Hockey: Pakistan Clinch Asian Gold, India Settle With Bronze




Pakistan Hockey

Pakistan Hockey

Guangzhou: Maintaining aggression throughout, Pakistan beat Malaysia 2-0 to clinch the gold medal 20 years later which they had last won in 1990 in the men’s hockey competition of the Asian Games on Thursday.

The result confirmed Pakistan’s place in the next Olympics in London 2012. The pace with which the Pakistanis kept their approach brought enormous pressure on the defenders who were seen wobbling at the first sign of alarm.

Malaysia’s spirits sunk when Sohail Abbas made way with a penalty corner to the roof of the net in the first half of the game. Somehow, there were traces of a few counter-attacks by Jalil and Hanafi that were effectively handled by the Pakistani defence among whom Z. Ashraff played a key role.

Pakistan increased the lead to 2-0 in the early second half when Rehan Butt slotted in the second from a cross by Shafiq Rasool. Malaysia got 3 penalty corners in the second half couldn’t convert any of them. The Malaysians did press hard for a goal but goalie Salman Akbar managed to keep it all beyond the goal line.

As for India’s match, Tushar Khandekar gained glory by netting in a peach of a goal to ensure India a bronze. The team missed that at the last edition in Doha version of the games. The 1-0 victory against the defending champions, South Korea was an extension of the previous 3-2 victory in the recently held Azlan Shah tournament.

The men in blue jerseys controlled the pace of the encounter, positioned themselves well and tackled with confidence. Once again the key man in the India defence was Sardar Singh, assisted by Mahadik, and brilliantly supported in the midfield by Halappa and Gurjaj Singh. India goalie Bharat Chettri deserved a pat on the back for the 2 penalty corner shots that he saved.

Khandekar was the one who scored that 1 defining goal which mattered in the end. He had 2 chances late in the match, but the Korean goalie Myungho, padded them well, divert in it away. India had 2 penalty corners in the match both unsuccessful.

Since 1990, this is the 1st time at Beijing that the Koreans went back home without a medal. India’s last bronze medal was in 1986 at Seoul. Today’s was the second bronze for India since the start of the hockey competition in Tokyo in 1958.

Jose Brasa, chief coach of India took the victory as no consolation. “I am not happy. We played the best hockey in the tournament and deserved the gold” he quoted later on. About his contract, Brasa said that he didn’t hear anything from the Sports ministry yet.

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Devesh Bhuwad

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Hi, I’m Devesh D. Bhuwad from Mumbai. 21 years old, I have completed my BSc from Ruia College, Mumbai and intend to pursue an MBA. Currently I am in search of work as well. Writing was always my hobby since childhood wrote almost on anything but never had the brains to make a blog! And at the same time cricket was my passion. Grew up watching Sachin Tendulkar play, couldn’t be anywhere near to him though! So started writing on Cricket and at the same time other sports like Football, Tennis, Badminton and the very much hyped IPL urged me to write on them as well. And here I am, having found a perfect platform at www.thesportsmirror.com to share my articles to the world as a Freelance Content writer and in a way gain experience of contributing to a newly hosted website rather a venture which I’m sure will definitely help me in the future.

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