India beat Pakistan 3-2

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:28 IST

India beat Pakistan 3-2 in a thrilling league match of the Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Cologne. After a draw, loss and two successive wins in the six-

India beat Pakistan 3-2

Cologne:

Playing their best hockey in the tournament so far, India pipped Pakistan 3-2 in a thrilling league match of the Champions Trophy hockey tournament here today. After a draw, loss and two successive wins in the six-team tournament, India now have seven points from four matches to climb to the joint second position with the Netherlands behind Germany. India next play Korea in their last league encounter on Friday. In a fast-paced and evenly-balanced encounter that witnessed brilliant stickwork and classical skills, India found the target through Prabhjot Singh (21st minute) and captain Dilip Tirkey (34th) in the first half while Gagan Ajit Singh scored the third in the 56th minute. Gazanfar Ali (23rd) and Sohail Abbas (56th) scored for Pakistan. The ball moved from end to end as both sides played attacking hockey. Ultimately, it was the solid defence by the Indians, especially the excellent display by goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan, which clinched the day for India. However, it was play-maker Dhanraj Pillay who stole the show with his amazing runs and brilliant stickwork. At 35, the veteran centre-forward was too good for players nearly half his age and set up India's first and the third goals. "We can lose to any team, but not Pakistan and they also say the same thing," said Pillay. The game had started dangerously for the Indians with Pakistan's Shabbir putting the ball into the Indian goal after just 43 seconds. But the umpire had already called for an infringement and the goal was disallowed. Pakistan dominated the possession for the first ten minutes and repeatedly made forays into the Indian striking circle but the defenders did their job well. Pakistan earned their first penalty corner in the fourth minute but a superb defence from Pillay thwarted the attempt. India counter-attacked in the next minute and made a very good move but Prabhjot Singh failed to deflect the ball in. (With PTI inputs)

Topics : Hockey
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