India has remained unbeaten in the competition so far, topping the pool standings in the round-robin stage by accumulating 13 points from five matches. India started the competition with a 11-0 victory over host Oman, and then came from behind to defeat arch rival Pakistan 3-1 in its second match.
The semi-final will be a rematch of India and Japan’s third round-robin encounter where the world no. 5 had showcased its dominance to run away with a 9-0 victory over world no. 16. However, a rusty performance from the Indians saw them draw their fourth match against Malaysia 0-0, where the team wasted several chances. But the attackers did come good in their last match as the team defeated South Korea 4-1 to progress to the semi-finals.
Captain Manpreet Singh, who scored a stunning individual goal against Pakistan, believes that his team has the chance to peak at the right time when it squares off in the semi-final against Japan. “In the recent tournaments we have played this year, we have always started the competitions well, but have not been able to finish as well as we would have liked,” Manpreet said.
“With an eye on the World Cup , this semi-final encounter against a good Japanese side will give us the chance to peak at the correct time, and book a place in the final.”