Asian Champions hockey: Pakistan suffer shootout heartbreak

Published: September 11, 2011
After containing their arch-rivals in the group match and 85 minutes of the final, Pakistan could not hold their nerve in the penalty shootouts and lost their 11th tournament final to India. PHOTO: AFP

After containing their arch-rivals in the group match and 85 minutes of the final, Pakistan could not hold their nerve in the penalty shootouts and lost their 11th tournament final to India. PHOTO: AFP

The final was everything fans hoped it would be as the two arch-rivals battled it out till the penalty shootouts before India overcame Pakistan 4-2 to clinch the first Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China.

The epic battle saw the two teams struggle for a goal and go at full-time deadlocked at 0-0.

Even the 15-minute extra-time failed to yield a result, taking the match to penalty shootouts that was held under altered rules with the striker taking on the goal-keeper from a 23-metre line for eight seconds.

However, it was India who emerged victorious after a better display in the breaker.

Meanwhile, Pakistan dominated the game in regulation time but could not find a way through the Indian defence.

Pakistan seemed to be missing their penalty-corner specialist and world’s leading goal-scorer Sohail Abbas as the Asian Games champions failed to convert a single penalty-corner out of eight chances created in the regulation time. In contrast, their opponents just managed to earn a single penalty-corner.

India came back strongly in the shootouts by beating goal-keeper Imran Shah four times through captain Rajpal Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Yuvraj Walmiki and Sarwanjit Singh while missing just once.

The Greenshirts managed two goals through Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Wasim while Shafqat Rasool and Haseem Khan’s misses cost them the trophy.

‘We were unlucky’

Pakistan manager Khwaja Junaid felt the team deserved the victory after the way they played the final.

“There was a clear factor of misfortune,” Junaid told The Express Tribune from Ordos. “We deserved to win because we kept India under pressure throughout the match,” said Junaid.

However, the Olympian was a pleased man after the team’s impressive run. “The final can be anybody’s game and our loss is not a matter of concern.

“Reaching the final with this young team is itself a big achievement and we are focusing on the positives since we have found various team combinations.”

PHF satisfied

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) praised the team’s show in the tournament.

“Losing on shootouts is not alarming,” the PHF’s Associate Secretary Rana Mujahid told The Express Tribune. “The PHF is satisfied with the overall performance of this young team for which the selection committee was heavily critcised.”

However, Mujahid said that the PHF would assess its decision after getting the tour report by the team management.

“We will know after the report if we missed the seniors or whether we have found a good combination.”

Samiullah hails performance

Olympian Samiullah Khan was content with the team’s performance saying the Greenshirts fought hard in the final.

“It’s always upto luck after the game goes past full-time,” said the former captain.

“The scoreline suggests the team worked hard and the performance was also impressive.”

Pillay says win will lift India

Legendary Olympian Dhanraj Pillay of India felt the Asian Champions Trophy title will lift the team’s confidence ahead of tougher tasks.

“It’s not a major title but still a confidence-boosting win,” said Pillay. “Both the teams were equal in terms of performance before India edged out Pakistan on the penalty shootouts.”

Ex-India captain Dhanraj Pillay

“It’s not a major title but still a confidence-boosting win. Both the teams were equal in terms of performance before India edged out Pakistan in the penalty shootouts.”

Olympian Samiullah Khan

“It’s always up to luck after the game goes past full-time. The scoreline suggests the team worked hard and the performance was also impressive.”

PHF assoc secy Rana Mujahid

“We’re satisfied with the performance of this young team for which the selection committee was heavily criticised. We’ll find out soon if we have found a good combination.”

Pakistan manager Khwaja Junaid

“We were unlucky. We deserved to win because we kept India under pressure throughout the match. But reaching the final is itself a big achievement.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (35)

  • Rify (India )
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:11PM

    Congrats men in blue..Better luck next time Team Pakistan..:))).. what a shame ? there isnt any channel that are open to telecast..atleast not open in Chennai..


  • positive pakistani
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:14PM

    ohhhhh……..anyways…..If you fought hard….i still support you guys!!….sorry i couldn’t see the match!!


  • Mujib Abakhel
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:18PM

    So sad! Pakistan should have won! Anyways, all the best for the future.Recommend

  • GetRidOfFeudalPolitics
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:24PM

    excellent show guys. proud of you. next time we will win.

    VERY disappointed at the lack of coverage.Recommend

  • Rock
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:24PM

    India rocks. well played pak team.


  • Sep 11, 2011 - 6:28PM

    86 channels and not a single one telecasting national sport’s final country is participating in. Really?


  • Ahmad
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:29PM

    Bad luck and no coverage for Hockey


  • woohoo
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:34PM

    Looks like India was tough enough to handle the pressure.


  • Pakistani
    Sep 11, 2011 - 6:35PM

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!!!!!!!! :( :(


  • Fahad Raza
    Sep 11, 2011 - 7:01PM

    Congrats….. Chakdey! Team India…!!


  • The Flying Object
    Sep 11, 2011 - 7:04PM

    No worries guys. We played very well.
    It was India’s day. So look ahead
    Keep ur focus on gold in olympics.


  • fahim
    Sep 11, 2011 - 7:18PM

    tlll yesterday, the articles published on this topic was atleast half page long, with tons of jingoism and empty nationalism oozing out from experts and viewers both. Where is the group now? We are too busy foolishly to shout big mouth before the actual event, and when we fail we chicken out… be it sports, economy, politics, military, diplomacy, and as a society…. we seem to be all noise but very little substance where it matters.


