The Indian men’s hockey team opened their Asia Cup 2022 title defence with a 1-1 draw against rivals Pakistan at the GBK Sports Complex Hockey Stadium, in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Monday. Debutant Selvam Karthi scored his first international goal for India in the ninth minute, while Pakistan equalised late in the game through Abdul Rana at the end of a penalty corner routine in the 59th minute.

In the first quarter, there were a flurry of penalty corners for both the teams. While Pakistan secured two, India managed three, the last of which resulted in a goal. Karthi’s low drag-flick was seemingly going wide, but deflected off a defender’s stick and crashed into the back board.

Hockey, Asia Cup, India vs Pakistan as it happened: Both teams share spoils in 1-1 draw

After the start of the second quarter, India had their first shy at the goal but an alert Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal Hussain made a quick reflex save from close range to keep out Pawan Rajbhar’s effort. India secured a penalty corner in the second quarter in the 21st minute but the title holders failed to convert the chance into another goal.

In the 28th minute, Pakistan too received a penalty corner, their third, but once again they failed to stop the push, thereby wasting a bright chance. After the change of ends, Pakistan started on an attacking note, albeit for a brief period, and secured their third penalty corner but Rizwan Ali’s shot went wide.

Of starts and restarts as Birendra Lakra-led India begin campaign versus Pakistan

India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera then saved an effort from Abdul Rana from close quarters. But as time passed, the Indians again took control of the proceedings and secured a handful of penalty corners but failed to get past an alert Hussain in front of Pakistan goal as the scores remained 1-0 to India at hte end of the third quarter.

Pakistan started to apply more pressure on the Indian goal towards the end of the match, and just over a minute left on the clock, won a penalty corner. Mubashar Ali took the drag-flick which crashed off the first rusher’s foot, then into the foot of the defender at the post and fall kindly for Rana who tapped in the equaliser.

India will next play Japan in their second Pool A match on Tuesday, at 1700 hrs IST.

India’s match against Japan will be telecast live on Star Sports First + Star Sports Select 2 SD + HD and Disney + Hotstar.