Rising to the occasion with their traditional hockey play and Harmanpreet Singh's hat-trick, India spanked Pakistan 6-2 to clinch the eighth Junior Men's Asia Cup at the Wisma Belia Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia, on Sunday.
India started the match on a positive note, pressing hard since the opening minute of the first half and was soon awarded a penalty corner. Harmanpreet Singh converted the penalty corner to take his tally to 12 goals in the tournament and give India an early advantage of 1-0.
India was again awarded back-to-back penalty corners in the 13th and 14th minutes. Harmanpreet scored again to take India 2-0 up within 15 minutes of the game.
Pakistan fought back in the 28th minute with a successful penalty corner from Yaqoob Muhammad. Soon after, in the 30th minute, Harmanpreet scored from another penalty corner to complete his hat-trick and taking his goal tally to 14 goals in the tournament. The first half ended with India leading 3-1.
The second half saw the Indian domination continue with Armaan Qureshi scoring in the 44th minute and taking the score to 4-1 in India's favour.
Manpreet Jr scored the fifth goal for India followed by another penalty corner goal by Harmanpreet making the score 6-1. Pakistan scored a consolation goal in the 68th minute through Dilber Muhammad. The match ended with India winning the trophy with a score line of 6-2.
Harmanpreet became the highest scorer with his four goals in the match taking his tournament tally to 15 goals in the tournament.
Indian coach Harendra Singh said, "It was an exciting final and the boys displayed immaculate passion and calmness on the field. We ended up as runners-up in the 5th Sultan of Johor Cup which made it an even bigger win as we were hungry for the podium position. The support was immense and we felt we were playing in our own backyard. We only have to look forward from here and keep giving such excellent performances."