It was for the first time since the start of Junior Hockey World Cup that a sizeable crowd thronged the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday. The reason was understandable because India-Pakistan rivalry in hockey is one of the most intense.
The match, however, was being played to decide the ninth and 10th position. The game lacked in pace but was high on enthusiasm as expected after witnessing both teams’ performances so far in the tournament.
Trailing by a goal till the 66th minute, India managed to force a penalty shootout after a late penalty corner conversion by Gurjinder Singh. However, the hosts failed to cross the final hurdle as Pakistan secured the ninth position with 4-2 (1-1 regular time) victory after some breathtaking final moments.
Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Tousiq, skipper Muhammad Umar Bhutta and Muhammad Dilber were successful in breaching Harjot Singh’s defence. Whereas for India, only Gurjinder and Talwinder Singh could score while Imran Khan and Satbir Singh failed to dodge Pak goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas. Muhammad Rizwan Junior was the lone Pak player who missed his chance to convert during the shootout.
Playing Today (Live on Ten Sports): Korea vs New Zealand (1.15pm); Belgium vs Australia (3.30pm); Malaysia vs The Netherlands (5.45pm); France vs Germany (8pm)