Tokyo Olympics, Hockey highlights: India beats Japan 5-3 in final group game

Hockey at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games score: Here are all the commentary updates from the final men's Pool A encounter between India and Japan on Friday.

Gurjant Singh (R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring for India against Japan in a men's hockey group A match at the Tokyo Olympics.   -  AP Photo/John Locher

Welcome to Sportstar's coverage of Indian men's hockey team's last Tokyo 2020 group game against Japan. This was Dominic Richard taking you through the action as it unfurled at the Oi Hockey Stadium.

That's it for today. Thanks for tuning in!

FOLLOW BLOG | Tokyo Olympics, IND vs RSA Women's Hockey LIVE: India takes on South Africa

Indian Hockey action for the day comes to an end. Tomorrow, the Indian women's side will square off against South Africa in a must-win game at 8:45 AM IST. It is fighting with Ireland for the final last-eight spot from Pool A.

MATCH REPORT | Tokyo Olympics: India thumps Japan 5-3 to finish second in group stage

So the Indian men's hockey team ends the group stage of the Tokyo Olympics in second place, behind Pool A leader Australia. The team will face either Netherlands, Great Britain or Germany in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

AND THE MATCH IS OVER! INDIA BEATS JAPAN 5-3!!!

59' GOOOAAAALLL!!! JAPAN PULLS ONE BACK! It's still 5-3 in favour of India. This was a Kenta Tanaka masterclass. He got the ball back from an Indian player, entered the circle, dribbled past Sreejesh and set up Kazuma Murata, who scored with ease in the end.

56' GOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!! INDIA HAS A 5-2 LEAD NOW!!! A brilliant PC variation from India. Varun Kumar took over the set-piece duty this time around. He slipped a pass towards Gurjant Singh at the right post. And a diving finish from Gurjant gave the Indians a fifth goal.

54' PENALTY CORNER FOR INDIA! Harmanpreet Singh is on PC duty as usual. He fires a shot on target but the ball goes out after hitting a Japanese player. Long corner for India.

51' GOOOAAALLLLL!!!!! INDIA 4 - 2 JAPAN!!!  Nilakanta Sharma deflects the ball into the net at close range after receiving a delicate pass from his Indian teammate Surender Kumar, who received a long pass well on the left flank himself.

50' WHAT A SAVE!!! PR Sreejesh makes a brilliant double save to deny Japan the equaliser. Seren Tanaka had come up with the initial shot.

47' INJURY! Japan goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa is down on the ground, writhing in pain, after being struck on his right shoulder by Indian midfielder Hardik Singh. However, he's fine to continue.

THE FOURTH QUARTER IS UNDERWAY!

It is still advantage India, but Japan looks like equalising anytime now. The Indian defence has to be solid during the final 15 minutes for the team to snatch the three points here.

THE THIRD QUARTER COMES TO AN END!

45' Nilakanta, India's best player so far, slots the ball into goal. However, the umpire doesn't award it due to dangerous play in the build-up. The score stays 3-2 in favour of the Indians.

43' PENALTY CORNER FOR INDIA! Harmanpreet Singh with the drag flick as usual. The ball misses the target by a bit. Japan tries to initiate a quick counter-attack.

40' SHOT! Genki Mitani dispossesses an Indian player in midfield and rushes forward. He tries to find Watanabe up front with a lethal flick. But the ball misses everyone and heads out of play.

37' India has maintained a 58 per cent possession in this match so far. The team has made 19 attacking circle penetrations too as opposed to Japan's six.

34' GOOOOAAAALLLL!!!! INDIA TAKES A 3-2 LEAD NOW!!! Just moments after Watanabe's goal for Japan, Shamser Singh scores at the other end. He deflected a shot from Nilakanta Sharma, at the edge of the circle, into the post.

33' GOOOAAAALLLLLL!!!!! JAPAN 2 - 2 INDIA!!! The umpire initially gave it as a penalty stroke after India's Surender Kumar blocked a shot from Kota Watanabe with his body. However, on referral, it was clear that he had blown his whistle only after the ball hit the back of the net.

THE THIRD QUARTER STARTS!

An eventful opening half comes to an end. Harmanpreet Singh and Gurjant Singh gave India a 2-0 lead. Kenta Tanaka pulled a goal back for Japan to turn this match into an exciting affair. Thirty minutes to go. Stay tuned!

THE SECOND QUARTER IS DONE AND DUSTED!

30' INJURY! Japan's Shota Yamada goes down to the ground after a collision with an opposition player. The medical staff bring a stretcher into the field. This looks serious.

28' Varun Kumar takes the ball forward on the left flank. He tries to set up Shamser Singh inside the circle. But the Japanese defence stays alert to avert the danger.

