India registered a strong comeback to upstage arch-rivals Pakistan 3-1 in a group match at the Asian Champions Trophy on Saturday. This win is India’s 11th consecutive victory over their Pakistan.
The defending champions, who had begun the competition with an 11-0 thrashing of Oman, were rocked as early as in the first minute when Muhammad Irfan Jr scored from a rebound but did well to claw back into the contest and register a dominant win.
The goal-scorers for India were Manpreet Singh (24th minute), forward Mandeep Singh (31st minute) and Dilpreet Singh (42nd minute). The holders had much of the ball possession despite trailing by a goal in the game.
Pakistan had won a penalty corner in the first minute but the save from goalkeeper PR Sreejesh invited a quick reaction from Irfan who had got it on the rebound.
Falling behind at such an early stage indeed was a setback for India but they kept their hold on possession and launched a flurry of attacks that kept the Pakistani defenders on their toes. They won two penalty corners in the process but Pakistan held on hard to maintain their one-goal lead going into the break.
Captain Manpreet led the way for an equaliser in the 24th minute that provided some much-needed relief to the Indian camp. He got the ball outside the Pakistani half and darted in past three defenders to send the ball into the net.
The half-time thus saw both sides levelled at 1-1.
Mandeep Singh was the next one to get onto the scoresheet after he got a pass from Akashdeep Singh and flicked it into the goal between his legs to give India the lead in the 31st minute.
The third quarter turned out to be a highly productive one for India with their third goal coming from Dilpreet who slotted one in from a rebound after Lalit Upadhyay’s initial shot was blocked by Pakistani goalkeeper Imran Butt.
India held onto their two-goal lead at the end with young stopper Krishan Bahadur Pathak pulling off a good interception in the dying stages of the match.
India next play Japan on Sunday.
Image credit- NDTV Sports