India ended their campaign in the Champions Trophy after being defeated by Pakistan 4-3 in a thrilling hockey semi-final match at the Kalinga Stadium here .
Muhammad Arslan Qadir scored the winning goal two minutes from time to secure victory for Pakistan who will go on to face Germany in the title round. Germany beat defending champions Australia 3-2 in the first semi-final earlier in the day.
Aiming to enter the final for the first time in the tournament, India began the match confidently. Pakistan were also determined to score and kept goalkeeper R. Sreejesh busy.
India took the lead through Gurjinder Singh’s superbly taken penalty corner in the 12th minute. Pakistan earned a penalty corner in the last second of the first quarter, but failed to capitalise on the opportunity.
But they equalised just after the first break, in the 17th minute, when Qadir scored his first goal, brilliantly guiding a right-sided centre into the roof of the net.
The teams went into the half-time break locked at 1-1.
Pakistan took the lead twice after resumption of play but India fought back on both occasions to make it a pulsating contest.
Muhammad Waqas (32 minutes) neatly guided the ball into the net to put the visitors 2-1 up only for Dharamvir Singh (33) to equalise through a brilliant back-handed effort.
India barely ended their celebration, when they conceded again failing to stop Syed Shah (34) from scoring.
Chandanda Thimmaiah (44) brought the home team back into the contest for the second time, netting in the 44th minute.
Just when it looked like the match was headed for a tie-break, Qadir delivered the killer blow to score his second goal of the match and claim the contest.