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'Experimental' India off to winning start
May 13, 2004 15:26 IST
An experimental Indian team got off to a winning start, defeating Japan 2-1 in the opening match of the four-nation hockey tournament at Gifu, Japan, on Thursday.
India, who are playing the tournament with several youngsters, scored both their goals in the first-half.
Arjun Halappa gave the side the lead in the 22nd minute with a field goal before talented youngster Sandeep Singh made it 2-0 with a neatly-executed drag flick in the 30th minute.
Even though Japan reduced the margin in the first half itself, the Indians, led by mid-fielder Ignace Tirkey, were successful in holding on to their lead in the second half.
Heavy rains lashed the stadium during the match but that could not deter the Indians from garnering full points.
With a rest day tomorrow, India will take on Asian Games winners South Korea on Saturday.
China is the other team in the tournament, which concludes on May 18.