India defeated Japan 9-0 in the group stages.
12.14 am: That’s it from us tonight. It’s India v Pakistan on Sunday! Join us then.
India 3-2 Japan, full-time stats:
India 3-2 Japan - FULL TIME! A lovely game of hockey comes to an end. Indian players console the Japanese as they slump to the ground. Great effort by the young team but India deserving winners.
India 3-2 Japan, 30 seconds left in Q4: What a pass from Jarmanpreet from midfield! But Dilpreet miscontrols.
India 3-2 Japan, 90 seconds left in Q4: India trying to keep the ball close to their own corner flag. Japan win ball back but India break forward now.
India 3-2 Japan, 3 mins left in Q4: Japan have the possession but Jarmanpreet stays strong in defence. Nilakanta’s cutback earlier was not converted as India go forward to find the 4th goal.
Tight finish coming up: Near instant response as Japan hit back immediately as they earned a penalty corner and Hirotaka Zendana scores with a dragflick
India 3-2 Japan, 4.50 mins left in Q4: GOAL JAPAN! PC for Japan and they convert it. Krishan Pathak concedes the goal. It’s being referred to the video umpire. India lose their referral. GAME ON AGAIN!
India 3-1 Japan, 6 mins left in Q4: GOALLLLL INDIA! BEAUTIFUL FINISH BY DILPREET! The youngster continues to impress, this time creates space for himself in the box with a stunning turn and slots it past the goalkeeper. He enjoyed that goal.
India 2-1 Japan, 6 mins left in Q4: India have started to keep the ball much better, while trying to fashion chances. Nothing much going forward for Japan. This *should* be a win for India now but it’s ain’t over till it’s over.
India 2-1 Japan, 9 mins left in Q4: Lalit with almost the perfect through ball to Hardik but it just evades the latter’s stick. Good play by India.
India 2-1 Japan, 11 mins left in Q4: More like it from India as Akashdeep dribbles through the center and plays a lovely through ball that just evades Lalit.
India 2-1 Japan, 13 mins left in Q4: Not the ideal strategy to see if you are an Indian fan, the men in blue trying to keep the ball down by the baseline. Too early for that you’d think.
India 2-1 Japan, end of Q3: India have retaken the lead just when it looked like they were coming under pressure. Much-needed goal from Chinglansena. Can the men in blue steady the ship and close the match out in Q4?
India 2-1 Japan, 2 mins left in Q3: GOALLLL INDIA!! Varun with the drag flick, but Chinglansena gets the deflection to beat the Japan defence. Smart play by a smart midfielder.
India 1-1 Japan, 2 mins left in Q3: PC for INDIA! Jarmanpreet wins a PC going down the baseline on the right.
India 1-1 Japan, 2 mins left in Q3: Sustained period of Japan possession in India’s half for a change. But it’s down the flank and close to the byline. Not threatening India’s goal. India break forward and create a good chance.
India 1-1 Japan, 4 mins left in Q3: Mistakes starting to creep in for India going forward. Passes being mishit, balls being miscontrolled.
India 1-1 Japan, 7 mins left in Q3: India starting to dominate the forward play again. Moving the ball from flank to flank, passing at a quick tempo. But Japan have numbers back and staying put. The longer this remains a stalemate, the more under pressure India will be given their Asian Games debacle.
India 1-1 Japan, 11 mins left in Q3: Japan go forward at pace (a rare attack) but cannot find the final ball. India trying to hit the ball early into the box in this quarter but not finding their radar right.
Harendra Singh: We are playing soft balls when we receive the ball in the opposition box. I want the players to not rush. hold the ball and play faster balls high up.
India 1-1 Japan, HALF-TIME: No doubt which team dominated the statistics but the scores, the numbers that matter, are level. Statistics:
HALF-TIME: Reminder that Pakistan have qualified for the final and these two teams are vying for a chance to face them in the final.
HALF-TIME: Nothing much to separate the two teams. While India found the net through Gurjant, Japan hit back immediately through a penalty corner variation.
India 1-1 Japan - HALF TIME: The hooter goes up! The men in blue won 9-0 in the group stage but this match has been anything but one-sided. A young Japan side has worked their socks off defensively and converted a PC with a variation when the chance came their way. Plenty to ponder for Harendra Singh and Co.
India 1-1 Japan, 1 min left in Q2: PC for Japan! Oh dear. Will that cost India late in the half? Japan try another variation but this time it’s too elaborate, shot high and over.
India 1-1 Japan, 2 mins left in Q2: Crowd gets excited as Manpreet finds the back of the net. But it was an untouched pass from outside the circle. No goal.
India 1-1 Japan, 3 mins left in Q2: India have had 3 shots on target compared to Japan’s 1.
