In the absence of skipper Sardara Singh, the Indian men’s hockey team suffered another defeat in the Asian Champions Trophy.
Midfielder Manpreet Singh is leading a young and inexperienced team slumped to its second consecutive defeat, losing 1-2 to hosts Japan at
Kakamigahara on Sunday.
The Indian team, mainly made up of junior players, squandered a goal lead to go down fighting against the Japanese, who rode on two field goals from Yasuhiro Nakayama to post their second straight win in the tournament.
Gurjinder Singh gave India the lead in the 12th minute by converting a penalty stroke before Nakayama drew parity in the 23rd minute.
Nakayama scored the winner for Japan in the 54th minute with another field strike to dash India's hopes.
India, who had picked up 13 juniors in their squad of 18 in view of the Junior World Cup to be held here next month, had earlier lost 0-1 to China in their tournament opener at the Gifu-ken Green Stadium on Saturday.
The Manpreet Singh-led Indian team will Oman in their next match on Tuesday.
Image: Manpreet Singh
Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images