HOOTER! India win their third straight match. What a start it has been for them in the Games. Of course, they haven’t faced a big team so far but they have not taken any match lightly. They have been ruthless in the tournament. They are ensuring that there are no let ups. They next take on Korea on Saturday.
Rupinder Pal Singh: 2
Mandeep Singh: 2
Akashdeep Singh: 1
Dilpreet Singh: 1
SV Sunil: 1
Vivek Prasad: 1
Final quarter (2 minutes to go), India 8-0 Japan: India try and get another Penalty Corner. Use their referral... But the TV umpire decides not to award them one. Can they score one more with less than two minutes to go?
GOAL! Another one. Mandeep Singh this time, slotting in a rebound. Dilpreet viciously reverse-hit from the edge of the circle. The Japanese goalie did well to clear it away. But Mandeep catches on the rebound and slots it into the net.
Final quarter (6 minutes to go), India 7-0 Japan: Penalty Corner for India again after Ohashi gets a yellow card. Harmanpreet flicks it in the air slightly towards the left of the goalie. But the Japanese goalie Takano is up to the task.
Final quarter (8 minutes to go), India 7-0 Japan: Another PC for India. Amit Rohidas flicks the ball in the air and towards the centre. The Japanese goalie saves it without much trouble.
Final quarter (10 minutes to go), India 7-0 Japan: Penalty corner for Japan. This is the first Penalty Corner that India’s conceded in the Games. The Japanese fluff the chance. A straight hit, blocked by a rushing Manpreet Singh. India make a swift counter attack but not many people in the attack for India.
GOAL! Young Vivek Prasad is at the right place at the right time to receive the pass from Dilpreet and tap the ball into the net. India’s 50th at the Games.
GOAL! One of the best of the tournament. Had a very narrow angle to score. But Akashdeep manages it with style with a superb tomahawk.
END OF THIRD QUARTER.
Third quarter (2 minutes to go), India 5-0 Japan: Two close chances. The Penalty Corner, Rupinder hits right at the centre and keeper Yusuke Takano saves it without too much trouble. Within a minute, India come close to the Japanese net again. But the Japanese defenders clear it away.
Third quarter (3 minutes to go), India 5-0 Japan: Lalit Upadhyay stole the ball from outside the Japanese circle and explodes near the net. He battles for possession with a Japanese defender and earns a PC.
Third quarter (3 minutes to go), India 5-0 Japan: Lalit and Akashdeep play an excellent one-two. Lalit draws the goalkeeper out, swivels to wrongfoot the goalie and passes in the air to Akashdeep but the Japanese defenders cut it off.
Third quarter (5 minutes to go), India 5-0 Japan: Rupinder Pal Singh tries to score from outside the dotted circle. The ball goes a little wide of the net. The Japanese still under pressure.
GOAL! Penalty stroke for India. Rupinder Pal Singh has no problems converting that. His second goal of the night.
Third quarter (10 minutes to go), India 4-0 Japan: Japan make a surprise counterattack, against the run of play. They get past the Indian defenders but they can’t clear Sreejesh, who’s been cool (as usual) in front of the net.
GOAL! Superb pass from Amit Rohidas from the right flank. Mandeep Singh just taps in the ball to score the fourth goal for India. India’s made a good start to this quarter. They missed a Penalty Corner early on but they have scored within two minutes of that miss.
Third quarter (13 minutes to go), India 3-0 Japan: Mandeep storms in from near the halfline, contends with the Japanese defence and earns his team a Penalty Corner. Sardar injects, Harmanpreet takes it but the goalkeeper blocks it. The deflection goes to the Indians. There’s a goalmouth melee. The Japanese defenders desperately clear the ball away.
Viren Rasquinha says: The Indians are attacking through the right flank. They have been incredibly quick... Sardar Singh and Harmanpreet Singh have been excellent. Sreejesh’s saves have been important as well.
HOOTER! End of second quarter, India 3-0 Japan: Desperate attempts by India to slot in one more goal before half time. Thrice they came very close to the goalmouth but the Japanese defence do well to keep them at bay. So, 3-0 it will be as the teams head into their dugouts. Has been a good match so far.
Second quarter (3 minutes to go), India 3-0 Japan: The Indians are getting into a bit of a rut. A few passes going out or failing to reach the intended destination. The Japanese need to capitalise and perhaps slot in a goal to narrow the gap ahead of the half-time.
Second quarter (5 minutes to go), India 3-0 Japan: An opportunity missed from the right flank by Surender Kumar. He was holding the ball a tad too long, probably expecting the umpire to award India a PC.
Second quarter (7 minutes to go), India 3-0 Japan: The Japanese are struggling to catch up with the Indians, literally. India’s pace has been excellent throughout the match so far. They are trying to crowd the Indian attackers in their circle though.
Second quarter (9 minutes to go), India 3-0 Japan: Japan make a quick counterattack. But Birendra Lakra stops the attackers before they can cause any danger. They need to attack more though to put the Indians under pressure.
GOAL! India’s second PC. Rupinder Pal Singh with a superb drag-flick off SV Sunil’s injection to give India a 3-0 lead.
Second quarter (13 minutes to go), India 2-0 Japan: Coach Harendra Singh had said before the match that this will be India’s first true test of the Games. And, it has been that way so far. Indians are struggling a little to get past the Indian defence.
First quarter (less than a minute to go), India 2-0 Japan: First penalty corner of the match with less than a minute to go in the first quarter. Rupinder Pal Singh takes it. India seem to try a variation. Not the best of injections. They miss going up by 3-0.
GOAL! Poor defence by the Japanese. They fail to trap a pass that should have been easily done. But the ball goes to Dilpreet, who quickly reverse hits to double India’s lead.
First quarter (4 minutes to go), India 1-0 Japan: India, once again, do well to get near the Japanese goalmouth. But Akashdeep Singh hits the above the post.
GOAL! Superb attacking play by India. They combine well to penetrate the Japanese defence. SV Sunil slots in the opener.
First quarter (10 minutes to go), India 0-0 Japan: India’s inviting the Japanese forward. Japan, so far, has packed their defence. They don’t want the men in blue to score first. They are making careful counterattacks.
First quarter (12 minutes to go), India 0-0 Japan: Good start by Japan. Holding the ball against the defending champs. And, this is perhaps the first time in the tournament where India haven’t scored in the first three minutes.
The results of the other two matches of the day:-
06:15 pm Hi there. Welcome to the live coverage of India vs Japan. Defending champions India will face their first real test when they take on an unpredictable Japanese side. It has been been a cakewalk for India in the opening two matches of Pool A as they demolished hosts Indonesia 17-0 before recording their biggest win in international hockey when they thrashed Hong Kong China 26-0. But Japan, ranked 16th in the world, will be the first top-20 ranked team that India will be facing in the tournament and they are, by no means, pushovers. Will be an interesting contest. But India, still, are the favourites to win this.