India vs Pakistan, Again
For a second time in as many weeks, India are playing Pakistan in an Asia Cup hockey match in Dhaka. The first time round, the Manpreet Singh led squad beat Pakistan 3-1 in the Pool A match.
Today though, the team’s new Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne has a lot higher expectations from his wards.
Scheduled to start at 5pm IST, the start has been pushed to 6:30pm IST due to rain in Dhaka.
What Teams Need
The highest ranked team in the tournament, India top the Super 4s table with four points from a win and a draw, followed by Malaysia (3 points), Korea (2 points) and Pakistan (1) from two games each.
A draw today against Pakistan will be enough for India to reach the final tomorrow as they enjoy a better goal difference than any other side.
Pakistan on the other hand, with just one point, need to beat India by a big margin and hope for a favourable results between the other two teams.
India are on a five-match winning streak against Pakistan, going back to the round-robin match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at Ipoh in April 2016. In that match, India had emerged 5-1 winners.
Click here for a list of the previous eight encounters between the two teams.
Match Starts Shortly
The water seems to have been cleared out and India have announced their XI to start the game.
Both teams have sung their national anthems as well and we are just a few seconds from the start.
Finally... Match Underway
One and a half hours after the scheduled start, India and Pakistan start the Super 4s match in Dhaka. India need a draw to reach tomorrow’s final, Pakistan need a big win.
Pakistan starts things off but nothing to show for it. 0-0 after the first 2 minutes of play.
Pakistan Win Penalty Corner
Rizwan starting the play for Pakistan but despite a string of opportunities Akash Chikte stands his ground and there’s no opening goal. Instead, Pakistan appeal that the ball hit a leg inside the area. A referral follows and no favourable result for them.
Pakistan also lose their review.
Another Pakistan Penalty Corner
Abu Bakar with the attempt this time. A clean sweep towards goal, beats Chikte but the post denies Pakistan their first goal.
0-0 with 4 minutes left.
A Third Penalty Corner!
Mohammad Irfan receiving the ball this time. Hits it to the left of the goal and once again Chikte makes sure he maintains his clean slate so far in this match.
0-0 with 3 minutes left.
0-0 After First Quarter
Play mostly called by Pakistan in the first quarter of this Asia Cup match but Chikte has managed to defend his goal pretty well despite India conceding three penalty corners.
Pakistan's Penalty Corner
4 minutes left on the clock and Pakistan have a penalty corner.
Irfan receives this one as well but the first shot is saved easy. On Pakistan’s second shot courtesy Butt, Surender Kumar makes his grounded stick work for him. Ball deflects off it and flies out over the goal.
Pakistan also earn a green card and are now reduced to 10 men.
0-0 at Half-Time
Despite everything said before the match, Pakistan have played the first 30 minutes of this match clearly as the superior team. Four penalty corners and play mostly in India’s half but the green jerseys have been denied each time by India’s defense.
Let’s see what the second half has in store.
India Win First Penalty Corner
India finally make some play in Pakistan’s danger area. Harmanpreet Singh at the receiving end and takes a shot at goal, only for it to hit the top of the post. The keeper was easily beaten. Just a little better placement and India would be gotten on the board.
Satbir Singh left in the open in the danger zone and he passes it to Gurjant inside the box. He leans in but it’s a Pakistani stick that deflects the ball past the keeper and into the net.
We finally have a goal on the board! 1-0 to India, courtesy Satbir.
Remember India need just a draw today to reach tomorrow’s Asia Cup final.
India Lead 1-0 After Q3
45 minutes down and just the 15 minutes to go in the match and India hold the edge.
Despite their multiple penalty corners, Pakistan have failed to get on the board. India though have the one goal in their column, courtesy Satbir Singh.
India Waste Two PCs
Ramandeep starting things off in both plays and the second one sees India take three shots at goal but the Pakistani keeper manages to hold ground.
11 minutes left in the match.
India Score Two Quick Goals
Hitting save on this rolling live took longer than India did to get two on the board!
Harmanpreet Singh shoots one right into the goal on India’s penalty corner with 9 minutes left.
Right after play starts, India move steadily into the “D”. Aakashdeep sends it into the middle and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay finds himself unmarked. What else was expected? India score!
Gurjant Makes it Four
That was ruthless!
Things not getting aaaaany better for Pakistan. Sunil plays a great ball into Akashdeep Singh and he passes to a waiting Gurjant Singh who shoot straight into the goal. The Pakistan keeper’s outstretched left leg is beaten. The 22-year-old is now on the board.
4-0 to India.
India In Asia Cup Final
That’s the whistle and India are in the finals of the Asia Cup hockey tournament. Unbeaten in the tournament, India have beaten Pakistan a second time in as many weeks to forge into the final.
Satbir Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Gurjant Singh the four goal-scorer on the day.
India play the winner of the final Super 4s match between Malaysia and Korea. Pakistan are out of the tournament.