Asian Champions Trophy: India stick to winning

August 10, 2023

HockeyAsian Championship


Skipper Harmanpreet Singh scored twice as a dominant India beat arch-rivals Pakistan by a 4-0 margin in their final round-robin league match to enter the semifinals unbeaten here today.

Harmanpreet (15th, 23rd minutes) converted two penalty corners, while Jugraj Singh (36th) netted from another PC. India’s final goal was scored by Akashdeep Singh from a field play in the 55th.

The result meant India topped the standings with 13 points with four wins and one draw.

It was heartbreak for Pakistan as they crashed out of the tournament on goal difference despite finishing on five points, same as South Korea and Japan.

Pakistan needed at least a draw or a one-goal defeat to make it to the semifinals.

India will play Japan in the semifinals on Friday, while Malaysia will locks horns against South Korea.

It was an attacking start to the game from both the teams. Pakistan were threatening as they got into the Indian circle on quite a few occasions, but their backline stood strong and didn’t allow any inroads to their neighbours.

Pakistan had the first try on goal in the form of penalty corner which was brilliantly saved by Indian goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak.

However, it was Harmanpreet who handed India the lead, converting the team’s first penalty corner with a powerful low flick to the left of Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal Hussain just at the stroke of the first quarter.

India won their second penalty corner in the 23rd minute and Harmanpreet scored with a fierce drag-flick in between Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal’s legs.

India continued to put pressure on Pakistan defence with constant attacks and in the process earned back-to-back penalty corners in the 30th minute but Harmanpreet failed on both occasions.

India led Pakistan 2-0 at halftime. Six minutes into the third quarter, India secured their third penalty corner and this time Jugraj Singh made no mistake to hand the hosts a comfortable 3-0 lead. Pakistan earned a rare penalty corner, their second of the game, in the 43rd minute but wasted the chance.

India made it 4-0 when Akashdeep Singh deflected in Mandeep Singh’s strike.

Earlier, Malaysia edged defending champions South Korea 1-0 through Abu Kamal Azrai, while Japan beat China 2-1. — PTI

Related Post