Hyderabad: India have beaten Pakistan 3-1 in the men's hockey final of the Afro-Asian games in Hyderabad to clinch the gold. Today's win is India's fourth major hockey title this year. India, who had defeated Pakistan in the league match on Monday, held their nerves in the tension-filled match to emerge deserving winners. Power-packed performance India's Dhanraj Pillai and Pakistan's Suhail Abbas weren't playing but even then the India-Pakistan hockey final was probably the showpiece event of the inaugural Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad. India's Arjun Halappa scored the first goal of the match at the seventh minute. But Pakistan's Ghazanfar Ali scored at the 14th minute to even the score.
India was certainly the dominant side and just before the end of the first half, Len Aiyappa scored off a penalty corner to take India to a lead of 2-1.
During the second half, Pakistan just could not turn the match in their favour. A series of penalty corners were crying out to be converted by Suhail Abbas. But of course he wasn't playing and Indian goalkeeper Devesh Chauahn was in great form.
India made it 3-1 with less than 10 minutes to spare with Gagan Ajit Singh making a brilliant solo effort to score the third goal.
Test of nerves
Earlier on Thursday evening, goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan and assistant coach AB Subbiah practiced for an hour at the hockey stadium in Hyderabad knowing that the clash against Pakistan would be a test of nerves.
"Pakistan is a very strong team and we had a good match in the league phase. The next match is once again with Pakistan in the finals. The boys would go all out and I hope we will perform well," the Indian captain Dilip Tirkey said earlier.
India's worry in the last two matches has been its inability to score off penalty corners.