Cheers of the Japanese players after the victory

Japan beat India in the final


After Pakistan, India also failed. No team from the subcontinent could reach the final of the Champions Trophy Hockey.

Japan will face South Korea in the final tomorrow at 6 pm at Maulana Bhasani Stadium. Before that, India and Pakistan will meet in the third place match at 3.30 pm.

This is the first time that a team between India and Pakistan has failed to reach the final of the Champions Trophy Hockey. In the previous 5 finals, not only India vs Pakistan. In the third Champions Trophy in 2013, Pakistan’s opponent was Japan. For the second time, Japan reached the final on the stage of Asian hockey excellence.

In the first semi-final today, Pakistan lost to South Korea 5-6. But that fight is not in the second semis. The top favorites defeated India 5-3 in the last Asian Games and champion Japan. Japan went to the driver’s seat 5-1 before the match.

India scored two goals in the end but did not affect the outcome of the match.
However, in this Champions League hockey round robin league, India defeated Japan 6-0. That Japan will not be an obstacle in the semi-final in front of India – that is what everyone assumed.

But there may be results beyond the ordinary. That is what Japan has proved today. They were so perfect in stick crafts today that the bronze medalist in the recent Tokyo Olympics had to be humiliated.

From the start of the second semifinal at the Maulana Bhasani Stadium, Japan was aggressive. Japan got a penalty stroke in the first minute after a penalty corner (PC). Sota Yamada made it 1–0 from the stroke. After that, Raiki Fujishama made their 5th PC goal 2-0.

Dilpreet’s field goal in the second quarter made India 2-1 but they could not take advantage of the match. Yoshiki made the stroke 3–1 with the review. Japan made it 4-1 in the third quarter. Then the field goal 5–1. Harmanpreet made it 5-2 from PC in the fourth quarter. India needed 3 goals in the remaining 6 minutes. Hardak Singh’s stick was 5-3 in 59 minutes. By then the spectators were waiting for the last whistle.

At the end of the match, the Japanese players soaked in the congratulatory rain of the spectators. Japan players will never forget this night. They showed how to play as a team on the big stage.

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