India 2-1 Pakistan- Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2008

India gave their hopes of qualifying the final a huge boost when they beat Pakistan 2-1 in their fifth group game in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh. Despite their shock 3-5 loss to Belgium the previous day, it was Pakistan who started as favourites in the game. A win would see them book their ticket against Argentina in the final on Sunday. A loss would leave them depending on other results. And , with this result, Pakistan will be biting their nails and hoping that the other results go their way- especially the Malaysia India game.

India attacked from the beginning, and ace drag flicker Sandeep Singh converted his very first attempt of the game to give the Indians a 1-0 lead. Although the second penalty corner was easily stopped by Pakistan keeper Rashid, India did not waste their third corner. Diwakar Ram’s shot hit Rashid’s shoulder, and was deflected, much to the dismay of the Pakistanis, into the net. 2-0 to India in the twentieth minute.

Pakistan struggled to find their touch in the first half, and were unable to make any of their four penalty corners count. Towards the end of the first half, Mohammad Saqlain set up Waqas Akhbar nicely, but the latter could not lend the finishing touches to the move.

Indian keeper Adrian D’ Souza was kept busy by the Pakistan forwards in the second half, and to his credit, the youngster did not falter.

Mohammad Saqlain scored the only goal of the game for Pakistan when he converted a penalty stroke in the 58th minute.

Pakistan now have ten points from six games. India have nine from five, and will meet Argentina in the final if they beat Malaysia on Saturday in their final group game.

India 2-1 Pakistan ( Sandeep Singh, Diwakar Ram/ Mohammad Saqlain)

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