|December 12th, 2009|
|16||Semi-final||4:30pm||IND - PAK||3 - 6 (1 - 3)||Final|
Semi-final – India v. Pakistan: 3-6 (half-time: 1-3)
Statistics between the two teams before this semi-final (compiled by B.G.Joshi, Bhopal, India):
Matches played: 139 - India won 43, Pakistan won 73 - 23 draws
Goals for India: 250 - Goals for Pakistan: 327.
Biggest Wins for India: 7-4 in 2003 Champions Trophy in Amstelveen
Biggest Wins for Pakistan: 7-1 in 1980 Champions Trophy in Karachi and in 1982 Asian Games Final
Last played: 2009 Asia Cup in Kuantan: Pakistan won 3-2
The second semi-final was a classic India vs. Pakistan encounter, always a treat for hockey fans all over the world. Pakistan rushed forward and Rehan BUTT opened the scoring within two minutes of play, with a seemingly harmless shot that fooled Adrian D'SOUZA in the Indian goal. Less than two minutes later, Prabhjot SINGH and Muhammad IRFAN were sent off with yellow cards. With another Pakistani player seating off a green card, India forced a penalty-corner and Dhananjay MAHADIK did not miss the opportunity to reset the counters level.
India now had the momentum and Salman AKBAR in the Pakistani goal faced a barrage of shots after spectacular moves that pleased the crowd of connoisseurs. As often between these two teams, the match was a display of attacking hockey, with all players showing off their individual skills. Adrian D'SOUZA made up for his initial mistake by stopping Rehan BUTT at the top of the circle, but there was little he could do on a phenomenal shot by the same BUTT in the 29th minute. Sohail ABBAS added a penalty-corner and things suddenly looked bright for the Green Shirts going into the break.
India seemed a bit dispirited for a while at the beginning of second period. Excellent work by Rajpal SINGH on the back line earned them a penalty-corner but they could not convert it. They then had a long period of domination, with a massive chance for Rajpal SINGH after a quick series of passes in the circle, but his deflection on the far post was just wide. With time passing without further score, India pushed higher, exposing in the process their defense and Haseem KHAN took advantage to score an opportunistic goal in the 58th minute, pushing the Pakistani lead to 3 goals.
The end of the game saw a flurry of goals at both ends (4 goals in 8 minutes!), first Dhananjay MAHADIK on penalty-corner, then Rehan BUTT completing his hat-trick of field goals, then another penalty-corner for India this time by Diwakar RAM and finally Sohail ABBAS converting a penalty-stroke after his last penalty-corner was stopped illegally!