Pakistan beat India 4-3 in Under-18 Asia Cup Hockey

YANGON, Myanmar: Pakistan Under-18 hockey team stormed into Boysí U-18 Asia Cup semifinals after defeating arch-rivals India 4-3 in nerve-wrecking thriller here on Sunday.

It was Pakistanís second and most important victory in as many matches. Pakistan, in their last league match, will meet Malaysia on Wednesday.

The tense match started at fast pace with India in a must-win situation. In the first 10 minutes both the teams exhibited wonderful stick work and grip on the ball.

Pakistan forwards squandered a goal-scoring chance in 11th minute when winger Umair could not maintain his control on the ball right in front of Indian goal post. India launched a counter attack but the alert Pakistan defenders thwarted it.

Indian full-back Amit Rohit Das scored the first goal of the match in the 17th minute when he converted a penalty-corner with a strong push into the right corner of the goalpost. Some eight minutes later, Pakistan responded in the same fashion when full-back Muhammad Mushtaq pushed the ball powerfully past the Indian defenders.

Pakistan began the action in the second session with a field goal. Now it was Muhammad Adnan, who gave Pakistan the lead with his individual brilliance in 37th minute. However, in the 41st minute, Indian forward Naveen Sagwan again levelled the score through a penalty corner. Then in the remaining part of the match, Pakistan youngsters dominated the proceedings and added two more goals in the next eight minutes. Left-out Bilal Qadir struck Pakistanís third goal with his field efforts. In the 58th minute, Arslan Qadir scored his teamís fourth goal with a fantastic reverse flick.

After watching their match and the tournament slipping from hand, the Indians raised their level of game that earned a goal in the 60th minute through full-back Amit Rohit Das who converted a penalty corner. Pakistanís Arslan Qadir was shown a yellow card in the 60th minute and had to play the last 10 minutes with as many players.

It is to be noted here that the last 15 minutes of the game were played in darkness but the tournament management did not bother to change the timing of the match despite several requests.