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India finish top of the Asian Champions Trophy Group Stage, semifinal line-ups confirmed

After a domineering win over arch-rivals Pakistan 4-0, hosts India stormed into the semifinals of the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy 2023 and have booked a clash with Japan scheduled to be played on Friday, August 11.

While India had already confirmed a semifinal berth after defeating South Korea 3-2 and a win against Pakistan has turned out to be a bonus, on the contrary, Japan needed more than just a win over China.

Due to an inferior goal difference of -2, Japan had to rely on other results to go in their favour. The semifinal hopes for the Japanese were pinned on India and Malaysia. A loss for South Korea by a goal difference of two or more or a loss for the three-time champions Pakistan by a margin of two or more was needed to propel them into the semis.

India’s dominant display against the Muhammad Umar Bhutta-led side came as a blessing for the runners-up of the last edition and they confirmed a spot in the final four. Japan would like to draw some inspiration from their recent performance against the hosts when they were able to hold them for a draw (1-1). 

India seem as the favourites to win the clash as their skipper Harmanpreet Singh is leading them by example and from the front. He is leading the charts in terms of the goal scored in the ongoing tournament with seven to his credit thus far. He scored two goals upfront to give India the lead in the high-voltage clash against Pakistan at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai.

In the other semifinal fixture, defending champions South Korea will face Malaysia in a repeat of their group-stage clash where Malaysia got the better of South Korea 1-0. Both semifinal fixtures will be played on August 11, with Malaysia locking horns with South Korea initially and then the hosts taking on Japan later in the evening.

India will face Japan in the semifinals, while Malaysia will face Korea on Friday.