The final was taking place at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium, Malaysia and India started the match on a dominating note when Rupinder Pal Singh scored India’s first goal at the 18th minute followed by Affan Yousuf scoring India’s second goal just five minutes later.
Pakistan though was not going to give up on the title that easily and made a strong comeback in the second and third quarter to lessen India’s lead in the 26th minute with a goal by Aleem Bilal, and then an equalizer by Ali Shan in the 38th minute.
A month back, Indian Captian PR Sreejesh had made a commitment that India will defeat Pakistan for Indian soldiers who “sacrifice their lives in the exchange of fire at the borders.”
Rupinder Pal Singh celebrating his goal.Indian Express
They finally got a breakthrough in the 51st minute when Akashdeep Singh passed to forward Nikkin Thimmaiah on the left, who sounded the board with a drive, scoring the winner to reign the Asian Games champions title.
Even though captain Sreejesh was injured and could not play in the final, Indian defence stood tall in the match, with stand-in goalkeeper Akash Chikte making sure he up to the challenge to defend India’s title.
PR Sreejesh celebrating with the team after retaining the title. News Dog
Last month, soon after the Uri Attack, Captain PR Sreejesh had said…
“India-Pakistan match brings a lot of excitement to the table. We want to give hundred per cent. We don’t want to disappoint our soldiers by losing, especially when they sacrifice their lives in the exchange of fire at the borders.”