India defeated Pakistan 3-1 after goals from Chinglensana Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh gave the men in blue their third win in three matches in Dhaka in the Hockey Asia Cup on Sunday.
After a goal-less first quarter, India took the lead in the second thanks to a flowing move from back to front that Chinglensana finished with aplomb. India put the game to bed in the third quarter with two goals in quick succession. First Ramandeep deflected the ball into the net after an excellent long pass from Harmanpreet from the right flank. The provider then turned goal-scorer when Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner with a fine drag flick to give India a 3-0 lead.
Ali Shan pulled one back for Pakistan in the fourth quarter with a field goal but the Indians comfortably saw off late pressure from the men in green.
Chinglensana Singh was declared man of the match for scoring the opening goal as the midfielder impressed from the midfield alongside his captain Manpreet Singh.
Indian goalkeepers – Suraj in the first half and Akash Chitke – were both kept busy in bursts by the Pakistan forwards but they impressed in their stints with smart saves. India could have added the more in the final quarter but they failed to convert a series of penalty corners. The three goals were still enough to make sure that they keep their winning run against Pakistan (six wins in a row), as well as this tournament in Dhaka.
Favourites to win the title, the Indians have been impressive so far, beating Japan and hosts Bangladesh comprehensively in their opening two Pool A matches before their showdown with arch rivals with Pakistan on Sunday.
After beating Japan 5-1 in their opening match, the Manpreet Singh-led side dominated hosts Bangladesh 7-0 on Friday. Pakistan, on the other hand, had a mixed outing till day. While they thrashed Bangladesh 7-0 in the opener, they were held to a 2-2 draw by Japan in their second match. But with four points from three games, they move to the Super Four stage along with India.
India finished atop Pool A with nine points from three wins. Sjoerd Marijne-coached finsished the pool stage with an all-win record.