Next up for India: A 9-12 classification match against South Africa on 28 January.

[From the archive]: Read about tonight’s player of the match.

Hockey: The makings of forward Abhishek – An unconventional coach and a hunger for goals

Goal-scoring progression of the match

Team Minute Shirt # Player Action Score
India 33 11 Singh Mandeep Penalty Corner 0 - 1
India 36 5 ABHISHEK Field Goal 0 - 2
India 40 32 Prasad Vivek Sagar Penalty Corner 0 - 3
India 44 5 ABHISHEK Field Goal 0 - 4
India 46 13 SINGH Harmanpreet Penalty Corner 0 - 5
India 59 7 Singh Manpreet Field Goal 0 - 6
India 59 13 SINGH Harmanpreet Penalty Corner 0 - 7
India 60 34 SINGH Sukhjeet Penalty Corner 0 - 8
via TMS

Player of the match: Abhishek, India’s forward who scored two goals.

Full time, India 8-0 Japan: Well, not the match India wanted to be playing. But that takes some mental resolve too. They got off to a slow start, but come up with a huge second half.

Q4, India 8-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! Sukhjeet Singh joins the party late on, with a goal off a rebound.

Q4, India 7-0 Japan: Another PC for India almost right off the restart. Japan have switched off big time here.

Q4, India 7-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! Another for the Indian captain, this one low and powerful to the left of the goalkeeper.

Q4, India 6-0 Japan: About 80 seconds left, India make a referral for PC. Nothing doing... but soon after restart, they have another.

Q4, India 6-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! Manpreet Singh too also on the scoresheet. Looked more like a pass towards Akashdeep from the left side, but looks like no one else got a touch. Wry smile there from the former (?) India captain.

Q4, India 5-0 Japan: Attacking pressure from India, nearly a hat-trick chance for Abhishek.

Q4, India 5-0 Japan: Fine pass from Manpreet to Abhishek, his back-pass is dealt with. That would have been a cure goal.

Q4, India 5-0 Japan: First signs of game management from India. Jarmanpreet does well down the left corner to hold off Japan pressure. India come out with the ball. Less than 5 mins to go.

Q4, India 5-0 Japan: Joyful dribble there by Sukhjeet, a nice 360 in there too, but the move breaks down. India still looking to attack with pace.

Q4, India 5-0 Japan: Just a question of doing simple things well from here on for India. Less than 10 mins to go. Surely too much for Japan to do.

Correction: It’s Q4.

Q4, India 5-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! Harmanpreet Singh with perhaps his best moment of the World Cup, drag flicking wise. Good things happening for India, but later than they would have liked.

Q4, India 4-0 Japan: Another PC for India

Q3, India 4-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! Abhishek with his second goal, Vivek Sagar Prasad with another assist. This was all about the finish though, superb hit from the Indian forward, receiving the ball with his back to goal and sending a good strike past Takashi on the turn. Good work by Rajkumar too in the build-up.

Q3, India 3-0 Japan: India go for a good routine, Harmanpreet with a cheeky pass back to Jarmanpreet who feeds the ball back to the injector. The shot on goal is wide.

Q3, India 3-0 Japan: India attack again and Mandeep is convinced he has won a PC. India get the decision but it is being referred by Japan. Good work by Abhishek in the build-up. Japan lose their referral.

Q3, India 3-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! Vivek Sagar Prasad deservedly gets on the scoresheet now. He has had a great few minutes. Thumps home the rebound from the edge of the circle.

Q3, India 2-0 Japan: A powerful drag flick this by Harman but it is rushed well. Another PC coming up. Blocked again.

Q3, India 2-0 Japan: A fabulous long ball by Vivek Sagar Prasad once again. Harmanpreet Singh controls it down the right flank and his ball back in results in a PC. Mandeep finds the feet.

Q3, India 2-0 Japan: A PC for Japan is saved and they get another. But India refer this and refer it successfully.

Q3, India 2-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! One brings two for the hosts. Vivek does brilliantly in midfield to break down a Japan move and brings the ball forward, feeds it to Abhishek in space. The forward puts it past the Takashi. Enough time to do damage there, all thanks to a good early ball from the midfielder.

Q3, India 1-0 Japan: GOAL INDIA! Amit Rohidas in the second battery takes the hit but it is actually wide of goal and to feed the forward. And it is Mandeep Singh who deflects the ball into the roof of the net. Good variation, well executed.

