India win bronze

Third place

India vs Pakistan

JAKARTA: Defending champion and world number 5 India clinched the bronze medals in the men’s hockey event at the Asian Games after a 2-1 win over Pakistan at the GBK Hockey Stadium.

It proved to be an exciting game m with both sides attacking and pushing hard for a win.

An early goal for India in the third minute by Akashdeep Singh was the catalyst for the win. Both teams have played three times this year. At the Commonwealth Games, the teams drew 2-2 while at the Champions trophy in Breda the Indians won 4-0.

Indian coach Harinder Singh complimented the players for their strong character and resilience.

“The players were down after the semi-final defeat to Malaysia. But we reviewed the situation and spoke in detail to get ready for this match.

“Having to play a match with Pakistan under such condition is always tough. But credit to both teams for a good game and an entertaining match,” he said.

The Indians increased their lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Harmanpreet Singh scored from a penalty corner set-piece move in the 49th minute.

In the 51st minute, the Pakistanis hit back and scored a field goal by Mohamed Atiq.

It was game on but the goalkeepers at both ends also did their part to stop the final shots.

Pakistan coach said that a failed call for a penalty stroke affected their play.

“But I must say that the third and fourth quarter saw some of the best performance by the players. There should have been a penalty stroke before the Indian second goal. That could have made a difference to the outcome. Still, it is what it is, and we will have to accept it.

“I am pleased with the improvement showed by the players and that is good for the future. We can on getting better and we have to take the good and build on it,” he said.