In a stunning turn of events during the Asia Hockey 5s World Cup Qualifier final in Salalah, Oman, the Pakistan hockey team experienced a setback when they were defeated by their arch-rivals, India, in a thrilling penalty shootout.
Unfortunately, the Pakistani players couldn’t find the mark in any of their penalty attempts, while the Indian team successfully converted two, ultimately clinching the championship in a fiercely contested match that saw a total of eight goals.
Despite the disappointment of not securing the title, Pakistan managed to secure the silver medal and the runners-up position in the tournament, a testament to their skill and determination.
The game witnessed an early lead for Pakistan when Abdul Rehman scored in the 5th minute, but India’s Jugraj Singh promptly equalized just two minutes later.
The first half concluded with Pakistan leading 3-2, with Zikriya Hayat adding another goal just before halftime. In the second half, both teams continued their aggressive play, resulting in three more goals, with Arshad Liaquat scoring for Pakistan in the 19th minute. However, India’s Mohammad Raheel scored a crucial brace in the second half, leading to a thrilling draw.
The fate of the match was sealed in the penalty shootout, where Pakistan’s penalty takers, Mohammad Murtaza and Arshad, were unable to find the back of the net, while India’s Maninder and Gujrot Singh secured the victory with their precise penalties.
Despite the intense rivalry, both Pakistan and India earned their spots in the upcoming 2024 Hockey 5s World Cup, which is set to be hosted in Muscat, Oman, promising another exciting chapter in their hockey journey.