Dhaka: Unbeaten India will lock horns against Japan in the second semifinal encounter for a spot in the final of the Men’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy 2021 in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Tuesday (December 21).
The Indian hockey team has started their championship defence in spirit, with two wins and a tie from three games thus far in the tournament. Following a disappointing 2-2 tie with South Korea in the tournament opener, Manpreet Singh’s side cruised to victories against hosts Bangladesh (9-0), arch-rivals Pakistan (3-1), and Japan (6-0) to conclude the round-robin round with ten points. With one win (5-0 over Bangladesh), two ties, and one loss, Japan finished fourth in the five-team competition.
India, the three-time winners, and Olympic bronze medalists will start as clear favorites versus Japan, having returned to their best form following a sluggish start. However, Men in Blue must avoid complacency, since their 6-0 league victory against Japan will have little influence on the knock-out round.
Congratulations to all the 4️⃣ teams for making it to the Semi-Finals of Hero Men’s Asian Champions Trophy Dhaka 2021🏆
— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 20, 2021
“This is our first competition after the Olympic success and we never came into the tournament thinking the matches will be easy for us. These are all tough teams… We cannot underestimate any team and definitely not take a team like Japan lightly”, said skipper Manpreet Singh ahead of the semifinal.
Besides, this will be a repeat of the 2018 edition semifinal where India defeated Japan 3-2.
In the first semi-final, Pakistan take on South Korea on Tuesday around 3:00 PM IST/ 3:30 PM local. The two teams played out a 2-2 draw in the league stage, but the Koreans finished second with six points (one win and three draws). Pakistan won one, drew two, and lost one to finish third with five points.
A look at when and where to watch India vs Japan match:
The match between India and Japan is scheduled to start at 5:30 PM IST/6:00 PM Local at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium, Dhaka. The semifinal will be telecast live on the Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports Select 2/HD in India, and streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar.
All the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2021 matches will also be streamed live on the watch. hockey app.
India Squad: Goalkeepers – Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Suraj Karkera; Defenders – Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Mandeep Mor; Midfielders – Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Sumit, Rajkumar Pal, Akashdeep Singh, Shamsher Singh; Forwards – Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra.