28 Oct 2018: Asian Hockey Champions Trophy: India beat Japan 3-2
India had a tough time keeping Japan at bay in the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy semi-finals, but eventually managed a thrilling victory of 3-2 to set up an epic clash in the final against Pakistan.
Goals from Gurjant Singh, Dilpreet Singh, and a penalty corner by Chinglensana sealed the deal for India.
India would lock horns with Pakistan tonight in Muscat.
League: India had earlier handed Japan a humiliating defeat
During the league stage of the tournament, Japan lost 0-9 to India in a completely one-sided affair.
Japan's coach had hailed the Indian team and after the match, he admitted that they were too strong for Japan.
He had promised that it would be a different story if the two teams met again, and Japan did prove to be tough opponents, this time around.
Match proceedings: How did the match unfold?
Gurjant Singh scored in the 19th minute by neatly finishing a reverse flick, but Japan equalized three minutes later via Hirotaka Wakuri's strike.
The match was tied till the 44th minute but then Chinglensana Singh deflected a penalty corner shot by Varun Kumar to give India the lead once again.
India scored again in the 55th minute, to which Japan responded as well.
Comments: Captain Manpreet Singh's comments after the match
Indian captain Manpreet Singh admitted that Japan were a tough nut to crack, and they knew better they couldn't take them lightly.
Speaking about the final and facing Pakistan, the captain of the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy defending champions said that India have to be aware of their counterattacks and will have to put their best foot forward to secure a win.
Fact: When and how to watch the final?
India will take on Pakistan at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat tonight at 10:40 PM in the final of the Asian Hockey Champions Trophy. The match will be telecast on the Star Sports network. Fans can also live -stream the match on Hotstar.