The Indian Hockey team defeated Asian powerhouse Japan in the final league game of Pool A. With a win over Japan, India comfortably ends the group stage at the number 2 position. India had already qualified for the quarters thanks to their brilliant win over Rio Olympics gold medal champions, Argentina (3-1). Not many had given the team a chance against the might of the South Americans but India overcame the odds. Here is Will Indian Hockey Team Win A Medal.
The final game against Japan:
A confident-looking Indian team stepped on the field against a struggling Japanese team. The Asian supremos were not in the best of form heading into the game. Japan had lost 3 and drawn a game before this match. In the opening 7 minutes of the game, India created two close chances to set the ball rolling. Japan made a move in the 10th minute to showcase their game.
The first move in the first quarter:
India soon bounced back in the 13th minute to score the first game of the match. Harmanpreet Singh scored his fourth goal in the tournament. His bullet drag-flick through a penalty corner set the tempo for the match. India created another opportunity and threatened to run away from the game by the end of the first quarter itself.
India’s flair and Japan’s resilience:
The Indian team continued to put on a show right after the first quarter. They scored the 2nd goal in the 17th-minute courtesy of the Singh duo. Simranjeet Singh and Gurjant Singh combined forces to put India ahead by 2 goals. Gurjant provided the finishing touches. But immediately in the 19th minute, Japan came back with a goal. The 2nd quarter was as dramatic as the first and ended with India having a goal lead (2-1).
Japan’s unexpected counter and India’s roar:
In the 33rd minute of the game, Japan smashed an equalizer. The match was beautifully set up at 2-2. Japanese fans had something to egg them up. But a minute later, India stormed back again scoring a wonderful goal thanks to Shamsher Singh. India then didn’t budge from extending the lead. They scored the 4th goal in the 51st minute and later went on to hit another one in the 56th minute. India’s dominance was in full display at the Tokyo Olympics. Japan did score another goal in the ending moments of the game but it was too late and too little.
India’s stunning game has helped them finish in the 2nd spot, they now face Great Britain in the quarters. Expect this Indian team to bring back that coveted hockey medal this time!