When the whole country was cheering for the Indian cricket team in a much anticipated duel with Pakistan in the Asia Cup, the Indian men's hockey team defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in the Men's Hockey5s Asia Cup Final here on Saturday in a 2-0 shootout after both teams were locked at 4-4 in regulation time.
India has secured their spot in the FIH Men's Hockey5s World Cup 2024 with the victory.
Mohammed Raheel (19th and 26th goals), Jugraj Singh (7th), and Maninder Singh (10th goals) scored goals for India during regulation time, while Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh prevailed in the shootout by defeating the custodian.
For Pakistan, Arshad Liaqat (19th), Zikriya Hayat (14th), and captain Abdul Rana (13th) all made field goals.
Before Pakistan's Rehman scored the game's first goal in the fifth minute, Indian custodian Suraj Karkera made several crucial stops.
A few minutes later, India's Jugraj Singh scored the equaliser. Maninder Singh's far reverse shot gave India the lead.
However, Pakistan soon fought back and reclaimed the lead thanks to captain Abdul Rana (13th) and Zikriya Hayat (14th).
The Men in Blue started to play a possession-based approach and pushed harder, but Pakistan doubled its advantage in the 19th minute thanks to Arshad Liaqat.
At the same moment that Mohammed Raheel swiftly gave India a point back, the Indians upped the ante and started attacking from all sides.
Mohammed Raheel received a long pass in the 26th minute and dribbled through Pakistan's pressured defence before scoring to tie the score once more.
In the shootout, India scored two goals thanks to goals from Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh after neither team managed to win the game.
Arshad Liaqat and Muhammad Murtaza failed to convert on their Pakistani efforts, which allowed the Men in Blue to win the championship.
Hockey India issued a monetary incentive of Rs 2 lakh for the players and Rs 1 lakh for each member of the support crew in the aftermath of the victory.
(With PTI inputs)