Q3, India 0-0 Japan: There is a referral here with India looking for a PC. Wasn’t sure if it was an India referral... yes, it is. India get the PC and keep the review. PC coming up.

Q3, India 0-0 Japan: Time to see if anyone can breach the other’s defence. India have Pathak back in goal.

Half time, India 0-0 Japan: Time for some thoughts from the coaches... or not. We are underway.

Some half-time reading:

Half time, India 0-0 Japan: Here’s a look at the first-half stats. As far as shots are concerned, it must be said both goalkeepers had work to do in the second quarter. But India will be disappointed they didn’t make the most of 16 circle penetrations, a persistent problem.

End of Q2: India piled on the pressure on Japan towards the end of the half but still no breakthrough.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: India piling on some serious pressure on Japan now. Perhaps the best they have played since the England match, perhaps. Japan hanging in there.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: that pass came from Manpreet but Abhishek couldn’t get a touch on it before it went to the goal. Now another good attack by India with Akashdeep involved, the chance finally comes from Jarmanpreet down the left flank and his cutback evades everyone.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: A superb counter from Japan but Sreejesh earns a free out. And while the replays were on looks like Abhishek had a chance down the other end. Bit chaotic at the moment.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: CHANCE! Terrific long ball from Vivek and it is controlled brilliantly by Abhishek down the left and he dribbles down the byline and tries to chip the GK. It’s saved. Another half chance follows but Japan hang on.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: CHANCES AT BOTH ENDS. Sreejesh and Yoshikawa both having to be alert as the game stretches.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: Japan have grown into the game in this quarter. India’s passes not finding the targets, Japan have upped their attacking tempo. Sreejesh has had to be alert again as India stood off from tackling.

Feels like a good time to read this.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: Superb counter from India it leads to a PC for India. Harmanpreet’s shot on goal is blocked again. Japan hang on. Looks like there is an injury to deal with for Japan as India take a long corner.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: Sreejesh concedes a PC but India hang from the back-to-back set-piece routines.

Q2, India 0-0 Japan: Sreejesh in goal now.

End of Q1, India 0-0 Japan: CHANCE! Abhishek with a powerful shot on the turn and it is saved. Good save. India come forward again and seem to have a 1v1 almost but the hooter goes.

Q1, India 0-0 Japan: India’s better conversion hopes not off to a great start tonight but more good PC defence on display in this tournament.

Q1, India 0-0 Japan: India win another PC, off the first-rush.

Q1, India 0-0 Japan: India finally win a PC. Long ball from Harmanpreet down the right byline. Looks like Rajkumar Pal won the PC off the foot.

Q1, India 0-0 Japan: India are on the ascendancy here. Mandeep Singh heavily involved in possession. Good switching off flanks, couple of half chances created.

Q1, India 0-0 Japan: Excellent work down the left flank by Akashdeep and Mandeep who combine from defence to offence. Mandeep with a fancy piece of skill to win a PC. But Japan review this for a foot outside the circle. Good review, yes India lose their PC.

Q1, India 0-0 Japan: Early days still, but India playing with heavy legs at the start. Just a yard or two behind the tempo of the game.

Q1, India 0-0 Japan: Incredible support once again it would seem for the Indian team in Rourkela. Japan come forward down the right and Pathak had to be alert to a hopeful deflection.

Pushback in Rourkela.

Coach Graham Reid: It’s been a tough 72 hours or so and we get out there and put some stamp on this game. The boys are ready, I am looking forward to a much more improved performance tonight, bit of consistency across quarters. Let’s put some balls into goals.

Hello all and welcome to our live coverage of the Indian team at the FIH Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023.

For starters, doing a live blog for a 9-16 classification match was not something we quite imagined doing for India before the tournament began. Generalisation alert, but I don’t believe most Indian hockey enthusiasts, players or even analysts seriously thought India’s podium hopes would be over even before the quarterfinals. But, at some level, perhaps that is why we are here. New Zealand had other ideas, ending India’s dreams at the crossover level and now the hosts have moved to Rourkela to try and avoid the ignominy of finishing outside the top 12 for starters.

Asian Games 2018 champions Japan await in this all-Asian battle.

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Stats courtesy: TMS / FIH, Screenshots courtesy: TMS / Disney+Hotstar