Pakistan beat India 3-2

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Pakistan have beaten India by 3 goals to 2 in the 3rd test in Peshawar.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:09 IST
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India fought bravely before succumbing 2-3 against Pakistan in the third hockey Test between the arch-rivals here today. Trailing by two goals into the second half, India did well to bounce back into the match with goals in the 48th and 60th minute through Hari Prasad and Arjun Halappa respectively. But a Sohail Abbas strike just three minutes before the close did them in. Pak lead series Pakistan, who won the first Test at Karachi before losing in Quetta, now lead the series 2-1 with the fourth and final match of the Pakistan leg of the series being scheduled at Lahore on Friday. After a dismal performance in Quetta, Pakistan pulled their socks up to emerge victorious here after Mudassar Ali Khan (15th) and Shakeel Abbasi (25th) gave them a fine start. India, who struggled for ball possession in the first half, looked a completely different side after the break as they made a number of attacks on the opposition post. Besides the two goals, which were the outcome of some beautifully executed moves by the young forwards, the side was unlucky for missing out on a number of occasions. They failed to score even once from four penalty corners they got against their formidable rivals. On one occasion, Adam Sinclair, following a wonderful move by Vikram Pillay and Sandeep Michael, hit the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Salman Haider only to see it coming back to play after hitting the post. Good start Earlier, India had a fine start to the Test as they earned a penalty corner quite early but failed to capitalise on it, thus losing a great opportunity to take the lead. That was all the Indians could do in the earlier part of the match as their opponents slowly and steadily took control of the proceedings. Pakistan played a much better game with their forwards making several dangerous moves. Their hard work almost paid off when they earned the first penalty corner in the 10th minute. The fans cheered for Sohail Abbas when the penalty corner expert got ready to take the shot, but Dilawar Hussain erred in stopping the Rehan Butt push properly denying the ace drag flicker a chance to get closer to highest goal scorer Paul Litjen's 268 goal mark. The next three minutes saw the home side coming close to scoring on two occasions but some poor finishing by the forwards prevented them from finding the target. Pak takes lead In the 15th minute, Pakistan took the lead after Mudassar Ali Khan scored an opportunist goal. After getting a pass from a counter move, Mudassar rolled the ball inside the circle before hitting a rasping shot that caught goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza off-guard. D'Souza, who was impressive in the first two matches, failed to make the proper judgement as the hit went through his legs much to the delight of the home supporters, who had thronged the stadium in large numbers. Ten minutes later, Shakeel Abbasi made the scoreline 2-0 with yet another field goal that gave the home side a stronghold over the match. Wasted chances In between, India earned two more penalty corners but failed to score on both the occasions. Sandeep Singh, hero in India's win in Quetta, was off target in the first of the two setpieces in the 24th minute before Arjun Hallapa hit dangerously three minutes later as the side employed a variation hoping to reduce the margin. India played with lot more aggression in the second half that forced the Pakistanis to go on the defensive and it helped the visitors' cause. Hari Prasad's goal added more fire in their attack as they pressed hard for the equaliser which came at the hour mark. (PTI)

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