In an electrifying showdown, India emerged victorious in the Men's Hockey5s Asia Cup, securing their place in the FIH Men's Hockey5s World Cup 2024.
India claimed the title by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in a nail-biting shootout after both teams were deadlocked at 4-4 in regulation time.
During the regulation period, India's goal scorers included Mohammed Raheel (19th and 26th), Jugraj Singh (7th), and Maninder Singh (10th). Meanwhile, Pakistan found the back of the net through Abdul Rehman (5th), captain Abdul Rana (13th), Zikriya Hayat (14th), and Arshad Liaqat (19th).
Thrilling Momentum Swings
The match witnessed thrilling momentum swings as Pakistan initially broke the deadlock with a goal by Abdul Rehman in the fifth minute. Jugraj Singh swiftly equalized for India, followed by Maninder Singh's stunning reverse hit to put India in the lead.
However, Pakistan fought back with quick goals from skipper Abdul Rana (13th) and Zikriya Hayat (14th), extending their advantage. Arshad Liaqat added to Pakistan's lead in the 19th minute.
Mohammed Raheel's timely goal for India in the same minute kept the contest intense. India increased their attack, and in the 26th minute, Mohammed Raheel's brilliant dribble and strike leveled the score once again.
As neither team managed to score a winner in regulation time, the match proceeded to a thrilling shootout. Gurjot Singh and Maninder Singh held their nerves, securing the victory for India. On the other hand, Pakistan's Arshad Liaqat and Muhammad Murtaza missed their attempts, allowing India to clinch the title.
Reward for the Champions
In recognition of their remarkable achievement, Hockey India announced a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh for the players and Rs 1 lakh each for the support staff.