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Harmanpreet Hits Brace as India Beat Japan in Asia Cup 2017 Opener

Harmanpreet Hits Brace as India Beat Japan in Asia Cup 2017 Opener”

Harmanpreet, who was also part of the Junior World Cup-winning squad previous year, scored again in the fourth quarter through a 48th-minute PC, where the Indian formation went for a variation played by Varun Kumar and converted by Harmanpreet.

This will be the fifth meeting between Pakistan and Bangladesh in Asia Cup.

The opening match of a tournament always holds greater significance for any team and India too would be hoping for a positive start ahead of their clashes against Bangladesh and Pakistan on 13 and 15 October respectively.

On the opening day, all the four teams of pool A will be in action.

The third quarter went India's way - they scored just two minutes after the resumption of play when Ramandeep Singh made a fierce strike from the right flank in the 33rd minute to give the Indians a 3-1 lead. This was the only practice match for the Green-shirts before the Asia Cup.

The fourth quarter was all about keeping shape and possession for the Indian team but they did not stop attacking the Japanese defence. "We can never take Japan to be an easy team", the India skipper said. Indian squad is a good mixture of youth and experience. He played a forward pass to SV Sunil, who then went past the goalkeeper before scoring.

"The Asia Cup is where I will get to see how the team reacts in match situations and where we are lacking and need immediate improvement", he added.

This sensational win against Japan must have issued a warning to other Pool A participants - Bangladesh and Pakistan - who will be facing India next.



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