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India hammer Pakistan 4-0, enter Hockey Asia Cup 2017 final
22 October 2017, 12:42 | Tara Lloyd
India players congratulate Akashdeep Singh after he scored their opening goal. Image courtesy Neeraj Tiwari
The India vs Pakistan rivalry is no doubt one of world sport's most iconic showdowns, and this time was no different.
As per the rule of the tournament, the top two teams in the stage will play the final and other two will play for third place on Sunday.
India is now on the top of the table with four points from one win and a draw, followed by Malaysia which secured three points after their win against Pakistan. India will like to continue with their winning momentum while Pakistan would try to change the course of wind in their favour as another game loss will be game over for the Green Brigade.
Currently, Lebanon are at the top of the group with 10 points, followed by Hong Kong with five and North Korea with two.
Pakistan kept their defensive shape well as they did not allow India to have spaces in behind their defence which meant that the latter struggled to attack. The Men in Blue once again came close to scoring when Harmanpreet was denied by crossbar after India won their second penalty corner.
All in all, a very satisfying victory for India who can focus their energies on the finals of the Asia Cup as they aim to add another major trophy to the cabinet. The first goal from India was played by Akashdeep Singh in the 15th minute of the game.
It is interesting to note that Pakistan won all the first three editions of the cup in 1982, '85 and '89.
"In the interests of competition fairness, it has been decided that both matches between the two countries will be played at the same neutral venue", the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said. This goal by SV Sunil was also adjudged as the goal of the match.
In the Super-4s round, Pakistan lost 3-2 against Malaysia, drew 1-1 against South Korea before the match against India.
In total, the traditional rivals have met seven times in the tournament.
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