India beat Japan in Olympic Test Event

Tokyo Daily News
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Striker Mandeep Singh struck a fine hat-trick to help the Indian men’s hockey team beat hosts Japan 6-3 and book a summit clash berth in the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo Tuesday.

The Indian team bounced back from their 1-2 loss against New Zealand with an impressive display in their third match at the Oi Hockey Stadium here. India again face New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday.

Mandeep found the target in the 9th, 29th and 30th minutes while Nilakanta Sharma (3rd), Nilam Sanjeep Xess (7th) and Gurjant Singh (41st) were the other scorers for India. Kentaro Fukuda (25th), Kenta Tanaka (36th) and Kazuma Murata (52nd) scored the goals for Japan.

However, a penalty corner was awarded to India in the seventh minute which was converted brilliantly by Nilam Sanjeep to help the team take a 2-0 lead.

India continued to take the aggressive approach and Mandeep found the back of the net with an excellent field goal in the ninth minute. Japan tried to make inroads in the last few minutes of the first quarter as they won a penalty corner. Gurinder Singh positioned himself brilliantly and defended the shot on the goal line. India led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.

India continued their attacking game in the second quarter with Jarmanpreet Singh taking a shot on goal, but putting it wide of the post. Captain Harmanpreet Singh had a shot on target, but the Japanese goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa pulled off a brilliant save.

Japan attacked the Indian defence in the the fourth quarter and scored their third goal through Kazuma Murata in the 52nd minute.

India were awarded a penalty corner with five minutes left on the clock, but the shot went wide off the post. India also saved a penalty corner in the dying minutes of the match.

The win put India in the second spot in the points table and they face toppers New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday.

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