Indian colts staged a magnificent comeback to beat Japan 2-1 in their opening match of the Junior Men's Asia Cup Hockey in Kuantan, Malaysia on Saturday.
The group stages commenced on Saturday and will be played through till November 17.
Indian captain Harjeet Sing was given a yellow card in the first minute of the match which led to India being reduced to 10 men momentarily.
Japan drew first blood eight minutes before the end of the first half, converting a penalty corner. India soon levelled through a penalty corner that saw Harmanpreet Singh scoring his first goal of the tournament. The end of the first half saw Japan again being awarded a penalty corner but it was saved efficiently by Indian goalkeeper Suraj Karkera.
The second half began with the Indian colts pressing hard on the Japanese team. Their hard work saw results through a penalty corner that was converted again by Harmanpreet Singh, giving India the much needed lead in the match.
Thereafter, India controlled the game, rarely allowing the Japanese forwards to make any inroads.
Coach Harendra Singh said, "We have been working pretty hard on our attack and defence and we feel that it has really paid off. The hard work in the camp back home has helped us counter the Japanese speed and we managed to gain our first win. The boys played really well and Harmanpreet's brace will do him a world of confidence."
India, who are placed in Pool A with Malaysia, Japan and China, will next play hosts Malaysia.
Malaysia defeated China earlier in the day.