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Rediff.com  » Sports » India pip Japan, meet Pakistan in Asian Champions final

India pip Japan, meet Pakistan in Asian Champions final

October 28, 2018 07:51 IST

IMAGE: India’s players celebrate after scoring a goal. Photograph: Hockey India

Defending champions India pulled off a 3-2 victory over Asian Games gold medalists Japan to enter the final of the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament, in Muscat, on Saturday night.

The world No. 5-ranked Indians had to draw on all their experience to overcome the Japanese, whom they demolished 9-0 in the league stage of the tournament earlier.

 

Young forward Gurjant Singh put India ahead in the 19th minute with a fine reverse hit field goal before Japan equalised through Wakuri three minutes later from a penalty-corner.

After the change of ends, India restored their lead when Chinglensana Singh deflected the ball home from a penalty-corner in the 44th minute.

Five minutes from the hooter Dilpreet Singh extended India's lead with a superb field strike, but their joy was short-lived as Japan reduced the margin a minute later when Zendana scored from a penalty-corner.

However, Indians defended well in numbers thereafter to thwart Japan's plucky fightback.

India will meet arch-rivals Pakistan in Sunday’s final.

Earlier in the day, two-time champions Pakistan defeated Malaysia 3-1 via the shoot-out, after a 4-4 draw in regulation period of the first semi-final, to enter the summit clash.