Defending champions India will be hoping to secure a spot in the final of the fifth Men’s Asian Champions Trophy hockey meet when they take on Japan in the semi-final encounter at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on Saturday.
The defending champions have remained unbeaten in the competition so far as they topped the pool standings in the round-robin stage by accumulating 13 points from five matches via four wins and a draw.
India started the competition with a 11-0 victory over hosts Oman, and then came from behind to defeat arch-rivals Pakistan 3-1 in their second match.
The semi-final on Saturday will be a rematch of India and Japan’s third round-robin encounter where the World No. 5 had showcased their dominance to run away with a 9-0 victory over World Number 16.
However, a rusty performance from the Indians saw them draw their fourth match against Malaysia 0-0 where the team wasted several chances, but the attackers did come good in their last match as they defeated South Korea 4-1 to progress to the semi-finals.
Captain Manpreet Singh, who scored a stunning individual goal against Pakistan, believes that his team has the chance to peak at the right time when they play the semi-final against Japan.
“I think in the recent tournaments we have played this year, we have always started the competitions well but we have not been able to finish as well as we would have liked,” Manpreet said.
“With an eye on the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, this semi-final encounter against a good Japanese side will give us the chance to peak at the correct time, and book a place in the final,” the 26-year-old said.
There will be no dearth of confidence within the Indian team as they have not lost to the Asian Games 2018 Gold Medallist since the 2013 Men’s Asian Champions Trophy where Yoshihara Heita scored twice for Japan to register a historic 2-1 victory. (IANS Input)
Here’s all you need to know about the India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final:
When and what time will the India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final start?
The India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final will start at 10:40 PM IST (October 27) in India.
Where will the India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final take place?
The India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final will take place in Muscat, Oman.
Which channel will telecast the India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final live on TV?
The India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final will be aired live on Star Sports 2/HD 2.
How to watch the live streaming of India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final?
The live streaming of India vs Japan, Asian Champions Trophy semi-final will be available online on Hotstar, Jio TV.