Bhubaneswar, May 9: India finally stamped their dominance against Japan, winning the fourth and the final match 4-0 and claiming the hockey Test series 3-0 at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday. Young striker Akashdeep Singh (27th and 53rd minutes), drag-flicker V.R. Raghunath (26th minute) and Dharamvir Singh scored the goals for India.
Japan too had their chances but they floundered. Halfway into the first quarter, Japan had a real chance as Daichi Kurogawa passed the ball to Ippei Fujimoto in the D, but the latter missed the target. Seconds left into the game, Yuvraj Walmiki slapped the ball into the D to SV Sunil but unfortunately for India Sunil could not connect and lost the opportunity, resulting in the quarter being a dry run.
Halfway into the second quarter, India had their first chance on penalty corner but Rupinder Pal Singh hit off target. In the 26th minute, India had their second chance on the penalty corner yet again and this time senior penalty corner specialist Raghunath made no mistake in finding the nets, giving India the 1-0 lead.
The next minute India broke the shackles of the Japanese defence again and Akashdeep scored a brilliant field goal, taking the lead to 2-0. The third quarter started again in India’s favour as they maintained the attack and the pressure on Japan.
In the 36th minute, India added their third when striker S.V. Sunil passed the ball to forward Dharamvir Singh, who entered the D with the ball and slapped it past the goalkeeper. Immediately into the last quarter, Japan had their first chance on the penalty corner and a chance to score their first goal. But the ball was hit wide of the post.
With a handsome 3-0 lead, India upped the ante and completely dominated the match thereon. In the 52nd minute, India had another chance as Ramandeep Singh had a clear chance to put the ball into the net but unfortunately he hit directly at the Japan goalie. Akashdeep tore past the defence of the opponents in the very next minute and scored a brilliant field goal, taking the score to 4-0. India had played a 1-1 draw in the opening match before winning the last three encounters.