Japan hold India to 1-1 draw in Asian Champions hockey

September 4th, 2011 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Ordos (China), Sep 4 (IANS) A last minute equaliser by Japan denied India their second straight win at the inaugural Asian Men’s Champions here Sunday.

Striker Gurvinder Singh Chandi put India ahead in the 22nd minute while Japan fought back to level in the 69th minute from Shiokawa Naoto.

The initial quarter was played at a fast pace with both teams giving little away particularly in the midfield. Thereafter India appeared to take control and a brilliant goal was slotted home by Chandi after a relay of passes amongst the midfielders and forwards.

A determined Japan bounced back after the break, catching the Indian defence on the wrong foot. Rupinder Pal Singh received a 10 minute yellow card suspension for an accidental foot foul which increased the team’s vulnerability.

India conceded the equaliser in the dying minutes of the match when Naoto deflected in from an acute angle.

India, who have four points from two fixtures will clash with South Korea Tuesday.

Earlier, the Indian women were thrashed 1-4 by South Korea.

India missed two chances to break into an early lead but skipper Saba Anjum and Deepika failed to beat the Korean goalkeeper.

Thereafter the Koreans held sway, scoring three goals through Kim Hong Eun (19th min), Park Mi Hyun (37th min) and Cheun Seul Ki (55th min penalty corner).

India reduced the margin in the 61st minute with a blistering penalty corner hit by Joydeep Kaur, but the Koreans came back in the 69th minute with another penalty corner conversion by Cheon Seul Ki. They next play Japan Tuesday.

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