ACT 2023: Misfiring India Draw With Japan

Chances go abegging as hosts stutter 

Harmanpreet Singh.

A profligate India missed chances galore to be held to a 1-1 draw by a determined Japan in their second match of the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium in Chennai on Friday.        

While Ken Nagayoshi scored for Japan in the 28th minute, India drew level through skipper Harmanpreet Singh's penalty corner conversion in the 43rd minute.

India had defeated China 7-2 in their opening match on Thursday.

It was an engaging first quarter, with India starting off in an attacking fashion.

However, despite some positive possession-based play and scoring chances, both the teams failed to find the back of the net.       

While Japan saw a player being substituted with an injury, India received as many as seven penalty corners in the quarter, but failed to successfully convert one.

While Vivek Sagar Prasad earned a green card in the eighth minute, nothing separated the two sides in the opening quarter.

The intensity remained the same for both the teams in the following quarter, before Jugraj Singh was green-carded in the 27th minute.

The following minute resulted in a penalty corner for Japan, and Nagayoshi successfully converted it to put his side ahead.                  

After the change of ends, India played technical as well as relentless hockey and engaged in aerial balls as well.

With Japan continuing to be ruthless in its defence, the Indians eventually managed to earn a penalty corner in the 43rd minute, and Harmanpreet made no mistake this time to flick it hard into the net to draw level.

In the final quarter, both the teams switched to attacking hockey.

India earned a penalty corner in the 55th minute, but a successful video referral from Japan got the decision to be overruled, while Mandeep Singh saw a yellow card a minute later.

India earned as many as 15 corners compared to Japan's two, butto no use.

After a day's break, India will take on Malaysia on Sunday, while Japan will play Pakistan on the same day.