Muscat, Oct 28: Indian Hockey team edged spirited Japan in the semi-final to enter the finals of the Asian Champions Trophy here on Saturday (October 27). The defending champions will now face arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat on Sunday (October 28).
The Men In Blue have been unbeaten in the tournament and would be hoping to continue their dominating game against Pakistan, whom they outclassed 3-1 in the round-robin stage.
When these two teams faced each other in Asian Games 2018 in a medal game, India defeated Pakistan in 2-1 to claim the bronze medal match.
Team India has been in a menacing form in the tournament and the Manpreet Singh-led side would be eager to repeat their recent good form against Pakistan in the final.
FT. The Indian Men's Hockey Team ward off a late fight-back from Japan to claim victory in the Semi-Final of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 on 27th October and set up a clash in the Final against Pakistan.#IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 #INDvJPN pic.twitter.com/k8Vn3DRhQA— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 27, 2018
Coach Harendra Singh didn't seem happy with Team India's lackadaisical performance in the Asian Games after his boys failed to defend their gold medal in 2018. The team has gone from strength to strength in the ongoing tournament and a win here would be a morale booster for the Men In Blue before the World Cup kicks off in their own backyard next month.
In the first semi-final, Pakistan had edged Malaysia 3-1 in the shoot-out. In regulation time Pakistan and Malaysia had played out a thrilling 4-4 draw to drag the match into the shootouts. The Men In Green would be hoping to put up another disciplined show against the Indians and hope to improve their show than the league stage. Pakistan had scored the opening goal in the league stage but the Indians showed their class and skills to script a turnaround and win it by a comfortable margin.
The Indian team had entered the semis unbeaten and start off in a strong way from the first minute against Japan. Gurjant Singh(19'), Chinglensana (44') and Dilpreet Singh (55') scored for them. Despite a strong start, the Indian team failed to create clear shots on the goal. It is one department where they need to work on.
What time does the final match begin?
22:40 PM (IST)
Star Sports Network