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Rediff.com  » Sports » It's INDIA vs PAKISTAN as junior hockey teams clash in semis

It's INDIA vs PAKISTAN as junior hockey teams clash in semis

September 28, 2016 14:45 IST

A traditional rivalry will take centre stage when India take on Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament in Dhaka, on Thursday.

In the ongoing tournament, the two teams have had a contrasting set of results in their pool games.

Pakistan have brushed past a relatively inexperienced and easy pool with ease, beating Chinese-Taipei 6-1 in their opener and China 6-0 in the next game. They won their final game against Hong Kong 14-0 to emerge top among four teams in Pool B.

Meanwhile, India faced a tough challenge against hosts Bangladesh in the opening game of the tournament and went down 5-4 in what was arguably the most exciting match played yet. Brushing off that loss, they defeated Oman 11-0 in their second

Pool A encounter to take their first points of the competition.

Indian forwards Ibungo Singh Konjengbam and Dilpreet Singh have been in sparkling form in the tournament with four goals each.

At the back, despite the disappointment of the first game, captain Nilam Sanjeep Xess and goalkeeper Pankaj Kumar Rajak have been standout performers.

Speaking about the encounter Coach BJ Kariappa said, "The traditional rivalry adds a unique flavour to the contest, but we expect that. The boys are focused on the task at hand. Pakistan have been prolific in front of goal, so obviously we will need to tighten up our defensive structure in the game. On the other hand, I don't think they have had to face an attacking side like ours, with this depth of talent yet, so it will be a challenge for them too."

Bangladesh will take on Chinese Taipei in the first semi-final.