India, Japan, S. Korea and Malaysia enter Asia Cup Semifinals
Sep 07: Defending champion India continuing its excellent outings in Asia Cup registered an emphatic win of 16-0 over Thailand. This was the last Pool B encounter for India and it has already booked its place in semifinals. So far India has own all of its five matches with a record goal margin.
Taking 15 points from its Pool matches now India will face another strong competitor Japan in one of the semifinals. Japan in its encounter against Singapore enclosed an 8-0 win and confirmed its place in the semis. Japanese team captain Takahiko Yamabori played brilliantly to list a hat-trick in this tournament.
In another encounter the Korean hockey team placed a convincing 8-0 victory over Bangladesh though Bangla goal keeper Mohammad Zahid Hossain saved as many as three goals. Now Korea will meet Malaysia in the other semifinal meet. Malaysia earlier in a Pool A match had secured a 2-0 win over Japan. In
Earlier Japan and Malaysia were in a tie with 6 points each in Pool A. But the three time champion Pakistan only managed a 3-3 draw against Malaysia and hence giving a point to Malaysia to take its point to 7. But a win of Japan over Singapore on Thursday knocked out Pakistan from semifinal berth.
As far as South Korea and China are concerned both were well qualified to make it to the semifinal as per their winning rate but Korea put China behind in a goal difference. Both were in tie with 10 points each but at the end of their pool matches Korea scored 41 goals and conceded eight, while China scored 32 times and conceded six. That was the difference in placing Korea in the finals.
Coming back to India’s performance the crowd in Chennai were expecting another high goal scoring matches from India considering its earlier matches. The match was just like a practice session for India as V Raghunath puts six goals in his credit of the 11 penalty corners. Till the half time the score was 10-0 as Tushar Khandekar, Prabhjot Singh and S V Sunil puts one goal each.
In the second half the Thai’s while only playing for formality though managed to keep the ball for sometime but Tushar again came with another goal and Gurbaj Singh, Rajpal Singh contributed one each to finish 16-0. Captain Dilip Tirkey was rested ahead of the semifinal clash against Japan.
Thailand was not able to take anything positive from this tournament as they conceded 67 goals, the highest number, losing all their five matches and finished at the bottom of the point table.
Both the seminal will be played on Sep 08 and the final in Sep 09 as per the match schedule.
Pool A: Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore
Pool B: China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, South Korea, India,
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