India eye another Pak scalp

India eye another Pak scalp
India will look to maintain their unbeaten run when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their third and final Super 4 match of the 10th men’s Asia Cup, here on Saturday.

Barring the 1-1 draw against Korea in their first Super 4 match, India have been in red-hot form in the tournament, having scored some beautiful field goals and displaying one-touch attacking hockey.

The draw against Korea acted as a spur for the Indians as they came out all guns blazing against Malaysia and scored a big 6-2 win in their second Super 4 match on Thursday.

India are atop the table in Super 4 stage with four points from a win and a draw, followed by Malaysia (3 points), Korea (2 points) and Pakistan (1) from two games each. A draw would be enough for India to seal their place in the Sunday’s summit clash as they enjoy a better goal difference than any other side.

But it is easier said than done as Pakistanis have nothing to lose and would be keen to prove a point when they face their neighbours.

However, the situation is far from rosy for Pakistan. They have beat India by a big margin and hope the other result work in their favour if they are to make it to the final.

Any result apart from a win would be a dampener for India. What has been eye-catching is the performance of their forward-line. The Indian strikers Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Lalit Upadhyay and young Gurjant Singh have been terrific upfront scoring fantastic field goals.

Meanwhile, in the other Super 4 game of the day, Korea will face Malaysia.

Japan finish fifth
On Friday, Japan beat Bangladesh 4-0 to end their Asia Cup campaign in the fifth position. The two teams braved overcast weather conditions to offer an entertaining display of hockey to the home crowd who turned up in large numbers.

Shota Yamada (17th minute), Kenji Kitazato (46th), Kazuma Murata (49th) and Seren Tanaka (53rd) sounded the board for the Japanese in a convincing victory.

The first 15 minutes of the match saw Bangladesh put the Japanese forwards on the backfoot as they didn’t quite make life easy for them inside the circle. An alert Bangladeshi goalkeeper Nippon too was bang on the job to deny goal to Japan.

But the Japanese, who displayed better ball possession made a quick conversion through Yamada in the 17th minute. Though the next few minutes, goals were hard to come by for Japan, they stuck to good structure and disciplined over-all performance to keep the pressure on hosts.

While Bangladeshi fans hoped for a late surge by their team just like they sprang a surprise in the third and fourth quarter against China on Thursday, Japan didn’t let their guard down till the final hooter.

Unfortunate for Bangladesh, despite finding some opportunities, they didn’t utilise it. Japan’s three other goals came in the final quarter as they displayed splendid attack and good skills that saw them through.

Assembly elections 2019 | Get the latest news, views and analysis on elections in Haryana and Maharashtra on DeccanHerald.com


For election-related news in Maharashtra, click here

For election-related news in Haryana, click here

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)