India's young guns staged a brilliant comeback to hold Pakistan 2-2 and kept the team in the running for a place in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy.
Muhammad Rizwan (right) evades a tackle from Rupinder Pal Singh
during their Asian Champions Trophy match. Pic/AFP
In the last match of the day, Malaysia did India a favour beating Japan 3-2 after coming back from 0-2 down. India with nine points is through to the final and will play Pakistan (10pts) again on Sunday. Japan (7) takes on Malaysia (7) for the bronze medal match while South Korea (7-1) play China (1) for the 5th/6th spot.
Yesterday's match saw a typical India-Pakistan encounter; high on tension with a few yellow and green cards thrown in.
With the first half goalless, things seemed in place for a tense second half battle. Pakistan found the opening in the 40th minute when Waseem Ahmed sent a cross from the top of the circle to Muhammad Waqas who took his time before beating Chettri with a high shot into the net.
Two minutes later, India faced Pakistan's first penalty corner and they made it count when Muhammad Irfan sent it high into the net. At 2-0, India faced a mountain to climb. But they didn't seemed rattled as they threw in everything.
In the 43rd minute, India earned their third penalty corner and Ignace Tirkey faltered with the trap but reacted fast to send a tap to Mujtaba who pushed it to Rupinder pal Singh. The tall full back's full blooded whack crashed into the Pakistan goal.
With the scores cut to 1-2, India was back in the match. The equalizer came in the 53rd minute off a brilliant Mujtaba deflection. India had a chance to take the lead in the 59th minute but Rupinder pal Singh flicked straight onto the rushers stick. The last few minutes were tension ridden as both tried to open up each others defence.