Kuantan, May 16: Tushar Khandker scored twice to help India thrash Japan 5-1 on Friday and secure a fifth-place finish in the Asia Cup.
In the play-off for fifth, India took less than a minute to open scoring through Rajpal Singh's field attempt at the Wisma Belia Stadium in Kuantan city in eastern Malaysia.
Captain Sandeep Singh's trademark penalty corner flick gave his team a 2-0 lead in the 22nd minute, but Hiroki Sakamoto reduced the deficit for Japan three minutes before half time.
Japan began the second half with a furious attacking pace but lost steam quickly, allowing India to seize control by scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes through Khandker in the 64th and 69th minutes and Prabodh Singh in the 66th minute.
South Korea and Pakistan will fight out Saturday's final, with the winner getting the only spot available in next year's World Cup in New Delhi.
China and Malaysia will play off for third on Saturday.