Kuantan [Malaysia], Oct. 21 (ANI
): India registered an emphatic 10-2 victory over Japan in their opener of the Asian Champions Trophy played yesterday.
Playing the second game of the day, after Pakistan had suffered a shock loss to the hosts in the opener, India were under pressure to perform and they did not disappoint their fans.
Any hopes Japan had of emulating the hosts were undone in the first two minutes, as Ramandeep Singh scored to give India the lead. Seven minutes later, Rupinder Pal Singh scored what was the first of his six goals from a PC to double India's lead.
Wearing the Captain's armband for the game, Rupinder scored a second, albeit with a bit of luck, a second dragflick taking a deflection to hit the back of the net. Not to be outdone, Ramandeep hit back and India walked into the first quarter with a 4-0 lead.
The game was a perfect example of how far India have come in the past six months. The last time these two teams met was at the Sultan Azlan Shah earlier in the year, India taking an age to dismiss Japan and record a toughly fought 2-1 victory. Here they had effectively guaranteed themselves the points after 15 minutes. And there was still more to come.
Rupinder Pal scored two and Talwinder Singh added one more in the second quarter, before Japan got one back to go into half time 7-1 down but perhaps not humiliated.
The second half offered Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans the opportunity to experiment his set up and offer players a bit more rest, with tougher challenges ahead. Japan were the ones who forced the play in the second half and scored a second against the run of play, but that was the last bit of fortune they would have. Rupinder Pal added two more to his tally in the final quarter and Affan Yousuf scored one, to give India a 10-2 victory.
India play Korea in their next game on October 22. (ANI