World No. 5 Indian national men’s hockey team is gearing up to take on Asian Games champions Japan in the semi-final of FIH Men’s Series Finals 2019 at Kalinga Stadium Bhubaneswar on June 14th. India reached the final-four member round after defeating Uzbekistan in their last encounter. The Blues thrashed the Uzbekistan squad by 10-0 on June 10th and book their spot in semis of the tournament which is considered to be a road to Tokyo Olympics 2020. Apart from India, Pool B top-rankers USA also progressed to the semi-final round and they will next lock horns with South Africa on June 14th.
Earlier in the tournament, Japan faced Poland in a crossover match on Wednesday where the Japanese squad sealed the game with a 6-2 win over Poland. World No. 18 Japan dominated its lead against Polish players with the help of star forward Koji Yamasaki who added as many as two goals for his side’s clinical victory. On the other hand, South Africa thrashed Russia by 2-1 in crossovers to meet Americans on Friday. The game was a hard nut to crack for South Africa as after the hard-fought battle the Africans found the opener through Nqobile Ntuli in the 40th minute of the game. In reply, Russia’s Georgii Arusiia levelled up the game in the 47th minute with a brilliant goal in the box. It was then Africa’s star player Julius Ryan who doubled the lead for his side at 53rd minute in order to give a successful win to South Africa against Russians.
Hosting team India who topped the Pool A stage matches after beating Russiam Poland and Uzbekistan in biggest hockey tournament is now sweating in the field to grab the shining trophy of FIH Men’s Series this year. In their exciting opener, Indian men stunned hapless Russia with the margin of 10-0. The winning momentum followed in their next match also where Indians defeated Poland by 3-1. During the third battle of FIH Men’s Series Finals, India toppled over Uzbekistan by 10-0 and directly entered in semifinals.
- South Africa vs United States at 5 pm (IST)
- India vs Japan at 7:15 pm (IST)