India registered an outstanding and one-sided win against Japan in their opening encounter of the Four Nations Hockey Invitational Tournament in New Zealand. For India, debutants Dilpreet Singh and Vivek Prasad scored two goals each and Rupinder Singh and Harmanpreet Singh got one apiece.
India started dominating from the opening hooter of the game and they didn’t give a single chance to the opponent team. The senior and star drag-flicker of the team Rupinder Pal Singh opened the goal tally in his own typical style as in the seventh minute of the game when he successfully converted a penalty stroke. After five minutes of the game, Prasad, who was playing his first match for India, proved his inclusion right as he scored his first goal and doubled his own tally which helped India enter with a 3-0 lead at the half-time.
Prasad’s performance definitely motivated another debutant Dilpreet who score his own maiden goal for the senior team soon after the game resumed. India had an upper-hand in the game and the team gave a chance to another debutant Krishan B Pathak who came in the place of PR Sreejesh. Japan did better in the second half in comparison to the first as they seemed moving freely on the turf. But before that India increased their lead to 5-0 and this time it was Harmanpreet who converted the penalty into a goal. Just two minutes after conceding the goal, Japan got their only chance in the game when they terrifically targeted India’s post but Pathak’s presence of mind won the appreciation of the seniors as he went down low to his left and managed a brilliant save.
The latter part of the game was worse for the Japan side as Dilpreet followed Prasad’s path and doubled his own goal account as he scored the sixth goal for India. In the final 15 minutes of the game, India was in no mood of giving an inch to Japan but they tried to attack more aggressively in the search of consolation goals but they failed to cross Pathak.