The Indian men’s hockey team secured a spot in the finals of 2023 Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) by overpowering Japan with a resounding 5-0 victory in the semifinals. The game, held at Chennai’s Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium, showcased Indian team’s prowess. Their earlier group stage clash against Japan, which ended in a 1-1 draw, couldn’t prepare the visitors for the onslaught they faced this time.
The match commenced with both teams displaying high intensity, resulting in an early penalty corner for India, earned by Jarmanpreet’s exceptional play. However, Harmanpreet‘s drag flick was thwarted by Japanese goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa. The first quarter saw India’s relentless efforts with three more shots, but no goals.
In the 19th minute, Akashdeep capitalized on a loose ball, giving India the lead. Harmanpreet’s fierce flick off a penalty corner in the 23rd minute expanded India’s advantage to 2-0. The home crowd’s fervor heightened as Mandeep Singh secured the third goal after brilliant midfield work by Manpreet.
Sumit’s artistic goal in the 39th minute, skillfully maneuvering past the defense, solidified India’s 4-0 lead. The Japanese goalkeeper’s saves prevented further goals by Mandeep and Akashdeep. The fourth quarter witnessed India’s persistence, culminating in a final goal by local hero Karthi Selvam, assisted by Sukhjeet Singh.
On the 12th of August, the Indian hockey team will face Malaysia in the final of ACT 2023 at 8:30 PM.