India beat Pakistan 2-1 to win bronze in men’s hockey

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Indian hockey player Akashdeep Singh celebrates with teammates after scoring their first goal against Pakistan during the Men’s hockey bronze medal match at the 18th Asian Games 2018. (PTI Photo)

JAKARTA, September 1: India maintained their recent domination over arch-rivals Pakistan with a fighting 2-1 win to bag a consolation bronze medal after a below-par semi-final performance at the 18th Asian Games on Saturday.
Akashdeep Singh scored a brilliant field goal in the third minute while Harmanpreet Singh extended India’s advantage in the 50th minute off a penalty corner. Muhammad Atiq increased the heart rate of Indian fans reducing the margin in the 52nd minute from a counter-attack.
But the Indians didn’t repeat the same mistake which they committed against Malaysia in the semi-finals and managed to hold on to the lead to at least redeem some pride.
World number five India, who came into the tournament as favourites being the defending champions, will go back home with a bronze, having beaten 13th ranked Pakistan for the second time in the last three months. The Indians had defeated Pakistan 4-0 in the Champions Trophy in June.
After the semi-final heartbreak, India on Saturday seemed like a team on a mission from the first minute.
After creating a couple of early chances, the Indians struck as early as in the third minute through Akashdeep, who fired the ball into the goal over Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt after receiving a measured pass from Lalit Upadhyay as the partisan Indian crowd went into a frenzy. (PTI)