ACT 2023 Semi-Finals: India battles Japan in Sreejesh’s landmark game | Hockey News – Times of India

CHENNAI: Minutes before Wednesday’s big game against Pakistan, special invitee and Indian cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin stood in the middle of the pitch to wait for his close friend PR Sreejesh, and the two hugged each other. White warmed the hearts of millions, but also highlighted Sreejesh’s contribution to the sport and the respect he received from fellow athletes of equally legendary status.

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Asian Champions Cup: India faces Japan in semi-finals


Asian Champions Cup: India faces Japan in semi-finals

When the senior Indian guard takes the field Mayor Radhakrishnan Hockey Stadium It will be the 300th international game of former India captain Sreejesh in an award-winning career spanning nearly two decades, which will take the field in India’s semi-final game against Japan on Friday.

This moment will be nostalgic for 35-year-old Sreejesh in more ways than one.
While Sreejesh hails from Kerala, he is registered as an actor in the state of Tamil Nadu.

hockey The federation played local hockey for the Indian Overseas Bank during this time. These memories will come to life in his 300th game for India.

Asian Champions Cup: India beat Pakistan


Asian Champions Cup: India beat Pakistan

“This outstanding achievement is a testament to his unwavering commitment to the sport, his extraordinary skills and unwavering passion,” former India coach and current USA men’s team coach Harendra Singh wrote in a Facebook post.
“Sreejesh has not only protected the Indian goal post with unparalleled knack, but has inspired countless aspiring athletes across the country,” Harendra said affectionately calling Sreejesh ‘Jangoo’.
But the bigger aim of Friday’s match is to qualify for the finals and beat Japan, the only team India has so far failed to beat in this competition and has managed to control India’s tactics.

It's almost like a blank canvas for me with all the players: India hockey coach Craig Fulton


It’s almost like a blank canvas for me with all the players: India hockey coach Craig Fulton

The league-stage match between the two teams ended in a 1-1 draw, but the home team’s Head Coach Craig Fulton believes that if his kids can show better scoring consistency in the tournament than in their previous matches against Japan, then it should be the final score. be in their favor
Head-to-head might be a heavy burden in India’s favour, but the reigning Asian Games champions are not compelling and can unsettle any team with their speed and stamina on the pitch.
Of the 34 matches played between the two teams, India won 27 and lost only 3. The other four matches ended in draws.

If Indian forwards can score enough penalty corners, Harmanpreet Singh will remain the biggest threat to the Japanese Samurai; In this case, Japan will want to strengthen its defenses and reduce the number of incursions into the Indian circle.

2 (1)

The top scorer of the tournament, Harmanpreet, was the favorite of Chennai fans last week with 7 goals. Led by drag-flick dominance, India also tops the overall scoring charts with 20 goals, including 14 from penalty corners – again the highest by any of the six teams in the competition.
This helped India get four wins in five league games and finish at the top of the table with 13 points, followed by Malaysia with 12 points, South Korea No. 3 and Japan No. 4 each. difference.

South Korea is the 5th-6th line between China and Pakistan. It will face Malaysia in the first semi-final on Friday before the playoff game.
Japan should thank India for finishing in the top four to qualify for the semi-finals as India’s crushing 4-0 win over Pakistan allowed Japan to beat Pakistan, which also holds five points, one step ahead of the goal difference. .
However, teams want to put these numbers aside and focus on the game that matters.
In the words of Coach Fulton: “The tournament starts now”.
Watch Asian Champions Cup: India faces Japan in semi-finals

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