Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Asia Cup Hockey LIVE: Japan trumps India with 5-2 victory in second group match of Asia Cup – Follow India vs Japan Highlights

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Asia Cup Hockey LIVE Streaming – India vs Japan LIVE: New-look and inexperienced Indian team faced a 2-5 thrashing against a strong Japan side in the second group match of the Asian Cup campaign on Tuesday. With this loss, India’s next match against Indonesia becomes a must-win and they also have to depend on other result to earn a spot in the knockout stages. Follow Asia Cup Hockey Updates with InsideSport.IN

Also Read: Asia Cup Hockey: Pakistan score in the final quarter to hold India to 1-1 draw – Follow IND vs PAK Highlights

Asia Cup Hockey LIVE: Japan trumps India with 5-2 victory in second group match of Asia Cup – Follow India vs Japan Highlights

Having drawn against Pakistan in the opening game, India’s chances after this contest is badly dented. Japan, having scored 9-0 against Indonesia entered the contest with confidence. Ken Nagayoshi, Ryomi Ooka, Koji Yamasaki all scored one goal respectively, while Kosei Kawabe scored twice in the match.

India’s youngsters struggled to put on a challenge against the Japan players, who were more organised and hit India repeatedly on the counters. India’s seniors Birendra Lakra and SV Sunil looked well past their prime and couldn’t make any tangible difference with their performances.

“First two quarters were very tough because we didn’t get into any rhythm. We got better in the last two quarters but didn’t create many chances,” said Lakra, the Indian captain.

“In the final quarter, we lost our defensive structure and conceded a couple of goals. Also we lost two men and that had an effect,” Lakra added.

The first quarter was all about trying to get control of the midfield with rookie Indian players losing a lot of possession during the phase of play. But, to their delight, the Japanese also failed to make too many inroads save one penalty corner, which was well-saved by a diving Indian custodian Suraj Karkera.

However, in the second quarter Ken Nagayoshi converted the penalty corner with a powerful angular drive that beat a diving Suraj all ends up. There came a chance of an equaliser when Nilam Sanjeep Xess’ assist found Raj Kumar, whose reverse hit was saved by the keeper.

Asia Cup Hockey LIVE: Japan trumps India with 5-2 victory in second group match of Asia Cup - Follow India vs Japan Highlights
Asia Cup Hockey LIVE: Japan trumps India with 5-2 victory in second group match of Asia Cup – Follow India vs Japan Highlights

It was in the 40th minute Japan made it 2-0 in a counter-attack with Kosei Kawabi snatching the ball from the Indian midfield and sprinting down the right wing running left-back Dipsan Tirkey ragged with his speed. It was a spectacular goal with Kawabi having his back towards the Indian goal with his markers Dipsan and Nilam closing in on him. With a body feint, Kawabi wrong-footed goalkeeper Suraj and then smashed it home from an acute angle.

India found something going their way in the dying moments of the third quarter when veteran Birendra Lakra kept a powerful assist inside the striking circle melee and the big-bodied centre forward Pawan Rajbhar was in the right place to lay his stick for a perfect deflection that found the top corner of the net.

The final quarter once again saw the Indians going all out and conceding a goal against the run of play in the 48th minute. With all but one player on the overlap, Ryosei Kato got a cross-field pass on the wide right and he cut inside with goalkeeper Suraj at his mercy, and Ryomo Ooka waiting for an open goal. Kato passed it to Ooka, who put it gleefully to make it 3-1.

However, India equalised with the very next move when Rajbhar sent a cross from right and forward Uttam Singh tapped it in from close range to make it 2-3. But there was more bad luck for India as they suddenly lost the numerical advantage with temporary suspensions of Rajbhar and Karthi.

The nine versus eleven became a lopsided contest as Japan repeatedly used the right flank to launch their attack. Koji Yamasaki got his goal in the 54th minute with a touch-in after none of the Indian defenders cared to intercept a cross from the wide right.

The Indian resistance had ended and the fifth goal was the final nail in the coffin — Kawabe slotting home in the 55th minute after his first shot rebounded off the goalkeeper.

Asia Cup Hockey LIVE: Japan trumps India with 5-2 victory in second group match of Asia Cup – Follow India vs Japan Highlights

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