The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team returned to their winning ways with a strong performance against Japan, winning 5-1 in their third game at the 10th Sultan of Johor Cup. 

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For India, it was Captain Uttam Singh (3’), Rohit (12’), Johnson Purty (21’), Boby Singh Dhami (31’), and Amandeep Lakra (51’) who found the back of the net, while Ikumi Saeki (15’) scored for Japan.

1st Half of the game

After a delayed start, India got out of the blocks very quickly, as Captain Uttam Singh (3’) arrowed it home past the Japanese goalkeeper after a spell of domination. And even though Japan threatened with a couple of penalty corners right after, India’s defense wasn’t allowing them any space. India absorbed the pressure from Japan before Rohit (12’) fired home a penalty corner to give his side a 2-0 lead. However, just before the hooter, Japan pulled one back through Ikumi Saeki (15’), who converted a penalty corner to make it 2-1. 

In the second quarter, both teams traded blows in the first few minutes, playing with a lot of energy, before India regained their 2-goal lead as Johnson Purty (21’) found the back of the net with a crisp shot from the top of the circle. India continued to pile on the pressure in search of another goal, but they went into the half-time break with the score reading 3-1 in their favor.

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2nd Half

India started brightly in the second half, as Boby Singh Dhami (31’) added a fourth, further extending the advantage. The Indian Colts were in the ascendency and were dominating proceedings. Right after, Japan earned a fifth penalty corner, but a lousy trap allowed the Indian defense to pounce and clear their lines. Japan did step it up in the quarter’s final minutes, but India kept them out, maintaining the 3-goal lead and playing most of the game in their opposition’s half.

In need of a quick goal in the final phase of play, Japan went on the attack from the start, but India dug deep and controlled the situation well. Having dealt with the initial flurry of attacks, India stepped up the ante and Amandeep Lakra (51’) converted a penalty corner, making it tougher for Japan to mount a comeback. From then on, India controlled proceedings and closed the game comfortably, registering a 5-1 win.

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By Aakash Malhotra

Poet and a Storyteller