New Delhi: After cricket yesterday, Indian hockey team presented the country a special Diwali gift . In the Asian Champions Trophy title, India win over Pakistan with 3-2 in Kuantan, Malaysia, on Sunday.
India, thus, regained the trophy after 2011. Pakistan have won the title twice – 2012 and 2013.
On Sunday, Rupinder Pal Singh, Affan Yousuf and Nikin Thimmaiah scored for India. For Pakistan, Muhammad Aleem Bilal and Ali Shan were the scorers.
This was the first time the teams were meeting in the final of a continental tournament since India dethroned Pakistan as the Asian Games champions in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
India had won the inaugural edition of the Asian Champions Trophy by defeating Pakistan in the final in 2011.
Pakistan reversed the result in the title contest the next year and went on to retain it in 2013 by defeating Japan in the final.
World No. 6 India were the favourites going into the tournament, but were without several seasoned players who had been rested to recuperate from injuries.
India went into the title contest at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium without ace custodian PR Sreejesh, who was rested due to pulled hamstring and Akash Chikte took the position under the bar.
India earned their first penalty corner in the seventh minute, but failed to make it count. Ace flicker Rupinder was on the spot, but Jasjit Singh Kular was allowed to take the shot in a tactical move. Jasjit’s shot went wide of the left and posed no threat.
Pakistan had a chance to take the lead in the 12th minute when Muhammad Rizwan Jr picked up a long ball inside the Indian circle and had only the goalkeeper to beat from close range. Goalkeeper Chikte stepped up to tackle him from close and Rizwan Jr shot wide to muff the opportunity.
A cross from the right sailed across the Pakistan goal in the 11th minute without the Indian strikers being able to connect, while at the other end Muhammad Arslan Qadir’s shy from a narrow angle was padded away by the Indian goalkeeper as the first quarter came to an end.