In the final on Saturday, Mohammed Raheel (19′, 26′) Jugraj Singh (7′), and Maninder Singh (10′) were on target in the regulation time for India….reports Asian Lite News
The Indian men’s hockey team was on Saturday crowned champions of the inaugural Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup, defeating Pakistan 4-4 (2-0 SO) in the all-important final.
With this event also serving as Asia’s qualifying tournament for the FIH Men’s Hockey5s World Cup Oman 2024, India qualified for the tournament proper.
In the final on Saturday, Mohammed Raheel (19′, 26′) Jugraj Singh (7′), and Maninder Singh (10′) were on target in the regulation time for India.
Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh scored for India in the Shoot-Out to script their win. For Pakistan, Abdul Rehman (5′), captain Abdul Rana (13′), Zikriya Hayat (14′), and Arshad Liaqat (19′) scored the goals.
It was a spirited start from India as they started pushing deep into Pakistan’s half straightaway. But Pakistan intercepted the ball and started threatening from the left flank.
Indian goalkeeper Suraj Karkera stepped up to make important saves, but Pakistan broke the resistance with Abdul Rehman (5′) getting the opening goal of the match.
However, they could not keep the Indian attackers quiet for too long, and Jugraj Singh (7′) provided the much-needed equalizer for India.
Three minutes later, India took the lead in the match as Maninder Singh (10′) scored with a reverse hit from a distance. Pakistan captain Abdul Rana (13′), and Zikriya Hayat (14′) scored two back-to-back late goals and the match went into halftime with Pakistan leading 3-2.
Trailing by a goal, India needed to deliver an urgent response in the second half, and the Mandeep Mor-led side started maintaining possession and pressing deeper in the opposition’s half.
But Pakistan made the most of a Challenge as Arshad Liaqat (19′) struck the ball into the back of the net. Mohammed Raheel (19′) gave a response straightaway to pull a goal back for India.
India started attacking from all corners, leading to Pakistan making a couple of crucial defensive errors. After receiving a long pass, Mohammed Raheel (26′) dribbled past Pakistan’s defence and struck the ball into the nets to level the scoreline.
Both teams started searching for the winner as the clock started racing towards full-time.
The match went to the Shoot-Out after both teams remained locked in a stalemate at 4-4 at the end of the regulation time. Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh scored for India, while Arshad Liaqat and Muhammad Murtaza missed their shots for Pakistan, and India won the match 4-4 (2-0 SO) to claim the trophy.