MUSCAT, Oct 21: India made a stupendous comeback after being a goal down as they beat Pakistan 3-1 in the 5th Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament to stretch their unbeaten streak against arch-rivals to 11 games.
Captain Manpreet Singh (24th), forward Mandeep Singh (31st) and Dilpreet Singh (42nd) scored for the winners with Indian captain�s impressive performance earning him �Man of the Match� award on Saturday night.
India dominated the proceeding despite Muhammad Irfan Jr�s first minute strike that had put Pakistan ahead.
Ranked fifth in the world, India went into the match with a 10-match unbeaten streak against Pakistan but it was the World No. 13 side, who started in good rhythm.
It was a quick start for the Pakistanis as they won a penalty corner in the first minute and managed to score through Irfan Jr, who was the quickest to react after Indian custodian PR Sreejesh had made a save off the PC execution.
The goal came as a setback for the Indian team but they did manage to regain control in the next few minutes, keeping possession and trying to make inroads in the Pakistani defence through darting runs down the flanks.
It was a tactic that worked as they earned a couple of penalty corners. But the Pakistani defence held on in the opening quarter to take their one-goal advantage into the two-minute break. India tried to look for the equaliser in the second quarter but struggled inside striking circle.
But it was a moment of magic from skipper Manpreet, which saw India finally get their equaliser as the midfielder showcased individual brilliance to score in the 24th minute.
Manpreet won possession just inside Pakistan�s half, making a marauding run into the striking circle and weaving past three defenders in the process to finish the move all by himself as he stroked the ball into the far-post to revive India�s spirits. � PTI