Asia Cup Hockey 2017: Strikers Shine as India Crush Pakistan 4-0 to Enter Final
India once again showed their attacking prowess as they thumped Pakistan 4-0 in their last super four clash to make it into the final of Asian Cup 2017 at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka on Saturday.
File image of Indian men's hockey team celebrating a goal. (Image credit: Hockey India.)
New Delhi: India once again showed their attacking prowess as they thumped Pakistan 4-0 in their last super four clash to make it into the final of Asian Cup 2017 at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka on Saturday.
For India, Satbir Singh (39th minute), Harmanpreet Singh (51st minute), Lalit Upadhyay (52nd minute) and Gurjant Singh (57th minute) got onto the score-sheet as they stormed into the final, remaining undefeated in the super fours. Earlier, India drew Korea 1-1 and destroyed Malaysia 6-2 in their two super four matches respectively.
By virtue of this win, India not only topped the Super 4 stage with seven points, but also continued their domination over Pakistan. It was India's fourth win over Pakistan this year, having
beaten them twice in the Hockey World League Semi-finals in London and once in the pool stages here. The defeat also knocked Pakistan out of the final race.
However, it was Pakistan who got onto the front-foot in the first quarter, constantly pressurising the Indian defence. India goalkeeper Akash Chikte was forced to make two good saves in the first fifteen minutes to keep Pakistan at bay.
The 'Men in Blue' came close to breaking the deadlock as Harmanpreet Singh rattled the ball into the post from a penalty corner. But the score remained 0-0 at half-time as neither of the two teams could find the breakthrough.
But Indian attackers changed the gear in the third quarter and it was Satbir Singh who opened the scoring for them. Satbir gave a shimmy to one of the defenders near the edge of the box and then tried to pass it to Gurjant, who came running inside towards the far post. However, the ball took a deflection of one of the Pakistani defenders and went inside the goal.
India then struck twice in two minutes in the final quarter to inflict further misery over their arch-rivals. Harmanpreet drilled home a fierce shot from the penalty corner to score the second goal of the day. A minute later, Lalit tripled the advantage as he slotted home an easy goal after he was left alone inside the circle.
Gurjant then added the icing on top of the cake by hitting a powerful drive from near the center of the circle, beating the keeper on his left hand side. India completing a resounding 4-0 win this match and this is the second time that they have beaten Pakistan in just one week.
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