By H.JanGra May 24, 2022
Indian team paid for its inexperience and profligacy with Asian champions Japan soundly thrashing them 5-2 in a group A league match of the men's Asia Cup hockey championship in Jakarta on Tuesday
Having drawn against Pakistan in the opening game, India's chances after this defeat have been badly dented as even a big win against Indonesia in the last game
Might not be enough for qualification to the knock-out stages
Ken Nagayoshi, Kosei Kawabe (twice), Ryomi Ooka and Koji Yamasaki scored for Japan while Pawan Rajbhar and Uttam Singh found the target for the Indians.
However, the younger crop of players didn't measure up against the Japanese, who looked more organised and hit India repeatedly on the counters.
The two seniors -- Birendra Lakra and SV Sunil -- looked well past their prime and couldn't make any tangible difference with their performances.
"First two quarters were very tough because we didn't get into any rhythm. We got better in the last two quarters but didn't create many chances," said Lakra, the India captain.
"In the final quarter, we lost our defensive structure and conceded a couple of goals. Also we lost two men and that had an effect," Lakra added.