India edge Pakistan in a thriller; Oman claim a creditable bronze

Sports Saturday 02/September/2023 21:32 PM
By: Times News Service
India edge Pakistan in a thriller; Oman claim a creditable bronze

MUSCAT: The inaugural edition of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Men’s and Women’s Hockey5s Asia Cup turned out to be a happy hunting ground for India as they claimed a grand double at the tournament, which concluded at the Sultan Qaboos Youth Sports Complex in Salalah on Saturday.

India women had won the title on August 28 and on Saturday, India defeated traditional rivals Pakistan to lift the men’s title in a penalty shootout 2-0 after the teams were locked in a 4-4 stalemate at the end of the 30 minutes regulation play.

Oman claimed a creditable bronze medal after a stellar display in the playoff match for third place against Malaysia.

In the summit clash, Pakistan led India 3-2 at the interval with goals from Abdul Rehman (fifth minute), captain Abdul Rana (13th) and Zikriya Hayat (14th). For India, Jugraj Singh drew parity in the seventh minute after Adbul Rehman’s goal and Maninder Singh put India ahead (2-1) in the tenth minute. After the interval, India trailed 4-2 following a goal from Arshad Liaqat in the 19th minute. Mohammed Raheel’s brace saw India draw level with goals in the 19th minute and 26th minute to force a shootout.

In the shootout, Pakistan’s Arshad Liaqat failed twice to get past India’s Suraj Karkera, who also thwarted Muhammad Murtaza while Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh successfully converted to give their team the coveted title.

The win also avenged the loss to Pakistan during the group stage in the tournament.

The Asia Cup also served as the qualifiers for the FIH Men’s and Women’s Hockey5s World Cup, which will be staged in Muscat in January 2024. The top-three teams earned qualification but with Oman already qualified as a host nation, Malaysia took the spot from Asia with India and Pakistan.

The draw of the Hockey5s World Cup will be held in Salalah on Sunday.

Oman finish third

Coached by experienced Dutch coach Siegfried Aikman, Oman edged past Malaysia 5-4 in a thriller to finish third. Both the teams were tied 2-2 at the interval.

Aiman Madit (5th and 19th minutes) and Khalid Al Shaaibi (11th and 24th minutes) scored a brace each while Rashad Al Fazari netted the winner with just a minute left for the hooter.

Kamarulzaman Kamaduddin hit a double for Malaysia (7th and 22nd) while the other scorers were Muhibddin Moharam (11th) and Akhimullah Anuar (26th).

One-sided semi-finals

Earlier on Saturday morning, India overpowered Malaysia 10-4 in a semi-final game, to set up a summit clash with arch-rivals Pakistan. India led 3-2 at the interval.

Mohammed Raheel (9’, 16’, 24’, 28’), Maninder Singh (2’), Pawan Rajbhar (13’), Sukhvinder (21’), Dipsan Tirkey (22’), Jugraj Singh (23’), and Gurjot Singh (29’) scored the goals for India, while captain Ismail Abu (4’), Akhimullah Anuar (7’, 19’), Muhamad Din (19’) were on target for Malaysia.

Pakistan outplayed hosts Oman 7-3 in the first semi-final, also on Saturday morning. Pakistan led the hosts 4-2 at halftime.

India’s previous meeting against Pakistan in the tournament in the elite pool stage match had ended with Pakistan winning 5-4.

On Friday, Oman reached the semi-finals with a 5-3 win over Bangladesh 5-3 in a cross-over match.

Rashad Al Fazari, Khalid Al Shaibi, Salah Al Saadi, Fahad Al Lawati were the scorers for Oman.

Earlier, the hosts edged Kazakhstan 1-0 in their first cross-over match to set-up a clash against Bangladesh for a place in the semi-finals. Al Fazari netted the all-important goal for Oman.

In the other classification matches played on Saturday, Hong Kong beat Afghanistan 12-5 to finish tenth among 11 participating nations, Japan ended up eighth after their 9-1 defeat to Kazakhstan while Indonesia finished ninth.

Bangladesh claimed the fifth spot after a hard-fought 7-6 win over Iran with the teams tied 3-3 at the break.

Pakistan’s Abdul Rana emerged as the tournament’s top-scorer with 27 goals while India’s Maninder Singh was second best with 22 goals.

Oman’s Rashad Al Fazari was the host nation’s top scorer with 14 goals.

Final standings: 1 India,

2 Pakistan, 3 Oman, 4 Malaysia,

5 Bangladesh, 6 Iran, 7 Kazakhstan, 8 Japan, 9 Indonesia, 10 Hong Kong, 11 Afghanistan.