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India thrash Japan 7-2 to enter FIH Series final

IANS  |  Bhubaneswar 

tore apart reigning champion 7-2 in a one-sided encounter to storm into the summit clash of the FIH Series Finals hockey tournament here on Friday, assuring themselves a place in the year end's Olympic qualifying event.

(23rd, 37th) scored a brace in his comeback match after a long lay-off while Harmanpreet Singh (7th), Varun Kumar (14th), (25th), Singh (43rd) and (47) all got on to the scoresheet.

sounded the board through (2nd) and Kota Watanabe (20th).

will face in Saturday's final while will lock horns with the USA in the third place play-off match.

had earlier defeated USA 2-1 in the first semifinal.

Japan took the lead in the second minute from a counter attack with Kitazato turning in a pass from from their first attack.

But got their act together soon after, as Harmanpreet equalised from a second penalty corner.

Varun then beat the Japan defence with a powerful grounded flick to hand the hosts a 2-1 lead.

In the 20th minute, Japan scored their second goal from a counter-attack as Watanabe sounded the board after being set up by

India restored their advantage three minutes later through Ramandeep, who scored his first goal for the country after returning from a year-long break.

Minutes later, India made it 4-2 when Hardik scored. There was no looking back from then on as Ramandeep scored his second goal of the day in the 37th minute while and also netted from field efforts to register an emphatic win after the change of ends.

The FIH Series Finals provide two spots in the Olympic Qualifiers to be held in October-November this year.



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

First Published: Fri, June 14 2019. 22:22 IST