Dhaka - Pakistan hockey team was thrashed by arch-rivals India by 3-1 in their last pool match of the Hero Hockey Asia Cup at Dhaka's Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium.

Both Pakistan and Japan finished with four points but Pakistan has qualified for the next round of super four because of the better goal difference than that of Japan. Pakistan came on the score-sheet after Ali Shan scored in the 48th minute to give his side a chance. Much to Pakistan's disappointment, Harmanpreet Singh had scored for Indian in the 45th minute giving India the lead for 3-0.

Indian gained the advantage after Pakistan were down to nine men as Rizwan Sr and Abu Mahmood were shown yellow cards and given five minute suspension. Rizwan was made to go out for because of a rough block, while Mahmood was penalised for taking the free hit before the whistle. Chinglensana drew the first blood as he scored in the 17th minute, giving India the lead, while Ramandeep scored the second goal.

India are already through to the Super Four round after two convincing wins. Pakistan were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw by a determined and fast-moving Japanese side. Japan play Bangladesh in their last match. Pakistan enjoys a +7 goal difference while Japan has - 4. Hence, Japan needs not only a big win over Bangladesh but also hope for Pakistan's defeat against India by a margin which suits them.

Pakistan are three-time Asia Cup champions Pakistan while India have lifted the cup twice. It is interesting to note that Pakistan won all the first three editions of the cup in 1982, '85 and '89. While India's victories were achieved in more recent times, in 2003 and 2007. In all of Pakistan's three Asia Cup wins, India were the runners up. In 1985 and '89, Pakistan defeated their neighbours in the final. The inaugural 1982 competition was played on a single league basis. There also the Green Shirts defeated India in the decisive last match.

India's first win, in 2003, came at Pakistan's expense in the final. In total, the traditional rivals have met six times in the tournament. Interestingly, Pakistan has won as many as five times while India's lone win against Pakistan in this event came in 2003. In that edition, they met twice. Pakistan won the pool match 4-2 but lost the final by an identical margin. India and Pakistan will face each other again in Hero Asia Cup 2017 as they have both qualified for the Super 4s stage of the tournament which gets underway on October 18.

On continuing their winning streak against Pakistan this year, India skipper Manpreet Singh said, “Yes we are happy about winning the match but we didn’t play our best game. We had quite a few missed chances and I feel the team lost a little bit of focus. We should have got more goals and we will be working on the mistakes we did and strive to improve in the Super 4s stage.”

Pakistan Captain, on the other hand, rued the PCs chances they missed, which cost them dearly. “We got an early break through in the first quarter but unfortunately we could not convert the goal. Though our defence was tight and we did well in terms of counter defence and didn’t allow them easy chances in the circle, we could not finish the game well.”

 I am happy with how the boys played,” expressed Muhammad Irfan, skipper Pakistan team.