The high-voltage clash between India and Pakistan saw a neck-to-neck fight till the last minute of the Pool B match in the 17th Asian Games 2014. Playing as per the expectations, both the teams displayed enormous amounts of strength and skills at Seonhak Hockey Stadium in Incheon today.
Korea defeated Malaysia 2-1 to confirm their place in Semi Finals from Pool A to join Pakistan from Pool B in semis, while Japan beat Singapore 13-0 to stay in race for semis. In the other match of Pool B, Oman overcame Sri Lanka 3-1.
Both India and Pakistan showcased extreme attack and powerful defence, restricted each other from opening the goal account in the first two quarters of the game. Due to a tight game play between the two teams till 37th minute of the game, it was Pakistan who managed the first breakthrough in the 38th minute when Muhammad Umar Bhutta sneaked in a field goal and opened the account for his team.
Going into the fourth quarter, India went full throttle on the opponents D and drew the game in the 53rd minute when Nikkin Thimmaiah sliced in a field goal, taking the scorecard 1-1 and leaving Pakistan stunned.
However in the next minute, Muhammad Waqas scored the second goal for Pakistan and took the score at 2-1. India intensely fought back for the rest of the match to try and level the score but was unsuccessful in their efforts, and eventually lost the match by 1-2.
India will be playing their last pool match against China on 27 September 2014 at 13:30hrs IST, while Indian women’s team take on Malaysia on 26th September 2014 at 13:30hrs IST in crucial pool match.
Having played against Malaysia on previous occasions, the Indian eves have been successful in carving their way out and emerge victorious against them. Going by the records at the 2006 Asian Games, India defeated Malaysia 4-2 and at the 2010 Asian Games, India triumphed over Malaysia with a 4-0 clean sweep.
Also, when both the teams met in Malaysia in June 2014 for a ‘six match series’ tour to prepare for the XX Commonwealth Games and the 17th Asian Games itself, the Indian Women Hockey team secured a whitewash against Malaysia by defeating them in all six matches. Where India appears to be the stronger team in the match, Malaysia will be going all out to avenge all the past defeats.
Indian Women Hockey team’s Chief Coach Neil Hawgood said, “The girls fought really well in the last match but losing the match in the dying minutes was a matter of bad luck for us. This is like a quarter-final match, where we have to win to make the finals. After last night, coming close to the 6th ranked team in the world we walk away with confidence about where the group is at for this contest.”