Ipoh: India squandered a first half lead to suffer an embarassing 1-3 defeat against arch-rivals Pakistan in a crucial match of the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday.
For India Rupinder Pal Singh (20th minute) scored the lone goal, while Umar Butta (49th), Mohammad Imran (55th) and veteran Sohail Abbas (57th) found the net for Pakistan in a high-voltage encounter between to the two traditional rivals.
India started the game on a positive note and created numerous scoring chances in the opening half but could not sustain the tempo.
Rupinder Pal Singh, the find of the tournament, capitalised on one such opportunity and increased his personal tally, handing India the lead in the 20th minute with a powerful dragflick from their second penalty corner.
However, it was a completely different scenario after the change of ends as, traling by a goal, Pakistan came out all guns blazing and launched continuous raids on the Indian citadel.
Their effors bore fruit in the 49th minute when Butta capiotalised on Diwakar Ram and Gurbaj Singh`s defensive lapse to equalise for Pakistan.
Imran made it 2-1 in the 55th minute converting a penalty corner and two minutes later it was Abbas` turn to slam home the ball from another short corner to literally take the game away from the Indians.