Birendra Lakra-Led India Denied Victory By Pakistan In Asia Cup Hockey

Jakarta: Victory looked to be within India’s grasp before an equalizer in the dying moments of the game helped arch-rivals Pakistan snatch a 1-1 draw in their campaign-opener of the Asia Cup hockey championship here on Monday evening.

India made a rousing start, forcing a series of penalty corners in the early minutes. Debutant Karthi Selvam scored from the fifth penalty corner to give the Birendra Lakra-led men in blue a ninth-minute lead in the opening quarter.

Odisha’s Abhishek Lakra also made his senior India debut as the young team with a number of junior World Cuppers created several chances. But India failed to double their lead.

Pakistan had their moments as well, but the equalizer eluded them for 50 minutes. And then drama unfolded at the GBK Hockey Field. With just over 60 seconds left for the final hooter, Pakistan got their last chance when they were awarded their eighth penalty corner.

The first attempt was saved on the goalline by an Indian defender, but Abdul Rana pushed in the rebound to the delight of his Pakistani teammates.

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