Pakistan and Japan fire blanks, India held by Korea
Pakistan and Japan fire blanks, India held by Korea

Joint defending champions India will now face hosts Bangladesh Wednesday in Dhaka

Joint defending champions Pakistan and Japan played out a tame goalless draw in their opening match of Hero Men’s Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Tuesday evening at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium in the capital.

In the proceedings, both the teams got several scoring chances but failed to break the deadlock as both the teams failed to convert any of those into a goal.

Japan will contest their second match against Korea Wednesday while Pakistan will play their next match against arch-rivals India Friday.

Earlier, in the day’s first match, Korea came from behind to force joint defending champions India to a 2-2 draw in the inaugural match of the tournament.

In the day’s match, forward Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and defender Harmanpreet Singh scored one each for India while Jonghyun Jang and Sunghyun Kim netted for Korea.

Olympic bronze medalist Indian men’s hockey team started brightly and took the early lead in the fourth minute through Lalit before vice-captain Harmanpreet doubled their lead converting a penalty corner in the 33rd minute.

Trailing 0-2, Korea made a brilliant fightback in the match after the change of ends in the third quarter when Jang reduced the margin scoring their first goal in the 41st minute.

Kim stunned the joint defending champions to restore parity in the 46th minute.

India have won this prestigious event thrice since its inception in 2011 and have bagged the previous two editions held in 2016 in Kuantan, Malaysia and 2018 in Muscat, Oman.

The men in blue will now face hosts Bangladesh Wednesday at the same venue before facing Asian Games champions Japan Sunday, sandwiched between the Pakistan clash.

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