Both the Indian teams will play back-to-back matches against Russia and USA on Friday and Saturday and the aggregate winners at the end of the two-match qualifier will seal their places in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Mandeep and Akashdeep sounded the board in the 39th and 54th minute respectively to seal the match in India's favour. In a gritty first quarter, India were the ones who took the initiative early, forcing Loic van Doren into a save from the first Penalty Corner of the game.
Both (Men's and Women's) teams are preparing for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, which are to be held in November later this year. The winners of the FIH Olympic Qualifiers will secure their place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In the ongoing FIH Series Finals here, World No. 5 India have been scoring goals at will under the leadership of new coach Graham Reid, and would want to continue the trend of putting the pressure on the opposition early on.
The Indian men's hockey team embarks on a new journey under recently-appointed chief coach Graham Reid as the eight-time champions start its quest for 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification with the FIH Series Finals which begins here Thursday.
Despite the two goals – scored by Nilakanta Sharma and Rupinderpal Singh – it can be argued that India's overall performance level had dropped on Friday compared to Wednesday's first test, which they had lost 4-0.