- Latest News
- Sunday Mid-Day
- Mumbai Guide
- Brand Media
- Mid-Day Gold
- Content Services
There is a wide gap in the world rankings between the two teams as India are at fourth spot as against 19 of Japan. But the home side should not forget that they had lost to Japan 3-5 in the semifinals of the 2021 edition in Dhaka after thrashing their opponents 6-0 in the league stage.
India have scored the most number of goals -- 20 -- so far in this tournament but they missed chances galore against Japan in their league match, and the hosts will have to make amends of their poor finishing against the same opponents on Friday.
Craig Fulton's side could also utilise just one of the 15 penalty corners they had earned against Japan in the earlier match and they now will have to find ways to score from the PCs. Following India's 4-0 thrashing of arch-rivals Pakistan on Wednesday, Fulton noted that it would be vital for his side to maintain consistency in all the four quarters of the match.
As far as Japan is concerned, they sneaked into the semifinals ahead of Pakistan on better goal difference, though the two sides collected five points each. Japan had minus two goal difference as against minus five of Pakistan. Overall, Japan's performance in the competition has been far from convincing. They managed just a win (vs China) and lost and drawn twice. Even though, India are favourites to win on Friday, Japan will try to take a cue from their earlier performance against the hosts.
Although Japan have impressed defensively, especially in how their defenders were tackling the Indian attackers during the penalty corners, their attacking line-up has been disappointing. Before the India vs Japan match, second-placed Malaysia will take on third-placed and defending champions South Korea in the semifinals on Friday.