India lose bronze playoff

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India lost 4-3 to Pakistan in the playoff for bronze place in the Champions Trophy in Holland.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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A 68th minute goal by Rehan Butt clinched it for Pakistan, as they beat India 4-3 in the playoff for bronze in the Champions Trophy in Holland. After a fairly quiet start in the initial stages, Jugraj Singh converted a penalty stroke in the 26th minute to break the deadlock. Pakistan's Sohail Abbas struck in the 30th minute through a penalty corner. The Indians grabbed the lead once again in the dying seconds of the first half as Prabhjot Singh found his mark. But the joy was short-lived. Kashif Jawad equalized in the 6th minute of the second half to get Pakistan back even at 2-2. India moved back on top courtesy a deflection off young Deepak Thakur's stick in the 48th minute – the score at 3-2. Pakistan earned two penalty corners in quick succession, and while the first was saved, Sohail Abbas's second goal of the match put the scoreboard level at 3-3. And it was Butt's goal that sealed the fate of the match. Earlier today, Argentina beat Germany 2-1 to finish fifth in the tournament. Past record It's advantage India right now but they will do well to remember what happened in the Champions Trophy last year. India were leading Pakistan 3-1 in the playoff for third place but then Pakistan recovered to win 4-3. In fact, Pakistan have been more dominant in the Champions Trophy overall. They've won three titles compared to none for India. They've also got more World Cup and Asian Games titles. But India is way ahead in terms of Olympic golds, with eight as compared to three for Pakistan. So it's a contest for Asian supremacy and a chance as well for coach Rajinder Singh to prove his detractors wrong. The Indian Hockey Federation has hinted at the possibility of appointing a foreign coach and Australian legend Ric Charlesworth has answered by saying he would be interested in the job.

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