25' CHANCE FOR JAPAN! Japanese forward Kazuma Murata makes a wonderful run forward. However, his final shot on target is blocked as India regains possession.

22' This has been a fast-flowing game so far. Tanaka now has five goals in the Tokyo Olympics. India still dominating the possessional, attacking and passing stats today.

19' GOOOAAAALLLL!!!! JAPAN PULLS ONE BACK!!!!! Indian defender Birendra Lakra gave away the ball cheaply. Kenta Tanaka got to it in no time, took a few steps forward and beat goalkeeper PR Sreejesh with a stunning shot.

17' GOOOAAAAAALLLL!!!!!!! INDIA 2 - 0 JAPAN!!! Simranjeet Singh and Gurjant Singh combine well to extend India's lead, This was a delightful move up front. Simranjeet came up with an excellent assist and Gurjant had a simple finish to execute.

THE SECOND QUARTER IS UNDERWAY!

The goal from Harmanpreet Singh is the difference between the two teams as India holds a slender 1-0 lead over Japan.

THE FIRST QUARTER ENDS!

15' India with a couple more chances. The Japanese defence looking extremely rusty today. We might have a high-scoring match here.

13' GOOOOAAAAALLLL!!!!! INDIA TAKES A 1-0 LEAD!!! Fourth goal of the tournament for Harmanpreet Singh. Another penalty corner, and another flawless drag flick. Japanese goalkeeper Takashi Yoshikawa did get a hand to the ball though.

10' SHOT! This was the first real chance for Japan. Kenta Tanaka got into the circle, took a turn and fired a shot, but the ball went just wide.

7' VERY CLOSE! Vivek Sagar Prasad could have given India the lead. But his shot at close range misses the target by a whisker. Close escape for Japan, which is playing for the consolation victory today.

5' CHANCE FOR INDIA! Harmanpreet Singh sends a dangerous ball into the shooting circle. But a Japanese defender clears it away.

2' India getting its passing game going early on. Lots of short, quick exchanges in the middle. Having already sealed second place in the group, the Indians will be looking for a morale-boosting win ahead of the quarters.

AND THE MATCH BEGINS!

The players from both teams are out on the field, and it is time for the national anthems, which will be followed by the toss in the middle.

The team lineups are out!

INDIA XI: PR Sreejesh (GK), Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar, Harmanpreet Singh, Amit Rohidas, Manpreet Singh (C), Hardik Singh, Nilakanta Sharma, Dilpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Sumit.

COACH - Graham Reid.

JAPAN XI: Takashi Yoshikawa (GK), Koji Yamasaki, Genki Mitani, Seren Tanaka, Kazuma Murata, Kenta Tanaka, Yuma Nagai, Manabu Yamashita (C), Masaki Ohashi, Shota Yamada, Hirotaka Zendana.

COACH - Siegfried Aikman.

In case you missed it, the Indian Women's Hockey Team defeated Ireland 1-0 in a Pool A encounter earlier in the day to stay alive in the tournament. India needs to beat South Africa tomorrow and hope that the Irish don't win against Great Britain to advance to the quarterfinals.

READ MORE | Women's Hockey: India beats Ireland 1-0 to keep quarterfinal hopes alive in Tokyo

India reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 men's Olympics hockey tournament in Tokyo on Thursday, thanks to an inspired 3-1 victory over the 2016 Rio Games gold medallist Argentina, while the Netherlands and Great Britain also progressed to the last-eight stage.

FULL STORY | Tokyo Olympics: India beats Argentina 3-1 to seal quarterfinal berth

FULL SQUADS:

India - P.R. Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar, Amit Rohidas, Birendra Lakra, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit, Shamsher Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh, Varun Kumar, Simranjeet Singh.

Japan - Koji Yamasaki, Genki Mitani, Seren Tanaka, Hiromasa Ochiai, Kazuma Murata, Kenta Tanaka, Kenji Kitazato, Yuma Nagai, Manabu Yamashita, Kaito Tanaka, Ken Nagayoshi, Kentaro Fukuda, Masaki Ohashi, Shota Yamada, Hirotaka Zendana, Takashi Yoshikawa, Kota Watanabe, Yoshiki Kirishita.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs):

  • At what time will the Indian men's hockey team be in action?
    The hockey game against Japan will start today at 3 PM IST (6:30 PM local time).
  • Where to watch Indian events at Tokyo Olympics?
    The Sony Sports Network will broadcast Tokyo Olympics live in India.

    Sony TEN 3 HD/SD will telecast India events with Hindi commentary while Sony TEN 1 HD/SD and Sony TEN 2 HD/SD will have English commentary.

    Live streaming of the events will be available on the SonyLIV and JioTV apps.