Raghunath strikes twice in India’s 3-1 win
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VR Raghunath scored another brace as defending champions India posted a 3-1 win over Japan in Asian Champions Trophy hockey. Raghunath struck in the 22nd minute, but Japan equalised in the 50th. Gurwinder Chandi put India ahead only a minute later and Raghunath ensured the result with his second in the 59th minute. India had defeated China in the opener 4-0 on Thursday with Raghunath having found the net twice then too.
On Friday, Japan found the equaliser in the second half when Koji Kayukawa was awarded a penalty stroke, but India went on to dominate the next ten minutes and piled on pressure by earning three penalty corners of which Raghunath converted the third. Had it not been for Japan goalkeeper Akira Morishima, who repeatedly made good saves, India might have pulled away further.
Despite the win, coach Michael Nobbs said there was some problem moving from defence to attack and that the side made far too many basic errors. "Our defense was holding on to the ball for too long. We have to work on that, we don't play that way, that's not our style," the Australian said.