In the opening match of India-Japan Series at Bhubaneswar, the visitors held the hosts for 1-1 draw in front a good number of spectators at Kalinga Stadium.
Japan took the initial lead in the 19th minute of the match and was leading the game 1-0 till lemon break. India equalized through a good flick on penalty corner by VR Raghunath in 44th minute. Once scores were level, both the teams tried hard to get the winner and had chances but failed to score.
Young flicker and defender Harmanpreet Singh made his international debut in the match giving India the extra boost with his inclusion in the team. While, Birendra Lakra and Kothajit Singh played their 100th International match in Indian colors. Birendra as a defender has been a great asset to the Indian Hockey team since his debut on the International platform, while Kothajit because of his skills as a defender has contributed through his outstanding performance on the field in every match that he has played.
The 25-year old, Birendra has been the backbone of the team and even been part of all important international tournaments since he made his debut during the test series against South Africa in 2012. His outstanding performance over the last year resulted in he being adjudged the Player of the Year for 2014 at the first edition of Hockey India Annual Awards announced recently. Kothajit Singh made his debut in the year 2012 and is regarded as a crucial player in the defence line within the team.
Congratulating him on the feat, Hockey India President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said, “We congratulate Birendra on his achieving this landmark. He has played a key role in the defence line-up since he started playing for India on the international arena. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours and hope he continues his good form in the times to come.”
Congratulating Kothajit Singh on his achievement, Hockey India’s President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra said, “Hockey India is extremely delighted for Kothajit’s achievement of 100 international matches. The defender has been an integral part of Indian team and Hockey India takes utmost pride in congratulating him on his accomplishment of 100 International Caps.”
The next match in the India-Japan Hockey Series is scheduled on 5th May 2015 will be played at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar and will be telecast LIVE on DD Sports at 19.00 PM IST.
Schedule and Results of the India Japan Test series is as following (Live on DD Sports):
|1||03 May 2014 Sat||19:00||
|05 May 2014 Mon||19:00||India||vs||Japan|
|3||07 May 2014 Wed||19:00||India||vs||Japan|
|4||09 May 2014 Fri||19:00||India||vs||Japan|