India Men’s Hockey Team recently claimed Bronze Medal as the enthusiastic young side beat Japan 1-in the Asia Cup in Jakarta on Wednesday. India missed out on the title clash on goal difference following an exciting 4-4 draw with South Korea on Tuesday. The defending champions India came out with purpose and scored a field goal through Raj Kumar Pal as early as the seventh minute of the game and defended the scoreline to clinch a victory.
India wins Bronze Medal
India brought glory after an impressive performance against Japan. The former started brightly and pushed hard in the first five minutes of the match but their attacks fizzled once out inside the opposition D.
The Indians went on to score the breakthrough goal in the seventh minute from a counter-attack. It was Uttam Singh who worked wonders on the right flank to set it up for Rajkumar Pal as he neatly pushed it past the Japanese goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa. Three minutes later, the Indians secured two back-to-back penalty corners but wasted both.
In the last five minutes of the first quarter, Japan pressed hard in search of the equalizer and mounted numerous raids but the Indian defense stood firm to hold on to their lead. Japan who fell behind continued to attack and in the process earned two consecutive penalty corners in the 20th minute. However, Indians defended in numbers to keep their lead intact.
Both Japan and India had a few more chances in the second quarters but both the teams faltered in the final third. India had a golden chance to extend their lead but Rajkumar shot over from close quarters from a SV Sunil pass.
In the 48th minute, Japan secured three successive penalty corners but couldn’t break the defense. Japan toiled hard to earn another penalty corner in the 51st minute but the Indian defence once again stood tall.
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