Team India displayed a breathtaking performance as it defeated arch rivals Pakistan by 4-0 to enter the semi-finals as the group toppers in the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 on Wednesday.
Skipper Harmanpreet Singh scored twice, with both the goals coming from penalty corners. Jugraj Singh too got his name on the scoresheet, converting another penalty corner in the third quarter. Akashdeep Singh hammered the final nail in the coffin, tapping in a ball from Mandeep in the final quarter.
The Asian Champions Trophy 2023 hockey tournament got underway at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai on August 3 and will conclude on August 12. Six of Asia’s hockey teams: India, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Japan and the People’s Republic of China are playing in the 2023 Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament.
The Asian Champions Trophy 2023 is being conducted in two phases – a group stage where all six teams play each other in a single-legged round-robin format followed by the knockout/classification stage. After the group stage is over, the top four teams make the semi-finals while the bottom two play in the fifth-place classification match. The two semi-final winners move on to the final on August 12 while the two losing teams play each other in the third-place playoff match.
Out of the six teams playing in the group stage, the four teams which are slated to go into the semi-finals are India, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. India and Malaysia were the only two teams who seemed to dominate the group stage with both of them winning 4 games out of their 5 while Japan and South Korea somehow scrapped into the semis in spite of winning just 1 each. This also turned out to be a pretty disappointing tournament for Pakistan and China who could not play to the optimum level despite there being motivation amidst the team, especially Pakistan who were vocal in coming to India and having a good tournament.
The fifth-place match between Pakistan and China and the two semi-finals are scheduled to take place on 11th of August. In the semi-final 1 we will see Malaysia faceoff against South Korea who have not been very impressive so far. As for semi-final 2, group toppers India will face Japan which is expected to be an easy victory for India. The winners of the two semi-finals will faceoff on 12th August.