India 1-1 Japan, 4 mins left in Q2: Harmanpreet mishits the drag flick but holds his composure to win another PC. The next drag flick is saved but Chinglansena gets a shot at goal from the rebound. It’s blazing high.
India 1-1 Japan, 5 mins left in Q2: PC FOR INDIA. Their second of the game. Harmanpreet is on the field.
23rd PC of the tournament.
India 1-1 Japan, 6 mins left in Q2: Couple of chances for India to restore the lead. Nilakantha heavily involved. His pass is missed by Akashdeep who slipped few yards away from goal. The former then has a crack of his own but dangerous play called.
India 1-1 Japan, 8 mins left in Q2: GOAL, JAPAN! Surinder gives away a PC, Japan have their first real chance to test Sreejesh. A brilliant variation! A drag flick is disguised as a pass to the right and Wakuri dives to get his stick on the end of it. SUPERB GOAL!
India 1-0 Japan, 9 mins left in Q2: Dilpreet goes for the goal all by himself, dribbling from the right flank and into the circle. It is saved. Good effort by the youngster.
India 1-0 Japan, 11 mins left in Q2: GOALLLLLL INDIA! GURJANT SCORES! Gurjant collects the ball with his back to the goal down the left , turns and fires a low reverse shot across the goal and into the back of the net. All smiles! Lovely finish.
India 0-0 Japan, 12 mins left in Q2: CHANCE INDIA! Jarmanpreet with a powerful pass into the circle from the right and Gurjant, Nilakantha have a couple of bites at the cherry but cannot finish it. Scramble.
India 0-0 Japan, 13 mins left in Q2: Couple of forward forays early in Q2 for India but once again Japan hold out. Men in blue recycle possession.
India 0-0 Japan, end of Q1: India was clearly the better side, creating at least five chances to score. But Gurjant and Mandeep Singh could not manage a shot on target. Japan were clearly happy sitting back and would look to find a goal on the counter.
India 0-0 Japan, 1 min left in Q1: Mandeep Singh recieves the ball inside the circle and does well to turn and take a shot. But his shot is wide and Indians fail to break the deadlock
India 0-0 Japan, 5 mins left in Q1: Gurjant Singh got the best chance of the first quarter as he received a through ball inside the striking circle. The goalkeeper had left the line but the striker could not beat him with a reverse hit.
India 0-0 Japan, 7 mins left in Q1: Not much happening in the match so far. Japan has decided to sit back and defend and the Indians are struggling to break that defence. The strategy of the Asian Games gold medallist is understandable given the 9-0 drubbing in the league stage
India 0-0 Japan, 13 mins left in Q1: Manpreet Singh earns India’s first penalty corner but the Indians fail to convert the opportunity
India 0-0 Japan, 15 mins left in Q1: Pushback in Muscat!
10.40 pm: India have a strong head-to-head record against Japan and defeated the very same opponents 9-0 in the group stage in Oman. But, as Coach Harendra said, this will be a fresh start for the men in blue in the knockouts.
Almost time for the pushback in Muscat.
10.37 pm: India’s first XI for the match.
10.34 pm: “I have always said that India will have an edge nine times out of our 10 encounters. We’re hoping that Saturday will be that one time when we go out and defeat them,” Japan coach Siegfried Aikman said.
“Our performance in the preliminary league, including the loss to India, is history now. My young players have grown in confidence,” he added
10.30 pm: Harendra said Saturday will be a completely new game for his side.
“I would like my boys to play aggressive hockey with control over their emotions. The semi-final will be a different ball game. The result or score-line of our last encounter with Japan in the preliminary league will have no significance when the semi-final gets underway on Saturday,” the Indian coach said on the eve of the match.
Japan, on the other hand, have fielded six youngsters in the squad after their gold medal at the Jakarta Asian Games in their bid to focus on a long-term team-building exercise. Japan are the only team among the semi-finalists here not to have qualified for the World Cup.
10.24 pm: Pakistan defeated Malaysia in a shootout in the first semifinal and that means a potential India v Pakistan final is on the cards. First though, the men in blue have to beat Japan.
10.20 pm: Hello all and welcome to the live blog of the semifinal of the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Muscat, Oman as India take on Japan.
Having outplayed Japan 9-0 in the round-robin stage, India will start overwhelming favourites against the Asian Games champion side.
India are the only side in the tournament that remained unbeaten in the round-robin stage, having won all their matches except for a close goal-less draw against recent nemesis Malaysia.
India qualified as the top team with 13 points from five games. Arch-rivals Pakistan finished second on 10 points ahead of Malaysia on account of a better goal difference, while Japan were fourth with seven points.
The ongoing Asian Champions Trophy being the last tournament before the season-ending World Cup in Bhubaneswar, the Indians would be desperate to prove their critics wrong with another strong performance on Saturday.