India defeats Pakistan to clinch Asian Games hockey title

INCHEON: India defeated defending champions Pakistan in a thrilling penalty shootout on Thursday to clinch the Asian Games Men’s Hockey final after a gap of 14 years.

India scored four goals in the shootout, with Pakistan only managing two.

India had earned a spot in the finals of the Asian Games after 12 years. The two teams have clashed in the finals of the Asian Games on eight previous occasions of which Pakistan has won 7.

Pakistan opened the scoring as early as the third minute with Mohammad Rizwan Sr’s field goal and dominated possession thereon in.

India hit back with a goal in the 27th minute through Kothajit Singh taking the game into and goal-less extra-time, leading to a penalty shootout.

India and Pakistan last met in an Asiad final at New Delhi in 1982 where the Indians suffered a stunning 1-7 rout in front of their own fans that included then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

In Beijing in 1990 when Pakistan claimed the gold and India the silver, there was no final since the winner was decided after a round-robin league.

Pakistan had defeated Malaysia 6-5 in a semi-final that entered the penalty shoot-out stage on Tuesday to face arch-rival India in the final. India beat South Korea in the other semi-final to reach the final.

Pakistan had defeated India 2-1 earlier on in the group stages, which lifted the Greenshirts to the top of the pool, sealing a place for the defending champions in the semi-finals.

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