India drub Japan in opener

India drub Japan in opener

Dilpreet Singh and debutant Vivek Sagar Prasad struck a brace each as India drubbed Japan 6-0 in their opening match of the double-leg Four Nations Invitational hockey tournament here on Wednesday.

Apart from Dilpreet (35', 45') and Vivek (12', 28'), Rupinder (7') and Harmanpreet Singh (41') also scored in the win.

The team got off to a dominant start, controlling the ball well, passing around neatly and quickly to penetrate the Japanese circle.

India won their first penalty corner in the seventh minute and it was young gun Harmanpreet Singh who stepped up to take the drag flick.  His attempt though was blocked but since the obstruction came off his body, India were awarded a penalty stroke. Experienced drag-flicker Rupinder easily converted.

India's second goal came in the 12th minute when debutant Vivek was quick to pick up a rebound and fiercely struck the ball past the Japanese goal-keeper.

The second quarter saw India defend their lead as they were unrelenting in creating pressure on Japan, pressing them high up constantly, rarely giving them an opportunity to enter India's D.

Meanwhile, Vivek Prasad found another excellent opportunity in the 28th minute to score, as the Indian attackers broke into the Japanese defence.

Vivek was swift to receive an assist in the circle and put the ball in the goal within no time. The teams went into the half-time break with India having a comfortable 3-0 lead.

In the 35th minute, a brilliant run-in from Mandeep Singh, who found Dilpreet in the circle, created a scoring opportunity for India.  Though Dilpreet's first attempt was padded away by the Japan keeper, he was quick to pick it up again and put it  into the goal.

Harmanpreet Singh then converted India's second penalty corner for the fifth goal before Dilpreet netted his second from the top of the striking circle.

India will take on Belgium in their second match on Thursday.



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