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Indian women's hockey team play Japan in ACT opener

Press Trust of India  |  Donghae City (Korea) 

Defending champions will have a tough opening test as they take on mighty in their first match at the fifth women's Asian here today.

The team led by experienced defender and eye a strong start against world no.12 Japan, who have in the past given a hard fight, often challenging them with a structured defence.

In the 2013 Asian final, had beaten to emerge winners.

In the 2016 edition where India eventually won the title for the first time, had held India to a 2-2 draw in the pol stages and had also defeated finalists

India had also lost 0-2 to Japan in last year's Hockey World League Round 3 but avenged that loss in the Asia Cup where they defeated Japan, who were the defending Champions and hosts.

"We have always had tough competition against Japan. They are a quality team and breaking their defence early in the match will be crucial for us," said 27-year-old Sunita.

India can take heart from their 6-0 win against in the warm-up match yesterday.

The team, according to Sunita, is high on confidence after doing well against higher ranked teams at the recent the Gold Coast

"We want to make a good start to the tournament and the team is confident of it. We no longer go into tournaments as the underdogs. We had a good warm-up match against We hope to carry the same consistency into our first game tomorrow," Sunita asserted.

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

First Published: Sat, May 12 2018. 18:05 IST