India squander lead to draw against Pakistan in a heated match
Busselton (Australia): India squandered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 against arch-rivals Pakistan in an ill-tempered match of the double leg tri-nation hockey tournament.
Veteran drag-flicker Sohail Abbas struck twice for Pakistan in the 46th and 64th minutes while captain Shakeel Abbasi scored the equaliser a minute later after India had taken what seemed to be an unassailable 3-0 lead at the breather.
For India, Tushar Khandkar, Danish Mujtaba and Rupinder Pal Singh scored in the violent-marred match which was stopped one minute and 35 seconds before the end of regulation time due to ugly incidents on the field involving players of both sides.
Despite one minute and 35 seconds remaining in the clock, the drawn result of the thrilling match stand as the two teams decided to stop the match after a half-an-hour stoppage.
India were clearly the better side in the first half with numerous attacks on the Pakistani citadel.
Immediately after a Danish Mujtaba`s hit was palmed away by Pakistan goalie Imran Shah, Khandar put India ahead in the fifth minute. He latched on to a cross from the right and gently tapped in an aerial ball into the net.
This fifth minute goal added venom to Pakistan attack but the Indian defence, manned by VR Raghunath and Manjit and ably assisted by Sardar Singh, withstood the pressure.