India’s match against Pakistan ended in controversial circumstances as Ali Mubashar beat PR Sreejesh with a last-minute penalty corner, a decision which many felt was wrongly given.
The first penalty corner was awarded with just 7.3 seconds to go on the clock, following a video referral.
Leading 2-1 at that stage, it looked like India had three full points in the bag when skipper Manpreet Singh cleared the ball from the striking circle. However, Pakistan went for a video referral and were awarded a penalty corner.
Though India managed to defend the first penalty corner, Pakistan once again went for a referral claiming that the ball had hit the defenders leg and the video umpire concurred.
Ali Mubashar did not make any mistake with the second attempt as he beat Indian custodian PR Sreejesh with a low flick to the right of the goalkeeper to kick off frenzied celebrations on the Pakistan bench and the pitch.
Former India captain Viren Rasquinha, was one among the many to express dismay at the decisions. As the analyst for the broadcaster, he was quick to express his surprise at the two video referrals saying, “Both the referral decisions were very surprising. To my eyes, I have been trying to watch this as closely, there was no foot. Very, very controversial decisions. I think the video umpire was watching something else.”
Ayaz Memon, senior journalist, also expressed his dismay, remarking: “Was there a foot involved? My foot!”
Earlier, Dilpreet Singh gave India an early lead and Harmanpreet Singh doubled the advantage for the men in Blue as Pakistan had to overcome a 2-0 deficit after half-time. Muhammad Irfan jr. clawed one back for his team as India looked to be on the ropes for most of the second half.
Experts and fans on Twitter spoke about the incident after the final whistle:
There was a lot of praise for goalkeeper PR Sreejesh as he pulled off some excellent saves to deny Pakistan more goals and possibly the win at Gold Coast.
There was a lot of praise for Pakistan as well, who were led by former Indian coach Roelant Oltmans, as they came back from the brink of defeat to snatch a crucial point.