17 March 2013: Indian men’s hockey team came from 1-0 down to defeat Pakistan 4-2 in the fifth place play off match in 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at Ipoh, Malaysia.
India had won against Pakistan 3-1 in the league match. This for the first time that they have defeated Pakistan twice in a tournament after 2003 Afro Asian Games, which was played in Hyderabad (India). While this is Pakistan’s successive last place finish at Ipoh, as they were seventh last year.
Pakistan got off the block first and went ahead with low flick from the skipper Muhammad Imran on their 1st Penalty Corner in 8th minute. Indian drag flick specialist Rupinder Pal Singh drew parity in 16th minute on penalty corner. Just few seconds before half time, Akashdeep Singh earned lead for India after being set up by Mandeep Singh.
India doubled their lead to 3-1 in the 8th minute after lemon, as Malak Singh deflected the ball past Pakistan Goalkeeper Imran. Though Pakistan’s Kashif Shah reduced the deficit three minutes later. India earned a penalty stroke 62nd minute, which was duly converted by Rupinder Pal, to seal the game and take personal goal tally in the tournament to six.
After initial penalty corner conversion, both the side had quite a few opportunities on short corners but Rupinder and Imran missed their chances. While Indian mid-fielder Manpreet Singh was judged man-of-the-match.
With inputs from K. Arumugam (stick2hockey.com) and azlanshahcup.com