After a disappointing loss to lower ranked Malaysia, India was up against arch-rivals Pakistan for the 5-8th place match in Hockey World League Semi-Final at London.
The teams faced each other for the first time in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne where India ran out 1-0 winners and since then, the rivalry has become the most iconic one in the history of the sport.
In the 168 games they had played before this, it was Pakistan who had the upper hand in terms of head-to-head, but in recent times it is the Men in Blue who have been better. Since 2010, India have won 14 out of 29 encounters, including this match, with seven ending in draws as well.
Earlier in the group stages of tournament, India spanked Pakistan 7-1 with goals from Harmanpreet Singh, Talwinder Singh, Akashdeep Singh and Pardeep Mor & this time too India thrashed their neighbours with a convincing victory by 6-1 to ensure themselves a 5th or 6th place in HWL Semi-Final.
In today’s game, it was India that started brightly, fashioning some good chances in the opening exchanges & drew the first blood at 7th minute of the first quarter after Ramandeep Singh slams the ball into the Pakistan’s net from a close range. First quarter ends with India leading by 1-0.
In the second quarter, India started shifting gears and slowly turned on the style as they scored whooping 3 Goals in the next 15 minutes to put Pakistan on a back foot as Talwinder Singh quickly scored the double for India while Akashdeep Singh & Ramandeep opened up a 4-0 lead for Men in Blue.
At the Half Time, India lead Pakistan by 4-0.
After the quick 5 minutes, Harmanpreet strike again through Penalty Corner to enhance India;s lead by 5-0, Pakistan got one back in the dying moments of 3rd quarter & narrow the trail by 1-5.
In the fourth quarter, Mandeep converted the rebound into Goal to give India a lead of 6-1 in the dying moments of the match.
India will not take on Canada for 5-6th classification match.