLL!!!! Ramandeep with a stunning reverse hit. He was left alone at the top of the circle and that is all he needed. Poor defending from Japan.
Q1 14' India 3-0 Japan - India have entered the Japanese circle 7 times till now and have more than 60 percent possession. This is pretty much the story of the match. Solid from India as just under two minutes remain in the first quarter.
Q1 12' India 3-0 Japan - India are on fire here and it is the captain Rupinder Pal Singh who is taking Japan to the cleaners. The passing has been good and Japan has no answer at the moment. Japan get hold of the ball but India regain possession and are dictating terms here. Chinglesana slot a lovely long pass to Talwinder but the move could not be completed.
Q1 10' India 3-0 Japan - India are controlling the game here and an excellent bit of move leads to a passage of play between Rupinder and Talwinder. Penalty corner. Rupinder Pal. GOOOALLLLLLLLLLLLL!!! Cracker from the Indian captain but he is helped by a deflection.
Q1 9' India 2-0 Japan - Near perfection their from Rupinder Pal Singh there as he makes no mistake to slot that past the Japanese goalkeeper. India are up and running. The rain seems to have had no effect. Collision there between Ramandeep and the Japanese player Houshi. He is down.
Q1 8' India 2-0 Japan - Lovely stick work from Chinglesana, who evades a couple of defenders to thread an excellent pass, which leads to a shot and a penalty corner. Rupinder Pal has his eyes set. Talwinder passes and GOAAALLLLLL!!!!
Q1 6' India 1-0 Japan - Free hit to Japan, who are trying to play from the back. Mistake from the defender and India nearly score there. Japan are living dangerously here.
Q1 4' India 1-0 Japan - The Men in Blue have started this game quite aggressively and are looking good. They are keeping a lot of possession of the ball here and are constantly looking to attack. Japan need to be careful and alert.
Q1 2' India 1-0 Japan - GOOOALLLLL!!!! Ramandeep Singh scores.. Poor from Japan as they give too much space to the Indian attack. The ball goes into Japan's goal area and falls to Ramandeep, who makes no mistake and slots it home. Great start by India.
Q1 2' India 0-0 Japan - India start off proceedings and try to create a chance in Japan's half. A lot of passes in the midfield to start off the game for India. Sardar in the thick of things here.
Peep!!!! We are ready to go!!
India: Sreejesh, Rupinder, Surender, Birender, Sardar, Kothajit, Chinglesana, Devundar, Chandanda, Ramandeep,
India are being led by Rupinder Pal Singh in the field today. This will be a good match for India to show their strengths as the highest ranked team in Asia. Will rain change India's approach? We will have to find out.
Roelant Oltmans being quite clear there about his team's strategy - attack from the word go.
We are back!!! India and Japan are about to start.