  • Rock
    Sep 11, 2011 - 7:26PM

    @Rify (India ): Even I am not able to see the match on any channel.


  • Sep 11, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Bad Luck

    Next time…………………


  • AFE
    Sep 11, 2011 - 9:06PM

    well played by both teams, hockey matches should be broadcasted. better luck next time pakistan….


  • sajid
    Sep 11, 2011 - 9:31PM

    Rippa, Pak played well.
    India Although win,wao…congratez


  • Paad PiddiQ
    Sep 11, 2011 - 9:34PM

    It must be RAW behind this game…


  • Thomas
    Sep 11, 2011 - 10:27PM

    Luckless Pakistan?!!!!!. One team loose and the other team wins in a sports game. Get over it. What would have been the heading if India had lost?. Amazing!! I guess Pakistan is supposed to win every game, every war and every contest!!!


  • Sep 11, 2011 - 11:17PM

    Being decided with penalty strokes means both team fought till the end. Congrats India, Good luck Pakistan for next time.
    The sad part is no Asian team is good when it comes to competing with teams outside Asia.


  • M.A.S
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:13AM

    @Thomas: True, because Pakistani blood never believes in lossing.

    Anyways…….it must be a good match. Good to see both the teams rising up after a decade of lost glory. Would love to see the contest revive between both the past champs.
    Chakde India, Mera Bharat Mahan!


  • Ranjit
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:36AM

    Lets be honest folks. India won because of Indian goalkeeper – Sreejesh. He saved 2 Penalty strokes and didn’t allow Pak to convert any of the 8 penalty corners. Otherwise, Pakistan team was better than Indian team.


  • Ranjit
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:41AM

    Just little bit of trivia abouth the Man of the Match – Sreejesh. By the way – Sreejesh Ravindran, the Indian goalkeeper, is from South Indian state of Kerala. He is a rookie, with not a whole lot of International experience. Kerala is sports oriented state but the sports they are crazy about is Football/Soccer, volley-ball, athletics. Cricker and hockey does not have a whole lot of following. Sreejesh might even be the 1st Malayali/Keralite in the Indian hockey team.


  • Ranjit
    Sep 12, 2011 - 1:38AM

    I am a bit surpised about the article. The article is about the match – which is a final and the most crucial match. In the article you have PHF and Junaid, the Pakistani Manager and everybody and their uncle’s name mentioned but you don’t even have the name of the Man of the Match – Sreejesh, the Indian Goalkeeper. I don’t know. Maybe in Pakistan, the administrators are more important than players.


  • Ahmed Jehanzeb
    Sep 12, 2011 - 2:35AM

    Congrats to India! Pakistan team played excellent as well. Hoping for a win next time.


  • Sep 12, 2011 - 3:11AM

    Someone had to win! So India won.I am sure both teams played well !


  • Cherish Raj
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:40AM

    Sabu Varkey is a Malayali who had represented India regularly in the late nineties and early 2000s. Manuel Fredricks and George Ninan are also Malayalis who had represented India in the seventies and eighties respectively.


  • Pundit
    Sep 12, 2011 - 5:02AM

    Sub Continent Hockey Wins….I suggest more India Pakistani tournaments

    Let’s build Hockey and avoid the politics of Cricket!


  • Sep 12, 2011 - 7:05AM

    Well played guys and mercifully on a India- Pakistan topic there are no hateful comments .


  • Maxwell
    Sep 12, 2011 - 8:16AM

    @Ranjit, bro dont be surprised. It is normal in Pakistan. Media does not talk objectivity, it is only self glorification.

    As an Indian, I wish to congratulate Pakistan as a team for playing wonderfully well in this tournament. Wish the old golden days of hockey return, when India and Pakistan dominated the world hockey. Sadly, it is languishing now.

    Hope people in both countries pick up lost threads and give this game honour and respect back, that it gave us in those years…Well done Pakistan. Bad luck this time…wish you better luck next time…Wish you lots of peace.


  • Prashant kumar
    Sep 12, 2011 - 9:58AM

    This is great victory and i think this is good for the future of INDIAN HOCKEY . .


  • Sep 12, 2011 - 10:09AM

    It was good to see India win. Both teams played well but when you compare their game with that of western countries and Australia we feel as if Namibia and Kenya are playing cricket.
    Well played India,well played Pakistan.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:38PM

    @Pundit: You are right Pundit n Maxwell, we should work together to regain our lost glory in Hockey.


  • bilal ahsan
    Sep 12, 2011 - 1:03PM

    better luck next time, u guys really played well


  • Sep 12, 2011 - 4:12PM

    I felt ashamed when I skimmed through the whole lot of sports channels being telecast here…not a single channel was showing our NATIONAL SPORT…

    Btw Pakistan had sort of a B team on the cards but still the way they played throughout the tourney deserves the highest praise…Congratz boys!!!


  • sceptic ali
    Sep 13, 2011 - 12:58AM

    i am an indian, so i am ecstatic over india’s win in the final. but i have also been a lifelong fan of pakistan’s hockey team. so i am doubly ecstatic that pakistan is the number two ranked hockey nation in asia.
    ps – in the 80s i saw the sublime, poetic, god like hasan sardar play against india @ delhi’s shivaji stadium. sardar helped pakistan defeat india in that match.

    ps – in the 90s i saw one of hockey’s greatest forward – paksitan’s shahbaz sr. play in delhi. another memory which i hope never leaves my brain.

    ps – thanks pakistani hockey for showing me what true beauty looks like and what ecstasy feels like.

    an indian fan .


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