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India vs Pakistan hockey final : An emotional affair on the cards

Indian men's hockey team. File pic
Indian men's hockey team. File pic

There was a telling moment when Pakistan coach Khawaja Muhammad Junaid was asked after the shocking 0-6 defeat against Canada as to how would he stem the tide against an Indian side that has improved leaps and bounds. Junaid, a man under siege, said, "I will try that we win or at least play a better game than the one we displayed against Canada." No Pakistan coach in history has ever given a statement so much in hope.

168th match
On Sunday, India take on Pakistan in what should again be an emotional affair in which the only thing that matters for both sides, win or lose the tournament, is beat thy neighbor. It will be the 168th match between the two sides in what has been the greatest rivalry in world hockey. Pakistan has won more games (82 to India’s 55) since their domination was complete in the 70’s and 80’s. But as former Indian captain Sardar Singh said, "If we play with control and not get involved in the hype that surrounds the match, we should look at a positive result."

Trailer before big game
India’s 3-0 win against Canada was like a trailer before the game against Pakistan. The team played almost perfect hockey, not letting in the Canadians in the first two quarters in which India scored thrice.

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