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India hammer Pakistan 4-0, enter Hockey Asia Cup 2017 final
23 October 2017, 12:34 | Mandy Simon
Not only were India brilliant in attack their players also defended in numbers. Image courtesy Neeraj Tiwari
With Pakistan needing a victory way more than India in order to keep their hopes for qualifying for the 2017 Hockey Asia Cup final alive, one would have expected a slightly more rounded performance from the Men in Green.
India defeated Pakistan in the all-important semi-final match of Asia Cup on Saturday. India reached the finals after trouncing Pakistan 4-0.
The last time the two countries met in the Asia Cup on October 15, India beat Pakistan 3-1 and they would not want to carry on with the same domination. India started off the finals in dream fashion as Ramandeep found the back of the net in the first five minutes of the first quarter.
Lalit Upadhyay doubled India's advantage as he scored a superb field goal in the 29th minute.
Hockey players SV Sunil and Ramandeep Singh combined to give India the lead. Indian team shined throughout the second half.
For Malaysia, it was their best result in the tournament. Their efforts bore fruit in the 50th minute when Shahril Saabah pulled one goal back.
India on the other hand, had opportunities of their own in the latter part of the third quarter but could not produce a third goal to seal the deal.
The Indians, ranked sixth in the world, were in for nervous last 10 minutes but the defence did enough to hold on to the lead.
Meanwhile, Coach Sjoerd Marijne said, "I was a bit anxious when the score was 2-1, odd goals can happen in last four to five minutes". India looked more organised after the change of ends. From Praful Patel to Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore congratulated the team and celebrated as India became Asian champions. Yesterday the draw with a tough Korean team and today a good fight especially in the final quarter.
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