Asian Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy: India come from behind to beat Pakistan

Men in Blue score two goals in two minutes to register 3-2 win

Nabil Tahir October 24, 2016
While Pakistan dominated play for much of the match, Pal’s penalty corner shifted the entire dynamics of the game in favour of India. PHOTO COURTESY: AHF

KARACHI: The Pakistan national hockey team were left to rue defensive lapses as they lost 3-2 to arch-rivals India in their Asian Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy encounter in Kuantan, Malaysia yesterday.

Pakistan started the brighter of the two teams but were pegged back in the second quarter when Pradeep Mor’s deflected cross found its way into the back of the net.

Muhammad Rizwan Sr ensured Pakistan did not trail for long as 15 minutes after conceding the first goal, he hit a powerful shot past Indian goalkeeper Parattu Raveendran Sreejesh to level the score, while eight minutes later Muhammad Irfan Jr gave the Greenshirts a 2-1 lead when he nudged the ball for his team’s second goal.

India beat Pakistan 3-2 in Asian Champions Trophy match

India, however, were ruthless in their response and scored two goals — the first coming from a brilliantly taken penalty corner by Rupinder Pal and the second by close-range shot by Ramandeep Singh — in the space of two minutes to take the wind out of Pakistan and claim the match 3-2.

Pakistan captain Fareed Ahmed said after the match that their lack of concentration allowed India to score.

“In the first quarter we lost a bit of concentration and allowed India to score,” he told The Express Tribune before adding that the penalty corner by Pal turned the game on its head.

Greenshirts make amends with last-gasp winner

“We followed the coach’s advice but Pal’s penalty corner was a game changer as it instantly increased the pressure on us,” he added.

Ahmed further said that he was happy with the way the team played against a better ranked opponent. “We are ranked 13th in the world while India are ranked sixth. The fact that we kept them on their toes for the majority of the match is praiseworthy. I’m proud of the effort the whole team put in.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 24th, 2016.

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