India to face Japan in junior men's Hockey Asia Cup opener
India is placed along side Malaysia, Japan and China in Pool A.
Kuantan (Malaysia): India will play Japan in the opening match of the eighth junior men's Asia Cup hockey tournament here.
Placed in Pool A along side Malaysia, Japan and China, the Indian colts are touted as one of the favourites to lift the title in the eight-nation tournament to be held at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium here from November 14 to 22.
The other competing teams in tournament are Korea, Pakistan, Oman and Bangladesh, who are placed in Pool B.
India will be high on confidence going into the tournament having finished runners-up in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup. The Indian colts lost 3-4 to Great Britain the nail-bitting penalty shoot-out.
Speaking about his team's recent performances, especially on the Malaysian soil, Indian junior team's chief coach Harendra Singh said: "We feel Malaysia is our second home and we are expecting great support throughout the tournament.
"The Japanese play a very tight game and speed is their major weapon. We have worked on our defence and attack and we will be expecting to give a strong show in the tournament," he said.
India captain Harjeet Singh added: "We will try and stick to our routine and keep it simple. We believe Japan will be equally prepared and enthusiastic for the match, but we shall put our best foot forward."
After Japan, India will play hosts Malaysia on Sunday before locking horns against China on November 17 in their last pool match.