Thanks to Mandeep Singh’s hat-trick against Japan, India remain in contention for a spot in the finals of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2017. In a closely fought match in Ipoh Malaysia, India defeated Japan 4-3 to register their second win of the tournament.
The match saw momentum shift from one team to another with both the teams giving nothing away. However, it was Mandeep’s hat-trick of goals that helped his side register a crucial win. Mandeep netted goals in 45th, 51st and 58th minutes to outplay Japan. Also Read- Injured PR Sreejesh ruled out of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
Things started on the right note for India when in 8th minute Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty corner into a goal. However, five minutes later Japan equalised through Kazuma Marata. With both the teams finding the net in the first quarter, the second quarter ended as a goalless. And at half time the scoreline read India one, Japan one.
In the 43rd minute, Japan took the lead as Yoshihara scored a wonderful field goal. However, Mandeep scored his first of three goals in the 45th minute to make it two each.
Towards the end of third quarter, Japan once again took the lead thanks to Genki Mitani’s field goal. At the end of third quarter, Japan were leading 3-2.
At the start of the fourth quarter, India had an opportunity to draw level with a penalty corner, but Rupinder failed to find the net on this occasion. But in the 51st minute, Mandeep scored his second goal to make three each.
A reverse hit by Mandeep in the 58th minute then sealed the deal for India.
India now have seven points from four matches. India earlier in the tournament started with a draw against Great Britain and then defeated New Zealand but in their last game lost to Australia. The team will now takes on hosts Malaysia, Friday 05.