But that lead lasted really short as Japan countered with a superb team build-up and equalising the score in the next minute.
Indian hockey team registered a thumping 5-1 victory against Japan on Wednesday in the Asia Cup opener played in Dhaka. Harmanpreet converted India's second penalty corner in the 35th minute before making it 5-1 with a fine variation from its third penalty corner. In 22nd minute, Lalit Upadhyay executed some world class ball play and scored a brilliant goal, putting India ahead again.
"We have part-time players who assembled just before the Asia Cup because they had to study and work". India did not let Japan make a comeback into the game and kept the possession to end the third quarter with the same score-line.
Hero Asia Cup 2017 is one of the premier hockey tournaments globally and is a much sought-after competition that promises great entertainment. Last edition's runner-up India, led by midfielder Manpreet Singh, will be eyeing a flawless start to their campaign in Pool A which also features arch-rivals Pakistan and hosts Bangladesh.
Skipper Manpreet didn't shy to call Japan a tough rival, though he assured his boys are "upbeat for the first challenge".
On the opening day, all the four teams of pool A will be in action.
"We are aware that we go into this tournament as the highest-ranked team and we will aim to keep up the No.1 status", Manpreet added. It was also a winning debut for Sjoerd Marijne as National Coach.