In what was looked forward as the match of the 16th Games in the men’s hockey competition, India beat Pakistan by three goals to two in Pool B to virtually ensure a place in the semi-final on Saturday. India led 2-1 at half-time.
By Mr S Thyagarajan
Sandeep Singh pumped in his seventh tournament goal within three minutes from start off a penalty corner but Pakistan leveled immediately when Rehan Butt put the ball into the boards.
Though the pace of the match was slow, the exchanges were brisk. India enjoyed the edge thanks to a few fine moves by Shivendra Singh and Tushar Khandekar.
Pakistan leaned heavily on Shakeel Abbasi who found it hard to get past the confident Sardar Singh and Mahadik.
Midway through Dharamvir Singh scored a lovely goal to put India ahead but Pakistan neutralized the advantage after half time through Shakeel Abbasi. But India scored again through a flawless penalty corner by Sandeep Singh which eventually proved the match winner.
India leads the table in Pool B with a tally of nine from three matches and takes on Japan in the last match on Sunday.
Earlier, Japan overwhelmed Hong Kong China by six goals to one to take its total to six points.
In the women’s competition also Japan outplayed its apponent-Thailand- to the tune of eight goals to maintain its third slot in the seven team round robin league, while India beat Kazakhstan by six goals to nil to come into contention for a podium finish.
Late in the day, the top two in the continent, the defending champion, China, and the former winner, South Korea were locked in a fierce battle. Korea surged ahead midway through from a goal by Park Mihyun and held it gamely till the end of the first half.
China fought back on resumption. The seasoned Fu Baorong scored the equalizer with a neat deflection from the left and added one more, But in the final minutes Park Mihyun netted her second goal to enable Korea share points. Both teams have 13 points each.
Three Kazakhstan women players of Kazakhstan - Pyotukh Alessya, Mikiheichik Yuliya and Chsherbakova Anastassiya — were suspended on Saturday from taking further part in the 16th Asian Games after noticing an an eligibility violation by them.
Tournament Director, Mathavan Devdas, said the three have confirmed their participation for Belarus in the Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament at Kazan in April 2010.
In a statement, Mr.Devadas said that “the athletes shall be suspended from participating in any further in the women’s hockey competition of the Asian Games and Kazakhstan will be deemed to have withdrawn from the four matches with a score 5-0 being awarded to the opponents in the respective matches.”
The statement also says that the matter has been reported to Olympic Council of Asia,, Asian Hockey Federation and the FIH for any further action in the issue.
Kazakhstan had lost to Japan 1-4, China 0-3, beat Thailand 3-0, and lost to Malaysia 2-4. The 10-3 for Korea however will remain in place.
Men: Pool B: India 3 (Sandeep Singh 2, Dharamvir Singh) beat Pakistan 2 (Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi) HT 2-1.
Japan 6 (Kenji Kitazato 3, Mitani Genki, Hiroki Sakamoto, Takahiko Yamabori) beat Hong Kong China 1 (Arif Ali) HT 2-0.
Women: Japan 8 (Aki Mutsuhashi, Shiho Otsuka, Yukari Yamamoto 2, Mazuki Arai, Ai Murakami, Kaori Chiba) beat Thailand 0. HT 2-0
India 6 (Surnder Kaur 2, Jasjeet Handa, Rani Rampal 2, Poonam Rani)) beat Kazakhstan 0 HT 1-0.
China 2 (Fu Baorong 2) drew with South Korea 2 (Park Mihyun 2) HT 1-0.
Sunday’s matches: Men: Pool B: Pakistan v Bangladesh; Japan v India Pool A:Korea v Singapore; Malaysia v China (5 p.m.).
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