The young India side produced a brilliant performance to secure a bronze in the Asia Cup 2022 campaign. The Men in Blue’s gritty dominance on field helped them beat Japan 1-0 on Wednesday in Jakarta, extending their head-to-head record to 26-3 over Japan. India’s Raj Kumar Pal was the lone scorer in 70-minute match.
Uttam Singh along with Raj Kumar Pal produced a brilliant counter attack to push the side and register the only goal in the seventh minute itself. However, Japan did receive their chances but failed to make it cross the line in this all-important game. The last 10 minutes proved to be very crucial for the 10-men team (India) after Manjeet received a yellow card and was forced to serve a suspension.
The squad had an overall exceptional performance with 12 debutants and only two experienced players in Lakra and Simranjeet Singh. This is the second time that the Indian hockey team has finished third in their 11 Asia Cup appearances.
Notably, this is the first time in the tournament’s 40-year history that neither Pakistan nor India are into the final. Earlier during the day, Pakistan defeated Bangladesh 8-0 to finish fifth in the tournament.