Field Hockey: India Clinch Bronze in Asian Champions Trophy After Tense Win Over Arch-Rival Pakistan

© AP Photo / John MinchilloArgentina's Ignacio Horacio Ortiz, right, and India's Rupinder Pal Singh, left, battle for the ball during a men's field hockey match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.
Argentina's Ignacio Horacio Ortiz, right, and India's Rupinder Pal Singh, left, battle for the ball during a men's field hockey match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
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This is not the first time India have defeated Pakistan in field hockey. In fact, Manpreet Singh and his team easily shrugged off a challenge from the Men-in-Green earlier in the same tournament, earning a comprehensive 3-1 triumph on Friday.
In a highly charged encounter in the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, the Indian men's field hockey team trumped Pakistan 4-3 in the third-place play-off match of the Asian Champions Trophy to clinch the bronze medal in the prestigious tournament on Wednesday.
Although India was the first to score in the first quarter thanks to Harmanpreet Singh's goal, Pakistan bounced back in fine style to level proceedings in the 11th minute of the match.
With tensions rising, neither team was able to force the pace in the nail- biting second quarter.
However, in the third quarter, Pakistan were able to grab an early lead with the help of Abdul Rana's strike, but Sumit Walmiki didn't let India linger behind for long as he equalised just a few minutes later.
India carried the momentum in the final quarter with Varun Kumar scoring India's third goal through a penalty corner in the 53rd minute.
Subsequently, Akashdeep Singh safeguarded India's joy as he made it 4-2 with only three minutes to go on the clock.
But it was here, with the Indians having to dig in their heels as they were left with only nine men after the referee decided to send off two of their players because of fouls, that Pakistan narrowed India's lead after Ahmad Nadeem scored immediately after Akashdeep's brilliance.
However, the eight-time Olympic champions managed to keep their nerve and survived Pakistan's onslaught in the final three minutes to clinch yet another medal at a major field hockey competition this year.
Later, South Korea and Japan will battle it out to determine who will win gold and who will bag silver. Earlier in August, India's men's team had brought an end to their 41-year wait for an Olympic medal in Tokyo.
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