ISLAMABAD - Thanks to a solo goal by Awais-ur-Rehman, pakistan beat archrivals india 1-0 in the final of the 12th South Asian Games men’s hockey in Guwati on Friday and notched up a hat-trick of titles.
It was a sensational performance by the men in green, as they overcame a noisy Indian crowd before edging out Indians on their own soil. awais scored the only goal of the match in the dying moments of the first half. It also took pakistan gold tally to eight and end two-day barren run of not winning a gold medal.
The Indians, who could create very few goal-scoring chances and were left to defend the citadel for most part of the match, thus continued their gold medal drought in the tournament at the Moullanna Tayebullah Stadium.
pakistan had won the hockey gold in 2006 and 2010 editions, beating india in the final on both occasions. pakistan also beat india 2-1 in the group stage of the ongoing Games.
There was excitement ahead of the much-awaited match with the near capacity crowd cheering the home players, but it did not rise to any great heights, except for a short spell in the second half.
pakistan completely dominated the first half, leading 1-0, and though india pressed for an equaliser with several raids into the opposition post towards the end of the match, the goal did not come for the home country. pakistan straightaway put india under pressure and they had two clear look at the home side goal but an alert goalkeeper, Vikas Dahiya, blocked twice to keep the match in a clean slate.
pakistan attacked mostly from the right and a M Rizwan strike was parried by Dahiya. The Indian goalkeeper then denied pakistan once again in the seventh as he blocked the penalty corner.
The crowd began restless with pakistan dominating and attacking with the Indians doing desperate defending and they were saved virtually on the goal-line by Nilam Xess after pakistan broke through from the left flank.
Shooting Silver and Kbaddi humiliation: It was yet another dark day for Pakistani contingent as far as medals were concerned. Pakistani shooting team won silver medal in 25m standard pistol category, while Bangladesh women kabaddi team hammered pakistan 69-24. In the second match women team was beaten by lowly Nepal team 41-10. To make things the worst, Sri Lankan male team beat pakistan 14-12. All the tall claims by pakistan Kabaddi Federation secretary Rana Sarwar brought down to earth by lowly Sri Lankans. Sarwar had claimed pakistan male team would fight for gold and only Indians would stand between them and gold but a completely unknown Sri Lankan team gave pakistan team a lesson to remember. It was claimed that Iranian Kabaddi team had given Pakistani team perfect training but truth proved otherwise.
Insincere POA, PSB, IPC behind decline: pakistan Sports Board and IPC ministry’s main focus only remains how to accommodate their dear and near ones and families on a joyride during the international sports events and sports and sport persons are continuously fallinh foul of this policy. Interestingly, POA President Lt Gen (R) Syed Arif Hassan is also keeping mum on these wrong-doings of the federations, as instead of facilitating players and coaches they remain busy to achieve personal agenda. But the lust of the power has made him blind as just to stick with his chair and getting votes from these federations, Gen Arif is continuously ignoring the sports and players. That is the main reason behind Pakistani sports decline. Until and unless IPC Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada open his eyes and stop these joy-riders, who had nothing to do with sports and introduce proper check and balance system, players and coaches would continue to suffer as well as the sporting future of the country. It is high time that public money should be spent on only where it belongs.
It was completely disastrous performance by Pakistani contingent in the Games. india is leading the medal table with a whopping 142 golds, 78 silvers and 21 bronze medals, while Sri Lankans are occupying second position with 25 golds, 53 silvers and 77 bronze medals. pakistan is at number three with only 8 golds, 22 silvers and 43 bronze medals.
No one else but DG PSB should be held responsible for these pathetic results as he is the one who picked such tiring long routes, which left players high and dry. 36 hours travelling had destroyed players chances. He also failed to accommodate players and their coaches and many left without accreditation and visas but all the officials succeeded to enjoy the tour.