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Pakistan beat India 4-2 in Asia Cup
rediff.com Sportsdesk |
September 24, 2003 18:19 IST
Last Updated: September 24, 2003 22:01 IST
India continued its dismal run against Pakistan in the Asia Cup hockey tournament, losing its final league match against its arch rivals 2-4, in the sixth edition of the tournament at the Bukit Jalil stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.
Two second-half goals from penalty-corners enabled Pakistan post its fourth victory in as many meetings in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan finished on top of Pool B with nine points from three matches, ahead of India, with six.
In the semi-finals, India, who are seeking their first Asia Cup crown, meet Asian Games champions South Korea, who topped Pool A with seven points, while Pakistan meet Japan, who finished second in Pool A with six points after losing to the Koreans 0-6 in their concluding league match.
In other matches of the day's programme, Malaysia rallied to score their first victory in the tournament, beating Hong Kong 2-1, while China routed Bangladesh 8-0.
Malaysia completed their league engagements with four points, which includes a point from a draw with South Korea in their opening match, and will play China the fifth-sixth places on Friday.
The India - Pakistan match was a keen affair, with the ball swinging from end to end. But while India failed to capitalise on the many chances that came their way, the Pakistanis made the best of the few they got to emerge deserving winners. In sum, India paid the price for conceding soft goals. Three of the four goals they conceded were because of a bit of hesitation by their defenders.
Kashif Jawad put Pakistan ahead in the 11th minute. A long hit from Muhammad Saqlain caught the Indian defence on the wrong foot as Jawad trapped, ran into the circle from the right unchecked and slammed the ball past goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan.
Ten minutes later, young Shakeel Abassi increased Pakistan's lead, giving the finishing touches to a move by Mohammad Nadeem and Mudassar Ali, as Chauhan failed to clear the ball cleanly.
Two goals down, the Indians launched a feverish search for a goal. They tasted success four minutes later following a long free-hit from Ignace Tirkey. Deepak Thakur tapped home after Gagan Ajit's shot was stopped by goalkeeper Ahmed Alam.
Thereafter, the Indians called the shots and forced three penalty-corners, to none by the Pakistanis, but poor finishing prevented them from drawing abreast till the a few seconds from the breather, when Sandeep Michael scored a brilliant goal, making a deflection from a free-hit by Thakur.
India's tale of missed chances continued in the second session and Pakistan made the best of the two good chances they came by to force their only penalty-corners of the match and score from them.
Wasim Ahmed scored from Pakistan's first penalty-corner in the 60th minute. As the Indians charged on Sohail Abbas, expecting him to make the fick, Ahmed, who had positioned himself to stop the ball, trapped and hit straight into goal.
Eight minutes later came Pakistan's second penalty-corner. This time Abbas ficked high into the Indian net to put the issue safe.
Hong Kong went ahead with a goal from Ashgar Ali in the 20th minute. Malaysia restored parity in the 33rd minute through Tajol Roslie Mohammad.
With seven minutes to go for the hooter, captain Shanmuganathan Kuhan snatched the winner for Malaysia.
Song Yi was literally on song for China, scoring seven goals (4th, 13th, 19th, 36th, 42, 56, 69) while Yo Haiao got the other goal in the 17th minute.