Azlan Shah Cup: Mandeep shines as India beats Japan

India registered a narrow 4-3 victory over Japan to keep its hopes alive in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh on Wednesday.

Sardar Singh in action during India’s Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match against Japan in Ipoh on Wednesday.   -  AP

India registered a narrow 4-3 victory over Japan to keep its hopes alive in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh on Wednesday. However, its fate will be decided only after the conclusion of the match between Great Britain and Australia later in the day.

With Mandeep Singh scoring a hat-trick, the superiorly ranked (world No. 16) Japan was stunned. Mandeep struck in the 45th, 51st and 58th minutes to help the Indian side return to winning ways. Earlier, Japan maintained supreme and literally toyed with the Indian attack. Going by its style of play, it looked as if Japan would pile on India's miseries.

But on India's day, that did not happen.

Heita Yoshihara and Genki Mitani gave Japan the lead, but Indians held their nerves to launch a fightback.

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