India defeated China 4-1 in their last pool match to maintain a clean slate going into the quarterfinals of the junior men's Asia Cup hockey tournament, in Kuantan, on Tuesday.
The win over China helped the Indian colts, who had earlier defeated Japan 2-1 and hosts Malaysia 5-4, register their third consecutive win in the tournament and finish on top of Pool ‘A’.
India will now meet Oman, the bottom-placed team of Pool ‘B’ in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
For India, Manpreet Singh Junior (52nd, 67th minutes) fired two goals through penalty corner conversions while Harmanpreet Singh (16th) and Ajit Pandey (37th) scored one goal apiece.
China's lone goal was scored by Haifeng Guo in the 43rd minute.
India started the match on an attacking note pressing hard on the weak Chines defense, but could only broke the deadlock in the 16th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Harmanpreet.
"It is good that we have continued with our winning momentum. It gets tougher from here, and we all realise that we now enter the knockout zone hence every match is a new championship for us. I am glad that the boys stuck to the basics. We head back now to prepare for the quarterfinals and hopefully we will have enough to rejoice after that match as well," Indian junior men's hockey team's chief coach Harendra Singh said.