Asia Cup Hockey 2017: India Thrash Pakistan 3-1 to Top Pool A
Indian players in action against Pakistan. (Hockey India/Twitter)
New Delhi: India made it three out of three victories as they thrashed Pakistan 3-1 in their final Pool A clash at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday. This is India's fifth successive win against their arch-rivals Pakistan in international hockey.
For the 'Men in Blue', Chinglensana Singh (17th minute), Ramandeep Singh (44th minute) and Harmanpreet Singh (45th minute) got on the score-sheet, while Ali Shaan (48th minute) scored the lone goal for Pakistan in the final quarter.
India had already secured a place in the round-robin Super 4 stage of the tournament after their stunning wins in the first two matches of the competition — Japan (5-1) and hosts
Bangladesh (7-0). But with this comprehensive victory over their neighbours, they topped the Pool A with nine points.
While as for Pakistan, they have also progressed into the next round, courtesy of having a better goal difference than Japan (both teams were locked at four points after three matches).
The first quarter was as cagey as possible with none of the teams getting even a single clear cut chance to make the breakthrough. However, in the last minute of the first quarter, Pakistan were awarded a penalty corner but they made a hash of it.
India finally got the breakthrough in the second minute of the second quarter with Chiglensana scoring the first goal of the match. The 25-year-old was given acres of space inside the Pakistan circle and he finished emphatically.
India goal-keeper Suraj Kerkera then came to the fore and made a couple of scintillating diving saves to keep India's lead intact at half-time.
Pakistan where down to nine-men early in the third quarter as Rizwan Senior and Mahmud were shown respective yellow cards for dangerous play. However, India failed to capitalise as Pakistan defended well.
India finally doubled their lead in the 44th minute when Harmanpreet hit a fantastic cross from the middle of the pitch and Ramandeep dove full-length to guide the ball into the net. Then in the dying seconds of the third quarter, skipper Harmanpreet drilled home the ball into the bottom right corner of from a penalty corner to triple India's advantage.
Ali Shaan got a consolation goal for Pakistan in the fourth quarter but India held on to record another famous win over their fierce rivals.