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Asia Cup: India win bronze after 1-0 win over Japan

India beat Japan 1-0 to win bronze in the 2022 Asia Cup Hockey India

India's men's hockey team won bronze at the 2022 Asia Cup after a 1-0 win over Japan at the GBK Sports Complex Hockey Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia. In a tight contest, Raj Kumar Pal (7') scored the sole goal.

India began the match cautiously, holding possession in the midfield. Karthi Selvam received a pass inside the circle, and he passed the ball to Vishnukant Singh, who was left unmarked. But the Japanese defence deflected the danger away. A run from Uttam Singh down the right channel opened up Raj Kumar Pal inside the circle, and he put the ball into the goal to give India a 1-0 lead. India received back-to-back Penalty Corners before the end of the first quarter, but Japan defended well to clear the danger.

India immediately started stitching attacking moves in the second quarter, looking to quickly double their lead. It was Japan, though, who received back-to-back penalty corner opportunities as Indian defence faced their first real test in the match. But the first rusher Yashdeep Siwach denied Japan both times.

In the second half, Japan upped the ante. Captain Seren Tanaka tried to cross a dangerous ball inside the circle, but Dipsan Tirkey was alert and quickly cleared away the ball. Japan received another PC opportunity to get back on level terms, but the Indian defence stood firm. Another late PC for Japan tested Indian defence once again, but India yet again managed to hold on to their lead.

Japan earned yet another PC opportunity at the start of the final quarter, but it was blocked away by Manjeet. Uttam received a stunning pass from Abharan Sudev and he ran inside the circle to go one-on-one with the Japanese goalkeeper. But goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa managed to dispossess Uttam and made the save. Maninder Singh stitched a last-string attach in the final minute, but Japanese defence dispossessed him. But they were unable to get the equaliser in the last 30 seconds and India held on to the narrow lead.