After topping the group stage by winning all the three games, India have made it to the semi-finals of the ongoing FIH Series Finals in Bhubaneswar. They will be up against the Asian Games winners Japan in their next match with an aim of making it to the final and into the FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
Apart from the game against Poland, the Indian men had an easy outing in the group stage of the FIH Series Finals here at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. They had thrashed Russia and Uzbekistan by 10-0 goals each in both the matches and the Manpreet Singh-led side must be high on confidence when they start against the Asian Games gold medallists from Japan. The forward line will try to create more chances while the defence will be up against a formidable Japanese unit with an aim of maintaining a good record.
Japan, on the other hand, had to take a different route into the semis. They defeated Poland in the cross-over game and came to meet the hosts on Friday. Although, they have already made it to the Olympics being both the hosts and the winners of the 2018 Asian Games. Japan is such a side which has the experience of playing on the turf here in Bhubaneswar before. They had played a four-match test series back in 2015 and India had a convincing win against them back then. However, a lot have changed since then and Japan have that in them to trouble the hosts in the semi-finals.