India suffered a 0-5 drubbing at the hands of title contenders Japan to crash out of the football competition after qualifying to the knock-out phase after 28 years in the Asian Games here on Tuesday.
India, who made it to the round of 16 after defeating Singapore 4-1 in their last group match, were no match to their formidable opponents who have won all their earlier matches and have not conceded any goal so far in the tournament.
Japan completely dominated the match with overwhelmingly better ball possession, superiority in skill and speed and scored through highly-rated young striker Kensuke Nagai (17th and 51st), Ryuohei Yamazaki (27th), Yamamura Kazuya (45th) and Mizinuma Kota (63rd).
Japan, who led 3-0 at half-time, had as many as 19 shots at the opposition goal of which 13 were on target.
India had just three shots at the Japanese goal in the entire match of which only one was on target.
Sukhwinder Singh brought in Oinam Milan Singh and Lalrindika Ralte in place of Manish Maithani and captain Joaquium Abranches in the 65th and 73rd minute hoping for some fightback but that did not make much difference though India did not concede any goal in the last nearly half an hour.
Japan had started the match as overwhelming favourites but India were looking for a tough fight after their good run in the tournament, which saw them lose two close matches before scoring an emphatic 4-1 win over Singapore.
They had lost 0-2 to Kuwait and had led 1-0 till the 80th minute against defending champions Qatar before going down 1-2 in the Under-23 competition.
Keywords: Asian Games 2010