Pakistan retain Asian title

Published Sep 04, 2012 02:00am

JAKARTA: Pakistan, world hockey champions, retained their title when they beat India by two goals to zero in the final of the Fourth Asian competition at the Senajan Stadium this evening.

Pakistan first shot into world prominence when they claimed the gold medal at Tokyo on a better goal average.

Then at Rome, they beat the Indians to establish their rightful claim to the World Championship.

Yesterday, in a match which was robust at times, the Indians were forced to play with ten men for most of the match. The Indian centre-half Charanjit was injured when he got in the way of the ball at a corner early in the match.

Atif was sent off for three minutes by the umpire after his stick hit India’s inside-right Gurdev Singh on the neck.

This was not a great final, neither was it a classic. There was too much tension for it to be really enjoyable.

Both teams were capable of playing top-class hockey, but the ‘big occasion’, as often, turned this match into a hurly-burly, with fitness and the finer points more often than not missing.

Heroes of the Pakistan team, skipper Atif who, except for one lapse, played like a Trojan in defence, centre-forward Waheed and inside-left ‘Bunda’ were a thorn in the side of the Indian defence. They were always on the lookout for half a chance to go through for a goal. Indian fullback Prithipal Singh played a masterly game. His powerful clearances made the Pakistanis treat him with great respect. Bandu Patil worked tirelessly to keep the Indian attack mobile.

After the match, jubilant Pakistanis swarmed down from the stands for a victory dance in the track beside the pitch.—Agencies

20,000 dead in Iran quake

TEHERAN: A prominent religious leader reported that about 20,000 persons died in the Ghavzin area in Saturday night’s earthquake which devastated south-western Iran.

Dr Asadollah Alam, the Prime Minister, however, said that the government officials in the earthquake area put the total of “dead and injured” at over 20,000.

National mourning was proclaimed throughout Iran today. All radio stations suspended their music programmes for 24 hours. —Agencies


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