Holders India beat arch-rival and joint-defending champions Pakistan 2-1 in the men’s round-robin clash on Friday to book their place in the Asian Champions Trophy Hockey semifinals at the national stadium in Dhaka.
Dragflicker Harmanpreet Singh opened the scoring for the Olympic bronze-medalists in the first quarter, finding the back of the goalpost in the 13th minute from a penalty corner. Akashdeep Singh then doubled India’s lead with a sleek finish in the 42nd minute.
Junaid Manzoor pulled one back for Pakistan by scoring a field goal with 27 seconds left in the third quarter and even won two penalty corners in the final quarter but failed to convert on both occasions thanks to superb saves from India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera.
A minute later India won their second penalty corner and Harmanpreet once again stepped up to score his second goals and put the match beyond Pakistan’s reach. Harmanpreet thus, maintained his 100% record with PC’s in the tournament to ensure a famous win for India in Bangladesh’s capital city.
India continue to lead the standings with six points, while Pakistan are at the fourth spot after their goalless draw against Japan. India and Pakistan were declared joint winners in the last edition of the ACT in 2018 in Muscat after the final was washed out.
The last time both the neighbours played each other was in the league stages of the ACT in 2018 where India beat their neighbours 3-1.