Mandeep’s hat-trick hands India 4-3 win over Japan

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 May 2017 09:18:07


IPOH (Malaysia),

STRIKER Mandeep Singh scored a brilliant hat-trick to hand India a fighting 4-3 victory over lower-ranked Japan in a round robin match of the 26th Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, here on Wednesday.


Having squandered the early lead provided by a penalty corner conversion from Rupinderpal Singh, India were trailing when Mandeep got into his goal-scoring act in the second half.
It needed two goals from Mandeep in the last 10 minutes to help India avoid a stunning loss.


Neutralising India’s early lead through Kazuma Murata’s fine deflection in the 10th minute, Japan led twice in the game with goals coming from Heita Yoshihara (43rd) and Genki Mitani (45th), but they could not overcome Mandeep’s brilliance.


Mandeep got into the goal-scoring act with a fine touch on a through ball from Harmanpreet Singh in the 45th minute.
He then came back to tap in a square ball from Sardar Singh in the 51st minute and then ensured three points for India by capitalising on a diagonal ball from Rupinderpal in the 58th minute.


Mandeep’s three goals kept India’s challenge alive in
the six-nation tournament, taking them to seven points from four matches.


Nine-time winners of the Azlan Shah Cup Australia scored 2-1 victory over Great Britain, virtually placing them in the final of the tournament.