India, Pakistan play a draw
The best part of Pakistan was the way they managed the space in the field while it seemed India, were more focused on keeping their lead.
Antwerp — The much anticipated Hockey World League (HWL) semifinal Pool A clash between traditional rivals India and Pakistan ended in a 2-2 stalemate at the Brasschaat Municipal Park here on Friday.
Ramandeep Singh (13th and 39th) scored for world No.9 India while his brace was matched by world No.10 Pakistan captain Muhammad Imran, who converted a penalty stroke and a penalty corner in the 23rd and 37th minutes respectively. India were the better team at the start with the players combining and coordinating well. They got the more of the ball possession in the first quarter as Pakistan took time to get into a rhythm.
Pakistan got a great chance of going ahead as Shakeel Ammad set up Muhammad Waqas only for the latter to waste it.
However, India got the crucial 1-0 lead in the 13th minute as Gurmail Singh drove the ball inside the Pakistan circle in a blistering speed and Ramandeep, lurking in front of the goal, made full commitment and threw his body to deflect the ball in. In the second quarter, Pakistan regrouped and bounced back strongly to make lethal circle penetrations and threatening Indian goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh every time. The best part of Pakistan was the way they managed the space in the field while it seemed India, after getting the lead, were more focused on keeping their lead.
Sparks flew thick and fast between the two Asian giants — with a bitter history between the two countries — didn’t allow each other free space.