"There is lot of time to go for the World Cup and we are showing improvement. If we keep the pace we have a fair chance to win the World Cup. We are moving forward step by step" - Indian coach, Harendra Singh
May 12

Written by: Sundeep Misra
Tuesday, May 12, 2009 


Pakistan 3 India 2

The battle of penalty corner conversions was won by Pakistan’s come-back man Sohail Abbas as he ensured a thrilling 3-2 win for Pakistan after rains had almost derailed the crucial Asia Cup tie.

With the win against India and the draw against China, the three-time former champions Pakistan, who lost to India 1-2 in the Azlan Shah Cup here last month, are assured of a place in Thursday's semi-final, while India will have to win their last pool match against the Chinese on Tuesday to qualify for the last four stage.
India-Pakistan encounters have always been edge of the seat thrillers and the 139th encounter between the teams was no exception.

Both the teams displayed very high speed and attractive hockey in the pulsating opening half with the ball continuously moving from one end to the other. Pakistan was the more aggressive of the two sides and found the net as early as in the fourth minute through Tariq Aziz from the top of the semi circle but umpire John Right ruled out the goal due to an infringement and in turn gave a 16 yard hit to the Indians.

Stung by Pakistan's early attacks, the Indians stepped up their offensive and very nearly came to scoring in the 13th minute only to be denied by experienced Pakistan custodian Salman Akbar.

India opened the scoring against the run of play after Prabjot Singh converted a rebound from skipper Sandeep Singh's penalty corner in the 15th minute. But with just two minutes remaining for the breather, Pakistan struck back with Hasneem Khan scoring with a reverse stick.

Pakistan could have scored many had they not wasted several penalty corner attempts with the Indian defence standing tall.

Experienced centre forward Rehan Butt, who made a comeback to the national team in this tournament, made it 2-1 for Pakistan in the very first minute of the second half from a goalmouth melee. India soon drew parity in the 10th minute through Rajpal Singh's field goal before heavy rains suspended play for nearly 40 minutes.

Veteran Sohail Abbas, ensured a happy outing for Pakistan when he scored the winning goal off their fifth short corner in the 55th minute through a powerful drag flick which beat Indian custodian Baljit Singh hands down.

Thereafter, India got two penalty corners and a couple of chances to equalise, but they wasted it all with goalkeeper Akbar coming to Pakistan's rescue on many occasions. SV Sunil was the star performer for India today but was unlucky not to have registered his name in the scoreboard, while skipper Sandeep was off-colour as he wasted three penalty corners in the last 10 minutes of the match.



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3 comment(s) so far...

Re: Sohail wins it for Pakistan

Who is televising the matches?? All we see on channels are cricket, more cricket, football, motor sport and tennis. If hockey is to revive in India, the spin doctors have to work hard. Why not constitute a PR team; I will be more than willing to assist.

But, really, how do we get to watch the matches???

About the loss to Pakistan, this happens. Nothing to worry. We will enter the finals.

Jai Hind

By Rajendar Menen on   Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Re: Sohail wins it for Pakistan

It's got even worse for us. We drew 2-2 with China and are OUT of the semis. Shocking stuff as we were 2-0 up at half time. We have such mediocre players that these results are not a fluke. We are deluding ourselves when thinking of winning any worthwhile tournament.But I can guarantee you that we will have the same selections.
Brasa may bring about some common sense in tactics, but I expect he will be hounded out by totally insane politics from 'Olympians', babus etc... Indian hockey has been dead for decades.

By Ajeet on   Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Re: Sohail wins it for Pakistan

Bravo Pakistan! Keep up the tempo, work hard and never give up. Playing Malaysia in the semifinal will not be an easy one as they have been up to the task lately. This is their home ground and Pakistan must use all their resources they have and work doubly hard to ensure their appearance in the final of the Asia Cup this time. Chak De Pakistan!

By Azmir Khan on   Tuesday, May 19, 2009

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