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Asian Games 2018: India rout Japan 8-0 to maintain unbeaten hockey streak

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Defending champions India continued their unbeaten streak and registered their third victory at the 18th Asian Games with another 8-0 win over Japan in the hockey men’ hockey men’s competition in Jakarta on Friday.

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Rupinder Pal Singh (17th and 37th) and Mandeep Singh (32nd, 56th) scored two each, while SV Sunil (7th), Dilpreet Singh (12th), Akashdeep Singh (45th) and Vivek Sagar Prasad (47th) chipped in with a goal each as India continued with its goal-scoring spree.

The 2014 winners have now scored 51 goals in three matches after the mauling of Indonesia (17-0) and the record-breaking 26-0 defeat of Hong Kong in their opening two games of Pool A.

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Continuing their ruthless stature, India once again scored as early as the seventh minute when Akashdeep found Sunil with a reverse hit pass, which the experienced striker put into the net without much fuss.

Minutes before, Dilpreet had missed the target from a close range after a Surender Kumar cross deflected off him into the side netting. He, however, didn’t have to wait long and five minutes after Sunil had opened the scoring, he scored with a fierce reverse hit from across the goal.

Japan though was much superior to the earlier teams that India had faced and the World No. 15 for the first time in the competition tested Indian goalie PR Sreejesh, with a powerful Kenta Tanaka shot from just outside the box, which the Indian skipper deflected out.

With a 2-0 lead, India started the second quarter in a similar fashion and just minutes into play drag-flicker Rupinder scored from a penalty corner. He then had chances to score another but just like he had missed in the opening quarter, Rupinder failed to fins the net from two successive penalty-corners.

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India’s best game, however, came in the fourth and final quarter when they scored as many as 4 goals. First Amit Rohidas set up Mandeep before Rupinder scored his second from India’s fourth penalty corner.

Japan had their chances but failed to beat the Indian defence, while India scored another three from field play in the dying stages of the game.

Coach Harinder Singh was however unimpressed with his boys’ display and despite the victory, he lamented the several missed chances, including the three penalty corners.

“I am not happy with the scoreline. We missed a lot of chances and that is not acceptable in a tournament like this,” he was quoted saying by PTI after the match.

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