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Asian Champions Trophy: India, Pakistan declared joint winners after rain abandons final


Arch-rivals India and Pakistan were declared joint winners of the fifth hockey Asian Champions Trophy after the summit clash was forced to be called off due to incessant rain in Muscat.

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Heavy downpour since evening had already delayed the start and although the grey clouds receded later, the field was too wet for a match as important as the final to be played.

A PTI report said that the turf was completely waterlogged because of the heavy rainfall and therefore after discussion with both the coaches of India and Pakistan, the tournament director decided to call off the match and declare both the teams as the joint winners of this tournament.

India and Pakistan are two times champions of this tournament, while India are the defending champions, having beaten their arch-rivals in 2016 to win the title for the second time. They first won it in 2011 also after beating neighbours Pakistan.

Pakistan on the other has won it twice in 2012 and 2013. India finished runner-up in 2012.

The reigning champions thus finished their campaign undefeated in the entire tournament. They won four and drew one in the round robin stages eking out 13 points from five matches and were the only team unbeaten for the entire tournament.

Pakistan finished with 10 points, having lost once to India by a 3-4 margin in the round robin stage.

Meanwhile, Malaysia defeated Asian Games gold medallist Japan 3-2 in the penalty shootout after the match ended in a thrilling 2-2 in regular time. The third-place victory helped Malaysia avenge their Asia final loss to the same opposition.

India had also beaten Japan 3-2 in a nerve-wrenching semi-final encounter on Saturday, while Pakistan had got the better of Malaysia in the penalty shootout (3-1) after the regular match ended in 2-2

Both the teams straight-away head off to the FIH World CUP in Bhubaneswar, scheduled to start later in November.

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