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India stun Pakistan for third straight win
May 15, 2008 15:56 IST
India thwarted a series of late charges from Pakistan to notch a stunning 2-1 victory over their arch-rivals and stay in contention in the Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Thursday.
Indian drag-flickers Sandeep Singh (sixth minute) and Diwakar Ram (20th) lived up to expectations, scoring a goal apiece, while veteran Pakistani midfielder Mohammad Saqlain (58th minute) netted the lone goal for his side.
With their third straight win in the tournament, India have now garnered nine points from five matches.
The Indians were in the attacking mode from the beginning and Shivendra Singh led the forwardline with command, producing two good chances that went abegging.
But in the sixth minute, Sandeep unleashed a power-packed shot to convert India's first penalty-corner and give his team a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes later, he had another chance to score at the Pakistani post, but this time his attempt was rather predictable and rival goalkeeper Rashid had no problem palming the ball away.
Diwakar Ram scored the third penalty-corner to put India 2-0 ahead.
With both Sandeep and Diwakar on the prowl, the Pakistanis had little doubt about who to tackle, but the younger of the drag-flickers fired his shot, which hit Rashid's shoulder before deflecting to the roof of the net.
The amateurish-looking Pakistanis were completely off-colour in their approach. While the defenders were too cautious, the attackers were half-hearted and tentative.
They wasted as many as four penalty-corners in the first half.