The Indian hockey team beat Japan 2-1 in their opening match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia on Wednesday. The five-time champions were given a scare after going a goal down in the 17th minute, before drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh and captain Sardar Singh both found the net to give Roelant Oltman’s team all three points.

India were made to work hard by an inexperienced Japanese side, nine of whose 18-member squad for this tournament are making their international debut, reported PTI. India will play world champions Australia on Thursday.

Pakistan also got their campaign off to a positive start, beating Canada 3-1 via two goals from Muhammad Arslan Qadir and one from Muhammad Arshad.