- Indian vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh is in excellent form
- India beat Japan 6-0 in the league match
- Korea will face Pakistan in the second semi-final
Defending champions and Olympic bronze medalist India, who made a stellar comeback from a slow start, will take on Asian Games gold medalists Japan in the semi-finals of the Asian Champions Trophy men’s hockey tournament on Tuesday.
The Indian team has the upper hand in this match. India’s spirits are high after beating Japan 6-0 in the last round robin match. Now his eyes will be on another blazing victory.
India, however, will have to avoid complacency or else all its hard work will be wasted. India have ten points in the round-robin stage of the five-nation tournament while Korea are second with six points. Japan and Pakistan have five points each and hosts Bangladesh have not opened the account.
India, playing their first tournament after winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, were held to a 2-2 draw by South Korea. India then defeated Bangladesh 9-0 and Pakistan 3-1. After that defeated Japan.
Vice-captain Harmanpreet Singh scored two goals from the penalty corner against Japan and will prove to be a tough challenge for Japan as well. Manpreet and Hardik Singh have done well in the midfield.
Dilpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Shamsher Singh have also scored some good field goals. India dwarfed Japan in every department in the league match and would like to repeat the same performance in the semi-finals as well.
Young goalkeeper Suraj Karkera has done exceptionally well so far. Defenders along with Harmanpreet Singh saved five penalty corners against Japan. India will have to avoid giving so many penalty corners. A minor lapse could deprive them of their second successive ACT title. Meanwhile, Pakistan will face Korea in the second semi-final.