India thrash Pak 3-1 in hockey final
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India thrash Pak 3-1 in hockey final

India beat Pakistan 3-1 to clinch the gold in the men's hockey of the Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad.

othersports Updated: Oct 31, 2003 23:43 IST

'Gagan, hockey's Tendulkar', screamed a placard. The opportunistic forward once again came good as India demolished Pakistan 3-1 and clinched the inaugural Afro-Asian Games hockey title here in a packed stadium on Friday.

The laser lights that lit up the night sky in the background, simply paled in front of the explosive display dished out by the Indians as they put it across the arch-rivals for the second consecutive time in the Games here.

This was tipped to be a grudge match but Pakistan seemed to have lost the script and the Indians' will to win prevailed in the end. The hosts attacked with flair in the first session and defended steadfastly in the second to deny Pakistan.

With this victory, Indians have extended their winning streak to three -- it started with title win at the Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur recently.

It was Arjun Halappa who opened the scoring through a penalty stroke in the seventh minute.

Prabhjot, after his nippy run down the left, passed the ball to Halappa who in turn pushed it right in front of Thakur near the goal-line.

Thakur dived to deflect the ball into the goal but Pakistan goalkeeper Mohammed Qasim squatted on the ball and the umpire pointed at the dreaded spot. Halappa did the needful to a deafening roar.

Pakistan scored the equaliser soon when their penalty corner specialist Ghazanfar Ali, after being denied by goalkeeper Devesh Chauhan just a couple of minutes earlier, struck off their second penalty corner with a scorching drag flick.

There were some anxious moments soon when Viren Rasquinha was shown the yellow card after he brought down Rehan Butt.

But playing with 10 men for about six minutes, the Indians pulled back to defend the citadel.

When Rasquinha returned, India launched three quick attacks and narrowly missed out as Thakur sprayed the ball wide and Prabhjot's shot was padded away by the goalkeeper.

Len Aiyappa finally brought good tidings when, just within a couple of minutes of his arrival, India got their third penalty corner.

His stinging 'drag' deflected off Qasim's pads to send India 2-1 up.

In a match, in which tempers rose with the tempo of the match, Gagan Ajit cried foul after being brought down by Pakistan defender Tariq Imran for the third time early in the second half.

Tariq, who shadowed the Indian forward through, did play rough, and the umpire gave the Pakistani a warning. Gagan, struggling to break free for most part, then created magic in the 59th minute.

He latched on to a pass from Prabhjot Singh -- who got the ball when Ignace Tirkey's 16-yard scoop, deflected off Ali Raza's stick -- and beat three Pakistan defenders to make it 3-1.

It was a typical Gagan goal. Opportunistic. And yes, magical!

"This is a historic win for us," said coach Rajinder Singh. "We are improving fast." Skipper Dilip Tirkey said he was satisfied with the performance of the juniors, especially Harpal Singh "who has made some very good short corner saves".

Earlier, South Korea came from behind to overwhelm Malaysia 2-1. Rasoli Muhamad scored in the 42nd minute, but Malaysia's lead was short-lived as Yoo Sik Hyo scored three minutes later and then, Kim Seok Kyung scored the all-inportant goal in the 52nd minute.

India at the games

Tennis (Finals)

Women’s doubles: Sania Mirza / Rushmi Chakravarthy beat Stefanie Rosa Maya / Septi Mende (Ina) 7-6 (6-2), 6-3.

Men’s singles: Vijay Kannan bt Johnny Arcilla (Phl) 6-1 6-1. Mixed doubles: Mahesh Bhupathi / Sania Mirza beat Vishal Uppal / Rushmi Chakravarty 7-6 (7/1), 6-3.

Football (final):

Uzbekistan beat India 1-0

Hockey (Men’s final):

India beat Pakistan 3-1.

Boxing (finals): Harry S Tanamor (Phl) b M A Qamar; Akhil Kumar b Violito M Payla (Phl);Bahodirjon Sooltonov (Uzbekistan) b Diwakar Prasad; Muideen Ganiyu (Ngr) b A L Lakra; Bahit Sarsekbaev (Uzbekistan) b Vijender; Jitender Kumar b Beibut Shvmenov (Kazakhstan); Emmanuel Weingkro Izonritei (Ngr) b V Johnson.

First Published: Oct 31, 2003 19:07 IST