Favourites India thumped Japan 3-1 in a crucial Pool A match in the Men’s Junior Asia Cup hockey championship in Salalah on Thursday.
In another match at the Sultan Qaboos Youth Complex courts, Malaysia also prevailed over Bangladesh 3-1 to top the Pool B with six points from two matches.
Against India, it was Japan who took the lead in the 19th minute through Kumpei Yasuda.
India found their way back after the half-time. Star forward Araijeet Singh Hundal netted the equaliser through a field goal in the 36th minute.
Sharda Nand Tiwari converted a penalty corner in the 39th minute to put India in the lead. Uttam Singh struck from another penalty corner in the 56th minute as India confirmed victory with a 3-1 scoreline.
In the earlier match, Malaysia went ahead in the 8th minute with a Daniel Shafiq Ikhmal field goal. Suhaimi Shahmie Irfan made it 2-0 in the 13th minute from a penalty corner.
Naim Syamim increased the lead to 3-0 in the next minute from another penalty corner.
After the half-time, Mohammed Abdullah pulled one goal back for Bangladesh in the 37th minute from a penalty corner.
Malaysia consolidated their position in the 43rd minute when Suhaimi found his second goal from a penalty corner to make the score 4-1.
Suhaimi hit his third goal in the 59th minute from another penalty corner as Malaysia rounded off the scoreline at 5-1.
PAKISTAN TOP POOL A
On Wednesday, Pakistan thrashed Thailand 9-0 to emerge toppers of Pool A.
Abdul Rehman was the star of the match by netting five goals (19, 41-pc, 46, 48, 48th minutes). Other scorers were Abdul Shahid (15), Abdul Wahad (30), Arbaz Ahmad (53-pc) and Mohammed Murtaza (54-pc) with one goal each.
Pakistan and India have six points each from two matches but Pakistan are topping the group on better goal average.