MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Asian Champions Trophy: India look to maintain intensity throughout 60 minutes in semi-final against Japan

No doubt, India will start favourites after their unbeaten run in the round-robin stage, winning four matches besides being held to a draw in one game to top the points table

PTI Chennai Published 11.08.23, 09:04 AM
India players after their victory against Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy on Wednesday.

India players after their victory against Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy on Wednesday. PTI Photo

Maintaining intensity throughout the 60 minutes and consistency in finishing would be India's targets when the hosts take on Japan in the semi-final of the Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament here on Friday.

No doubt, India will start favourites after their unbeaten run in the round-robin stage, winning four matches besides being held to a draw in one game to top the points table.

ADVERTISEMENT

However, India would be wary of Japan, the only side the hosts have not beaten. The league match between the two sides had ended in a 1-1 draw.

There is a wide gap in the world rankings between the two teams as India are at fourth spot as against 19 of Japan. But the home side should not forget that they had lost to Japan 3-5 in the semi-finals of the 2021 edition in Dhaka after thrashing them 6-0 in the league stage.

India have scored the most number of goals — 20 — so far in this tournament but they missed chances galore against Japan in their league match, and the hosts will have to make amends for their poor finishing against the same opponents on Friday.

Craig Fulton’s side could also utilise just one of the 15 penalty corners they had earned against Japan in the earlier match and now will have to find ways to score from them.

Fulton said that it would be vital for his side to maintain consistency in all four quarters of the match.

“We had some good consistency in each quarter (against Pakistan), which we did the same during the Japan game. We also had more penetration into the circle in each quarter than Japan. So, it will be about maintaining consistency and not doing it just one way,” he said.

India vice-captain Hardik Singh agreed with his coach but felt that besides the final execution inside the box, more patience would be needed to get more goals against Japan.

“We expect to carry the same momentum. But, we still need to have more patience inside the box, which is extremely important. Also, we need to set up the tempo of the game. We will be treating them (Japan) as a top team.”

As far as Japan are concerned, they sneaked into the semi-finals ahead of Pakistan on better goal difference, though the two sides collected five points each.

India are favourites to win, but Japan will try to take a cue from their earlier performance against the hosts.

Malaysia take on defending champions South Korea in the first semi-final.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT