In a repeat of last edition's semi-final, undefeated India take on Japan for a place in the final of Men's Asian Champions Trophy 2021 in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Tuesday (December 21). The IND vs Japan hockey match will be telecast live and fans can also stream it online from 5:30 PM IST. (More Hockey News)
After a lacklustre 2-2 draw with South Korea in the tournament opener, the Manpreet Singh-led side registered facile wins against hosts Bangladesh (9-0), arch-rivals Pakistan (3-1) and Japan (6-0) to finish the round-robin stage with 10 points. Japan finished fourth in the five-team tournament with one win (5-0 against Bangladesh) two draws and one defeat.
Now, back to their best after a slow start, three-time champions and Olympic bronze-medallist India would start as overwhelming favourites against Japan. But Graham Reid's men will need to guard against complacency as their 6-0 win against Japan in the league match will have little bearing in the knock-out game.
Congratulations to all the 4ï¸ÂÂÂâÂÂÂ£ teams for making it to the Semi-Finals of Hero Men’s Asian Champions Trophy Dhaka 2021ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂDecember 20, 2021
In that match, as many as five players scored with Harmanpreet Singh hitting a brace. But skipper Manpreet Singh is aware of the challenge, and said "This is our first competition after the Olympic success and we never came into the tournament thinking the matches will be easy for us. These are all tough teams... We cannot underestimate any team and definitely not take a team like Japan lightly."
In the 2018 semi-final, India defeated Japan 3-2.
In the first semi-final, Pakistan take on South Korea. The two teams played out a 2-2 draw in the league stage, but the Koreans finished second with six points (one win and three draws). Pakistan won one, drew two and lost one to finish third with five points.
Top-three goal scorers after the league phase
Harmanpreet Singh (IND) - 6 goals; Dilpreet Singh (IND) - 4 goals; Jang Jonghyun (KOR) - 4 goals
Both semi-finals will be played on Tuesday. Here's all you need to know about the IND vs JAP, KOR vs PAK semi-final matches:
First semi-final: South Korea vs Pakistan
Time: 3:00 PM IST/ 3:30 PM local
Second semi-final: India vs Japan
Time: 5:30 PM IST/6:00 PM Local
Venue: Both the matches will be played at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium, Dhaka.
Both South Korea vs Pakistan and India vs Japan Asian Champions Trophy 2021 semi-final matches will be telecast live on the Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports Select 2/HD in India.
South Korea vs Pakistan and India vs Japan hockey matches in Men's Asian Champions Trophy 2021 will be streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar.
All the Men's Asian Champions Trophy 2021 matches will also be streamed live on the watch.hockey app.
Who will play in the final?
There's a distinct possibility of India and Pakistan meeting in the final, once again. The final will be played on Wednesday. The start time is 5:30 AM IST.
The traditional powerhouses have played in all but one final in Asian Champions Trophy history. India defeated Pakistan in a penalty shoot-out to win the inaugural edition (2011). Pakistan won the next edition (2012) with a 5-4 win against India.
India finished fifth in the 2013 edition with Pakistan winning the crown. In the final, they defeated Japan 3-1. In the 2016 final, India defeated Pakistan 3-2.
India Squad: Goalkeepers - Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Suraj Karkera; Defenders - Harmanpreet Singh, Gurinder Singh, Jarmanpreet Singh, Dipsan Tirkey, Varun Kumar, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Mandeep Mor; Midfielders - Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Sumit, Rajkumar Pal, Akashdeep Singh, Shamsher Singh; Forwards - Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Dilpreet Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Shilanand Lakra.