Salalah (Oman): India emerged champions in the Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup here on Saturday, beating arch-rivals Pakistan 2-0 in a shootout after both teams were locked at 4-4 in regulation time.
With the win, India have booked their place in the FIH Men’s Hockey5s World Cup 2024.
For India, Mohammed Raheel (19th and 26th), Jugraj Singh (7th) and Maninder Singh (10th) were the goal scorers during the regulation time, whereas Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh managed to beat the goalkeeper in the shootout.
Pakistan, Abdul Rehman (5th), captain Abdul Rana (13th), Zikriya Hayat (14th) and Arshad Liaqat (19th) were on target for Pakistan.
Indian keeper Suraj Karkera made some vital saves before Pakistan broke the deadlock via Rehman in the fifth minute.
Jugraj Singh got the equalizer for India just a couple of minutes later. India took the lead with Maninder Singh’s reverse hit from a distance. Nevertheless, Pakistan struck back quickly and restored their lead through skipper Abdul Rana (13th) and Zikriya Hayat (14th).
The Men in Blue began to play a possession-based game and pressed deeper, only for Pakistan to double its lead via Arshad Liaqat in the 19th minute.
While Mohammed Raheel immediately pulled one back for India at the same time, the Indians upped their ante and began attacking from all corners. In the 26th minute, Mohammed Raheel received a long pass and dribbled past Pakistan’s under-pressure defence, striking the ball home to draw level again.
Both teams failed to score a winner, and as things went to the shootout, Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh scored for India.
For Pakistan, Arshad Liaqat and Muhammad Murtaza missed their attempts, allowing the Men in Blue to lift the title. Following the conquest, Hockey India announced a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh to the players and Rs 1 lakh each for the support staff.