Asia Cup-Hockey 2017: India thump Japan 5-1

Australia and New Zealand are among the three nations competing at the Oceania Cup

This will be the fifth meeting between the two countries in Asia Cup, where Pakistan has won three and lost just one.

A great start to the tournament achieved, the Indian hockey team would look to iron out a few flaws when they take on hosts Bangladesh in its second Asia Cup clash here tomorrow.

This sensational win against Japan must have issued a warning to other Pool A participants - Bangladesh and Pakistan - who will be facing India next. "The team is upbeat and ready for the first challenge", said skipper Manpreet on the eve of their opener.

"The first match is always hard as the players need time to settle down". Barring the initial setback when Japan equalised in the fourth minute, the Indians completely dominated the proceedings and displayed some skillful hockey.

"We are aware that we go into this tournament as the highest-ranked team and we will aim to keep up the No.1 status", the skipper has said.

A top ICC official has urged cricket bodies around the world to follow Australia´s lead and dramatically raise wages for women´s players to stop them dropping out of the sport. "We will comeback as a better team against India", he stated after the match against Pakistan.

The Asia Cup is also India's lone global outing before the yearending big event - the FIH Hockey World League Final to be held in Bhubaneswar. For India, Sardar played full back and had a consistent performance with both goalkeeper's - Suraj Karkera and Akash Chikte - playing a half each.

Marijne attributed the slow start to jitters.

"The Asia Cup is where I will get to see how the team reacts in match situations and where we are lacking and need immediate improvement", he added.

"We did not play a good match against Pakistan and made a lot of mistakes that led them to score so many goals".

Related News: