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FIH Men's Series Finals: India secures finals berth after 7-2 win over Japan

ANI  |  Hockey 

defeated 7-2 in the semi-finals of the FIH Men's Series Final on Friday here at

The all-Asian encounter started at a high tempo, as it took only 90 seconds for to open their account after a great pass from was converted into a goal by immediately put pressure on in an attempt to get a quick equaliser.

After a great save from following a shot from Nilakanta Sharma and a missed opportunity by Gursahibjit Singh, the home team levelled the score with a penalty corner from Harmanpreet Singh, who celebrated his 100th cap in the best possible way.

But Japan were determined to give a hard time to the 5th ranked team in the world. First, Kenta Tanaka, at the conclusion of one of his numerous fast runs, put the Indian defence under pressure. Then, in the 20th minute of the game, Kota Watanabe managed to hit the ball into the goal, making it 2-2.

But once again, reacted with no delay. First scored from a penalty corner and then Hardik Singh doubled their team's tally within two minutes (4-2).

In the second half, India won numerous penalty corners and it was - later elected Man of the Match - who converted, scoring his second goal of the night. He was soon copied by his teammate Gursahibjit Singh, increasing the score to 6-2 at the end of the third quarter.

The final quarter gave the opportunity to India's youngest to put his name on the scoresheet, much to the delight of the home crowd. Despite several penalty corners, Japan could not find the net in this second half.

"Japan played very well. They were attacking and did not give us easy chances in the first two quarters. But after that our players played very well, they got good chances and we converted penalty corners. We're really happy because we're qualified for the Final and for the FIH Olympic qualifiers. Tomorrow is a really important game for us because is doing very well. We hope we'll play as we played today," Manpreet Singh, the Indian said.

Earlier in the day defeated USA 2-1 in the semi-final and secured their place in the final.

India will play in the final against South Africa, whereas Japan and USA will compete for third place on June 15.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, June 15 2019. 00:15 IST