Keen to reclaim the title they won in 2011, India began it’s Asian Champions Trophy campaign with an astonishing 10-2 humiliation of Japan in Kuantan on Thursday.
Rupinderpal Singh, the only experienced drag-flicker in the squad, scored six goals from set pieces while Ramandeep Singh, who replaced an injured SV Sunil at the last minute, scored a brace for India. Youngster Affan Yousuf and Talwinder Singh scored a goal each to complete India’s remarkable start to the tournament.
Playing their first match since losing to Belgium in the Rio Olympics quarterfinals, India proved their title credentials, completely dominating a fast-improving Japan. India is the highest-ranked team in the tournament and are favourites to win the gold medal. Defending champions Pakistan, meanwhile, were stunned by hosts Malaysia in their opening match, losing 4-2.