New Delhi: Indian Men's hockey team gifted whole country the best possible Diwali gift on Suday, defeating Pakistan 3-2 in the final of 2016 Asian Champions trophy at Kuantan, Malaysia.
The nail biting encounter saw, Rupinder Pal Singh (18th minute) and Affan Yousuf (23rd) hitting board. Giving India a 2-0 lead but Paksitan fought back to draw level 2-2 but Nikkin Thimmaiah's goal (51st) gave India a 3-2 win eventually.
Captain of the Indian hockey team PR Sreejesh, who missed the final because of injury revealed the pre-match preparation in an interview with TOI.
"It's an emotional factor, because a lot of feelings go through you when India plays Pakistan. Nowadays the players tend to focus more on their performance rather than what happens outside the hockey field.
What we did here in this tournament was shut off the outside world and not let emotions get to us.
This tournament was more about individuals focusing on their roles, and planning to win the title with a proper system and performances.
Secondly, we stayed away from social media because when it comes to India and Pakistan, chances are there will be a lot of comments and negativity and controversies. I think that was the best factor, apart from these players."
Ahead of the start of Champions Trophy, Sreejesh had vowed to beat Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy and dedicate the win to India's soldiers.
The result, India defeated Pakistan not once but twice to lift the trophy.
India had won the inaugural edition of the competition five years ago. The 2011 final against Pakistan was the one where Sreejesh came into the spotlight for the first time by saving two penalties.
India will play in the upcoming four-nation event and the subsequent Test series in Australia, but Sreejesh's participation is still a doubt.