KARACHI: Pakistan’s last chance of winning a medal in hockey event of the Asian Games 2018 ended with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals India in the bronze medal play-off match in Jakarta on Saturday.
The Green-shirts conceded the first goal when Akashdeep Singh netted in the 3rd minute. India were well in control throughout the game while Pakistan continued with their old habit of missing their chances.
Despite some good attempts by the Pakistani forwards, India managed to keep them from scoring. Experienced players Umar Bhutta and Atiq Muhammad in particular did well for Pakistan but Varun Kumar and Amit Rohidas successfully led the Indian defense.
India doubled the lead in the 50th minute when Harmanpreet Singh scored their second goal.
Pakistan played attacking hockey in the second and third quarter and were rewarded when Atiq scored in the 52nd minute.
The final quarter looked evenly poised as both teams played end-to-end hockey, creating chances and giving away penalty corners.
Pakistan manager Hasan Sardar, when contacted by ‘The News’, blamed the failure of forwards in availing goal-scoring opportunities for their defeat.
“We played good hockey but we could not capitalize on the goal-scoring chances,” he said.
“Even after India had taken the lead, we did not come under pressure and continued attacking but unfortunately our forwards could not score,” added Sardar.
Agencies add: Japan staged a spectacular regulation time comeback to draw 6-6 before edging out Malaysia 3-1 in a penalty shootout and claim the gold.
Trailing 4-1 in the second period and then 5-2 in the fourth, Japan pumped in three goals through Kentaro Fukuda, Kenta Tanaka and Koji Yamasaki in a seven-minute blitz to level the pulsating contest.