The Indian Hockey team led by Midfielder Manpreet Singh ended the prestigious continental tournament with a scintillating win over arch-rivals Pakistan by 4-3. Goals by Harmanpreet Singh (2′), Sumit (45′), Varun Kumar (54′), and Akashdeep (57′) helped India beat Pakistan in a match of tense moments.
India defeat Pakistan 4-3 to clinch bronze in Asian Hockey Champions
Hero Asian Champions trophy hockey in Dhaka came to end with India finishing 3rd and Japan emerging as the Asian champions. India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in a nail-biting contest by 4-2 and Korea ended Japan’s hope of winning the championship by defeating them 4-2. Resilient India came back from behind to beat arch-rivals Pakistan
Captain Manpreet Singh praised players of both teams for their excellent game during the match. He expressed determination to do better for the forthcoming international tournaments for the Indian hockey team. In the first quarter, India drew the first blood as Harmanpreet Singh scored the first goal of the match.
India was not able to hold the lead, as Pakistan retaliated on India’s defensive error, Pakistani attacker Afraz made a quick attempt on goal. He was successful in putting the ball past India’s goalkeeper, fetching his team the much-needed 1-1 equalizer. The second quarter started at a 1-1 stalemate, the two Asian heavyweights traded opportunities to score but neither was successful.
Pakistan gained the lead in the 33rd minute with a brilliant goal by their young midfielder Abdul Rana, who led the Pakistani Junior team at the recent FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He picked up a rebound off a penalty corner to send the ball swiftly past the Indian goalkeeper Pathak.
The Indian side made constant penetration but it was in the 45th Minute when midfielder Sumit earned India an important goal after he was tactfully assisted by forward Gursahibjit who beat three Pakistani defenders on the left flank to set up the goal, Making the scoreline 2-2. In the 54th and 57th minutes, India scored through Varun Kumar’s penalty corner and Akashdeep Singh’s fine field goal that sealed the match in India’s favour.