Things haven’t gone entirely to plan for India at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia. The team started with a draw against Great Britain, despite leading twice, won against New Zealand but were poor against Australia on Tuesday to lose 1-3. On Wednesday, India kept slender hopes of playing the final alive with a Mandeep Singh hat-trick that helped the four-time champions win 4-3 against Japan.
India vs Japan, Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Score and Updates:
1505 hrs IST: HOOTER! India stage a double comeback to beat Japan 4-3 thanks to a Mandeep Singh hat-trick. Japan players are on the floor after the result. Big, big win for India in hopes of making the final.
1502 hrs IST: GOAL!! Mandeep Singh controls the ball into the area on a stretch and a reverse hit at 104kmph beats the keeper. Glorious control-and-strike! India lead 4-3!!
1455 hrs IST: Penalty corner for India. Big chance to take the lead. But the effort comes to nothing. Poor communication from India and we stay at 3-3
1451 hrs IST: GOAL! India equalise! Down the baseline from Talwinder Singh an India player and Mandeep Singh is on hand to push it in from close range. India have the momentum now. 3-3 with under 10 minutes to play
1446 hrs IST: Fourth quarter underway. India start by winning a PC. Rupinder Pal Singh stings keeper Shimmoto’s gloves but the rebound is sent wide.
1445 hrs IST: In the final 15 minutes, India need goals to get a much needed win. 3-2 to Japan at the moment
1442 hrs IST: Seconds later, Japan regain their lead. Chikte tries to push it off his left hand but there is too much on it to be saved. Genki Mitani with plenty on his shot from down the centre.
1440 hrs IST: GOAL! Mandeep Singh claims that there is contact after Rupinder Pal Singh delivers a low ball into the area. Lovely touch and deflection by Mandeep to beat the keeper. India equalise!
1437 hrs IST: GOAL! Japan take the lead. Lovely low cross at the far post, but don’t need the player on the far post to slide it in. Heita Yoshihara has given Japan the lead. Ball beats Chikte after going across from him. Could have done better. Japan up 2-1
1434 hrs IST: Talwinder Singh gets a green card. Elbows a Japan forward. Lucky to not suffer harsher punishment or give away a PC to Japan
1425 hrs IST: Underway in the second half. India start brightly and quickly create a chance to take the lead but the chance goes begging. Need to convert these and soon to open up hope of a convincing win should goal difference be used later
1415 hrs IST: Siren goes for half time and it is locked at 1-1 after the first half. India have enjoyed plenty of possession and come into the final third on numerous occassions but unable to test the keeper all that much.
1410 hrs IST: Ball loops up off the Japan keeper’s foot and that’s a penalty corner for India. Good release and grab but Rupinder Pal Singh is wide of the mark. Shot goes wayward with two Japan players coming on to block
1409 hrs IST: Now a chance for India to score but Japan hold firm in defence to ensure no shots are taken
1408 hrs IST: Chance for Japan to take the lead but the angled and square pass across the area is hard to latch on to. Chikte closes down the angle too. Stays at 1-1
1405 hrs IST: Japan appeal for a stick check from an India player inside the D. Penalty corner for Japan if decision goes their way. TV umpire says that’s a long corner for Japan. India keep their referral
1401 hrs IST: Both teams content with moving the ball around in the middle of the pitch. Not able to breach the defence of the opposition in the final third
1357 hrs IST: Second quarter is underway. Japan suddenly look brighter and not weary as they move forward
1355 hrs IST: At the end of the first quarter, India are level at 1-1.
1354 hrs IST: Penalty corner for India at the close of first quarter. And it is somehow, just somehow, saved by the Japan defender on the goal line. Rupinder Pal Singh with the shot destined to find the right corner or maybe go narrowly wide. Rebounds to another India shirt but the shot is wide.
1350 hrs IST: GOAL! Japan equalise with a Kuzama Murata goal. Ball from the right after India fail to close down a Japan player and defend. But it squeezes through to Murata at near ball and he beats Chikte at near post. 1-1. Once again India let go of their lead
1348 hrs IST: Superb and desperate dive by Rupinder Pal Singh to deny Japan from moving forward. Looked to be a good chance for them to equalise on the counter but to be denied by ‘Bob’
1346 hrs IST: Now a PC for Japan. But that is not trapped properly and chance goes away quickly for India. Seren Tanaka gets the green card for not backing away as India tried to resume play
1345 hrs IST: Congratulations to Talwinder on 50 caps with India.
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) May 3, 2017
1343 hrs IST: Penalty corner for India. First of the game. 8 minutes played in the first half. Sardar Singh injects and Rupinder Pal Singh bangs it into the top right corner. India lead 1-0!
1340 hrs IST: SV Sunil fails to hold on to a long, low and flat ball spread through from India’s half. Could have been interesting chance, alas, it comes to nothing
1335 hrs IST: And we’re underway in the first quarter. Rupinder Pal Singh with an early chance but an outstretched shot goes wide of the goal. India with bright start
1330 hrs IST: Teams out on the pitch. First national anthem of Japan followed by India’s national anthem.
1313 hrs IST: TEAMS:
India: Akash Chikte, Rupinder Pal Singh, Gurinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Pardeep Mor, Manpreet Singh (c), Akashdeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh, SV Sunil
Japan: Suguru Shimmoto, Shota Yamada, Genki Mitani, Seren Tanaka, Heita Yoshihara, Manabu Yamashita (c), Kota Watanabe, Hirotaka Zendana, Masaki Ohashi
1310 hrs IST: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup as India ready to take on Japan. A must-win game for India if they harbour any hopes of making it to the final. India are yet to play against Japan (today) and Malaysia (on May 5) but will still most likely need Australia or Britain to slip up. Japan, on the other hand, have picked up just a draw – 1-1 with Malaysia and lost the other two – conceding eight goals in total
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