The Indian Men’s Hockey Team’s victory was powered by a brace from Harmanpreet Singh (15’, 23’). While Jugraj Singh (36’) and Akashdeep Singh (55’) also scored crucial goals to put the seal on the win.
The first quarter commenced with high-octane action unfolding on both ends of the pitch. As early as the second minute a penalty corner in favour of Pakistan saw Pathak keep out a venomous strike by Sufiyan. Recovering quickly, the Indian attackers moved forward with intent, frequently penetrating the Pakistan circle. In the final minutes of the first quarter, Captain Harmanpreet Singh slotted home a signature drag flick to give the Indian Men’s Hockey Team the lead in the 15th minute.
The Indian Men’s Hockey Team carried their momentum into the second quarter. A threatening move by Pakistan was thwarted by PR Sreejesh, when he came out of his line to derail Afraz’s pass in the 21st minute. Soon after Vivek Sagar took a powerful shot on goal that was deflected by the feet of the Pakistani defence resulting in yet another penalty corner. The ensuing injection was masterfully converted by Harmanpreet Singh in the 23rd minute to complete his brace and make it 2-0 in favour of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team. The two teams went into the break with the score at 2-0.
The third quarter began with Pakistan eager to reduce the deficit but were unable to outplay the Indian defence. In the 36th minute, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team earned another penalty corner and Hardik Singh’s injection was met by Jugraj Singh who smashed into the back of the net to score the third goal. In the 43rd minute, Karthi Selvam glided in from the left flank to find Akashdeep Singh, who missed a great opportunity, inches away from goal.
In the fourth quarter, India continued to dominate possession. Their fourth and final goal came in the 55th minute saw Akashdeep Singh make the most of Mandeep’s pass as he found the back of the net with relative ease.
The victory cements India’s position on top of the table and ensures that they take on a fourth-placed Japan in the semi-finals, while Korea will take on Malaysia in the first semi-final encounter, on Friday.