Amid a significant controversy that marred the India-Iran Men's Kabaddi Final in Asian Games 2023, India clinched the gold in a massive day for them with 33-29 scoreline. The controversy erupted over Pawan Sherawat's do-or-die raid in the 2nd half of the game due to which the competition has reportedly been suspended.
At the outset, Iran's airtight defensive tactics put India under pressure. However, Indian captain Pawan Sherawat and raider Naveen Kumar held their own by stealing away points fairly consistently. Mohammad Reza Shadlu performed multi-point raids as Iran were leading 12-9 with three and half minutes shy of half time.
Although India started catching up, Iran inflicted an all-out attack on India, levelling the scores 25-25 with 10 minutes to full time.
Captain gets captain as Pawan Sherawat has the last laugh:
Pawan Sherawat spearheaded India's fightback, inflicting a raid on skipper Fazel Atrachali and followed it by removing Mohammad Esmaeil Nabibakhsh as India inched ahead by 28-25. With that, Iran accumulated three successive points and the scores were level at 28-all and only a minute was left for the final whistle.
With Sehrawat winning four points with a raid to put India back into the lead, controversy erupted as the referees and teams needed clarity on the points scored through it. India's defence didn't let Alireza Mizaeian take the point as they took him down. Naveen Kumar bagged the final point to complete India's win.
This was also Men's Kabaddi' team's 8th gold medal in Asian Games history.