Salalah (Oman): India scripted a stunning 12-2 win over Oman before going down 4-5 against arch-rivals Pakistan at the men’s Asian Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier here on Wednesday.
In the second game of the night against Pakistan, Maninder Singh (17th, 29th minutes), Gurjot Singh (12th), and Mohammad Raheel (21st) scored for India.
For Pakistan, Ahtisham Aslam (2nd, 3rd), Zikriya Hayat (5th), Abdul Rehman (13th) and Abdul Rana (26th) were on target to help set up the win.
The match started with Pakistan maintaining possession in the early minutes and Aslam caught India’s defence off-guard with a reverse hit to get an early goal.
As India tried to get back into the match with a quick move, Pakistan goalkeeper Ali Raza made a good save and initiated a counter-attack, leading to Aslam doubling their lead.
Maninder tried to hold the ball in the middle, but Hayat intercepted and took a shot from a distance to score another goal for Pakistan.
A few minutes later, Gurjot made the most of an attacking move from the right flank and scored India’s first goal.
Abdul found the back of the net late in the first half as India went into half time trailing 1-4.
Needing to cover the deficit, the Indians started on a attacking note in the second half.
But Pakistan continued to threaten from the left, forcing India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera to remain on his toes.
After receiving a long pass, Maninder struck a reverse hit to score the second goal for India.
Raheel then combined with Pawan Rajbhar deep in Pakistan’s half to score the third goal for India.
Just when it looked like India might cover the deficit, Pakistan captain Rana struck a reverse hit to extend his side’s lead with just a few minutes left on the clock.
India earned a late challenge in the match and Maninder made no mistake and converted it with ease.
But Pakistan kept possession of the ball in the final minutes to register a close win.
Earlier, in the day, India mauled hosts Oman 12-2.
Raheel (2nd, 9th, 30th), Rajbhar (9th, 10th, 21st), and Maninder (16th, 23rd, 26th), scored a hat-trick each, while Jugraj Singh (3rd, 28th) scored a brace. Sukhvinder (29th) also scored a goal.
Fahad Al Lawati (16th) and Rashad Al Fazari (18th) scored the two goals for Oman.
On Tuesday night, Maninder and Raheel scored four and three goals respectively as the India hammered Bangladesh 15-1 in their tournament opener.
India will next face Malaysia and Japan on Thursday.
(This report has been published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. Apart from the headline, no editing has been done in the copy by ABP Live.)