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2020 Oly Qualifier
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OTE: Goals rain as Indian men reins in Japan (8/20/2019)
--s2h Team
Indian men's hockey team entered the Final of Olympic Test event today after putting out a much needed high win which came against the hosts Japan 6-3 in the last pool match today. The win fetched India six points to stay behind topper and all win New Zealand.

Indian men's hockey team teams seemed to itching a good performance today after being defeated by New Zealand the other day. This is what one feels when India pumped in five goals against Japan in the first half. On Sunday, New Zealand surprised India with a 2-1 victory, the winner emerging in the dying seconds of the match. The Vantage Blacksticks thus climbed to top spot in the points table, leaving higher ranked India at second rung. The defeat has seemingly spurred India to perform better today when action resumed after a day's rest.

Its Manipur born Mumbai star Nilakanta Sharma who started torrent in the very third minute. Nilam Xess through a penalty corner increased the lead within next four minutes. Mandeep Singh then took over the onslaught. He struck, in flamboyant manner of course, a hattrick, goals coming in 9th, 29th and 30th minutes.

The hosts Japan, whose ladies narrowly lost to India in the opener, managed to extract a goal through Kentaro Fukuda (1-3) but Mandeep's late first half twin strikes kept India comfortable at half time (5-1).

The second half was conspicuous for Indian submission. Though Gurjant Singh struck once in the session, its Japan who retrieved enormous prestige with good fight. The spirited fight back paid dividends. Kenta Tanaka (36th minutes) and Kasuma Murata (52nd min) helped the hosts narrow down the score (6-3).

Earlier in the day, New Zealand held on to its good show, handing out Malaysia its third loss (1-3) in as many as matches. With two majestic wins and a narrow loss, India earned six points while NZ with three wins topped the pool. Malaysia is winless while Japan has got three points to finish third at the table.

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