Asia Cup: Rejuvenated India look to avenge defeat to Japan
Jakarta, May 27
Having risen like the proverbial Phoenix from the ashes, a rejuvenated India would like to put up a much-improved performance when they take on Japan in their first Super 4 match of the Asia Cup here tomorrow.
After a stuttering start to the campaign, India finally got going against Indonesia. The Sardar Singh-coached team must be lauded for scoring a whopping 16 goals in just an hour. They went one better than what was required to reach the Super 4 state. By doing that, India not only went through but also a delivered a blow to Pakistan’s World Cup hopes.
Both India and Pakistan finished on four points each in Pool A behind Japan, but defending champions India qualified for the next round due to a better goal difference, +13 as against Pakistan’s +12.
Having already qualified for next year’s World Cup as hosts, India fielded a young side for the tournament – it has 12 debutants – to gain much-needed experience.
The youngsters did not have the best of starts, drawing 1-1 with Pakistan before losing 2-5 to Japan, which pushed them close to the exit. But the Indians staged a dramatic turnaround to keep alive the hopes of defending the title.
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