Again to their finest after a gradual begin, defending champions and Olympic bronze-medallist India would begin as overwhelming favourites in opposition to Asian Video games gold winner Japan within the semifinal of themales’s hockey event on Tuesday. The Manpreet Singh-led aspect’s confidence should be sky excessive as that they had thrashed Japan 6-0 of their final round-robin match. Having mentioned that, India might want to guard in opposition to complacency as any slip-up may spoil all their hardwork.
India ended the round-robin stage of the five-nation event on the prime of the standings with 10 factors, forward of Korea (6), Japan (5), Pakistan (5) and hosts Bangladesh (0).
However the begin was removed from ultimate for India. Taking part in their first event after their historic Tokyo Olympics marketing campaign, the Indians had been held 2-2 by South Korea of their lung-opener earlier than turning issues round with a convincing 9-0 win over Bangladesh, adopted by 3-1 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan and the beating of Japan.
Vice-captainhas been a revelation not simply on the again however from penalty corners as effectively, changing two in opposition to Japan on Sunday. And, he undoubtedly will pose a giant menace for the Japanese. The Indian midfield can also be being held collectively brilliantly by skipper Manpreet and Hardik Singh.
The forwardline of Dilpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Akashjdeep Singh and Shamsher Singh too has shone shiny within the event thus far, scoring some wonderful discipline objectives.
The Indians utterly outperformed Japan in all departments of the sport of their league match and they’d eye an encore within the semifinal as effectively.
The Japanese must raise their recreation by leaps and bounds and play out of their pores and skin to present themselves any probability of registering an upset win.
Younger Suraj Karkera has been sensible beneath the bar for India, making some sensible saves all through the event whereas the Harmanpreet-led Indian backline too defended stoutly, saving as many as 5 penalty corners in opposition to Japan on Sunday.
Nevertheless, the Indian defence will should be a bit extra cautious on Tuesday and focus on not conceding too many penalty corners, which may harm them as previous outcomes hardly issues in knock-out stage matches.
A slight slip-up or lapse in focus can derail their marketing campaign and spoil their second successive ACT title. India had received the title collectively with Pakistan within the final version in Muscat.
In the meantime, South Korea face Pakistan within the first semifinal on Tuesday.
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