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Indian Men’s Hockey Team for clinches Asian hockey Championship trophy: PM Modi greets Men’s Hockey Team

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PM Modi & Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur congratulate Indian Men’s Hockey Team for clinching Asian hockey Championship trophy

Harmanpreet Singh-led Indian men’s hockey team scripted a dramatic turnaround in a space of just 11 minutes as they fought back from 1-3 down in opening half to beat Malaysia 4-3 and clinch a record fourth Asian Champions Trophy title in Chennai. Jugraj Singh’s effort of a penalty corner gave India an early lead in the summit clash at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Saturday evening before Malaysia levelled it at the close of the first quarter and then struck twice in the second to lead by two goals going into the half-time.

India eventually pulled things back riding on the skipper’s effort from a penalty stroke before Gurjant Singh tapped in the equaliser in the closing minutes of the third quarter. Akashdeep Singh later struck the winner with four minutes left on the clock to hand India a record title win at home.

Malaysia kicked off the final with an attacking brand of hockey which the hosts found it difficult to contain. But despite a sluggish start, India managed to gain an early lead in the ninth minute after Jugraj successfully converted from the penlaty corner with a fierce flick to the right of the Malaysian goalie.

The opener allowed India to find their groove as they resort to a full-press hockey but the visitors kept testing the Indian defense and eventually cracked the code in the 14th minute when Abu Kamal Azari found the back of the net after being assisted by Azuan Hasan from the right flank.

India did have a chance to go ahead in the opening quarter itself by squandered back-to-back penalty corner opportunities.

Malaysia kicked off the second quarter with the same momentum before being handed a flurry of penlaty corners. They converted the second one in the 18th minute when Razie Rahim’s effort took a deflection from rusher Amit Rohidas’ stick to find the back of the net, and then the fourth one in the 28th minute as Muhamad Aminudin doubled the lead for Malaysia.

It was at the close of the final quarter when India’s fortune changed in a spane of just a minute. Skipper Harmanpreet scored from a penalty stroke in the 45th minute and second later Gujrant found the back of the net from field play to level the score.

India thereafter maintained the pressure on Malaysian defence, securing two consecutive penlaty corners, but wasted their opportunities. Eventually, it was Akashdeep Singh who scored the winner for the home team with a slap stick from top of the ‘D’ after taking in a pass from Mandeep Singh.

Japan take 3rd spot after beating South Korea 5-3

Japan finished behind Malaysia in the Asian Champions Trophy tournament after the beat defending champion South Korea 5-3 in the third-place playoff tie in Chennai. Goals from Ryoma Ooka (3rd), Ryosei Kato (9th), Kentaro Fukuda (28th), Shota Yamada (53rd) and Ken Nagayoshi (58th) helped the two-time runner-up finish on a high. Jonghyun Jang (15th and 33rd) and Cheoleon Park (26th) were the goal-scorers for the Koreans.

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