India went down 2-3 to arch rivals Pakistan in the bronze medal play-off at the Champions Trophy hockey championship here yesterday.
Pakistan earned their first medal at a Champions Trophy since 2004 after beating the Indians in a hard fought game.
The loss leaves India still looking for their first medal since 1982. But a fourth place finish in the tournament, in which they featured after six years, could be seen a good result.
The teams entered the game as equal adversaries with a 6-6 all-time record at the Champions Trophy and were so evenly matched that the game was too close to call until the final horn.
“This win means a lot to us. We haven’t had a medal at the Champions Trophy since 2004,” Pakistani player Shakeel Abbassi told the FIH’s website.
The teams exchanged goals in the first half. India took the lead when VR Raghunath scored off a penalty corner just seven minutes into action.
Pakistan got the equaliser with 14 minutes left in the half. Muhammad Rizwan Sr found himself alone at the top of striking circle and fired in a shot for 1-1.
Pakistan took the lead in the second half when Shafqat Rasool settled a bouncing pass and hit it in from point blank range for 2-1.
India’s defence in the second half came then kept Pakistan from extending the lead further, ensuring the contest was a nail-biting affair. However, Muhammad Ateeq sealed the Pakistani win with three minutes left in the game with a penalty corner. It proved to be the match-winner as India scored off a penalty corner marker at full time to bring the final score to 2-3.
Aus beat Dutch via golden goal
Australia beat the Netherlands 2-1 thanks to a Kieran Govers golden goal to clinch their fifth Champions Trophy yesterday.
Govers slammed one home from the top of the circle in the fifth minute of extra-time after the teams were tied 1-1 at the end of full time. The Netherlands opened the scoring in the 18th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Sander de Wijn, before Australia equalised in the 31st minute through a penalty corner strike by Russell Ford.
In other matches, Belgium beat Germany 5-4 in the playoff for the 5th-6th spots, while New Zealand beat England 3-2 to finish 7th.