Hockey Champions Trophy: Pak beat India 4-3, reach Final

Bhubaneswar, Dec 13: In a huge disappointment to millions of Hockey lovers in the country, India lost to its arch rival Pakistan in the semifinal of the Champions Trophy Hockey at the Kalinga Stadium here packed with crowd this evening.

Pakistan beat India 4-3 in the second semifinal to reach the final where it will take on Olympic champions Germany, who beat Australia 3-2 in the other semifinal today. The final is scheduled on Sunday.

Muhammad Arslan Qadir scored the winner in the final minute of the game to dash India's hope to reach the final of the Champions Trophy for the first time.

Both the teams started well with attacking manner. Indian custodian P Sreejesh was tested twice inside 10 minutes of the first quarter by the Pakistani strikers.

Gurjinder Singh converted India's first penalty corner, earned by Nikkin Thimmaiah, to give the hosts an early 1-0 lead against Pakistan in the 12th minute of the first quarter.

India also managed to foil Paksitan's first penalty corner attempt in the dying minutes of the first quarter but they bounced back in the second quarter to make the scoreline 1-1.

Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh made three back-to-back saves right in the first minute of the second quarter but Pakistani forward Qadir scored a fine field goal in the 16th minute to level the terms.

Pakistan made good use of Gurbaj's yellow card suspension as India were down to 10 men at the stroke of first quarter.

Pakistan also went down to 10 players after defender Irfan got yellow card suspension in the 27th minute for physically pushing Indian striker SV Sunil.

Indian striker Akashdeep missed a sitter at the stroke of second quarter when he failed to trap the ball served on platter by Sunil.

Pakistan went ahead 2-1 in the 32nd minute through a fine tap in by Mohd Waqas on the goal mouth. India appealed through a referral but the video umpire denied it as goal stands in Pakistan's favour.

In reply, India launched a series of attacks on Pakistani citadel but wasted two back-to-back penalty corners in the 34th minute.

India squandered too many goal scoring opportunities in the third quarter as their strikers committed silly mistakes.

Pakistani goal scorer Qadir got yellow card suspension for tripping Indian striker Manpreet at midfield. India equalised through Dharamvir against 9-man Pakistan.

Dharamvir, scored a fine field goal to level 2-2 against Pakistan, sidestepped goalkeeper and whacks to his right as the ball landed to the right corner of the net.

Pakistan fought back hard and again went into 3-2 lead through Mohd Irfan who scored a fine goal in a penalty corner set piece in the 49th minute.

Two minutes later, Indian striker Nikkin Thimmaiah connected a fine cross from Gurbaj to make the scoreline 3-3 against Pakistan.

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