India beat Pakistan 4-0 as they faced off on the hockey turf for the opening match of the 37th (and last) edition of the Champions Trophy Men’s tournament held in the Netherlands city of Breda on Saturday.
But the game wasn’t as one-sided as the scoreline of 4-0 might suggest. In fact, India led by just one goal up until the 54th minute of the one-hour long match.
However, a domino effect of sorts then followed, with the green shirts conceding three goals within the last six minutes.
According to a Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) press release, the last two goals of the match came when Pakistan replaced the goalkeeper with an outfield player. All the Indian goals came through open play.
Ramandeep Singh scored at 26, Dilpreet Singh at 54, Mandeep Singh at 57 minutes, and Lalit Upadhay within the last minute of the game.
According to match statistics provided by PHF, the green shirts possessed the ball 50.7 per cent of the time.
But in a match like this, it all boils down to availing chances and here India outclassed Pakistan, ending up the winners.
Former national hockey team player, Khwaja Junaid, who won the bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, lashed out at the team’s poor performance.
“The results of appointing a foreign coach are starting to show,” he said criticising the PHF’s decision to appoint Roelant Oltmans as Pakistan’s new coach. He said it was pitiful to see the side defeated by India (whom he considers a weak team) after having spent a month in Holland for training.
Apart from host team the Netherlands, India, and Pakistan, the other teams participating in the tournament are Australia, Argentina, and Belgium. The matches will take place from June 23 to July 1.
The tournament will be replaced by the Hockey Pro League (HPL) in 2019.