Sunday, May 10, 2009


Am attempting to do something different as I text live the Asia Cup match between India and Pakistan from the Kuantan Hockey Stadium. Will provide 10 minute updates so keep refreshing to get the latest.

0-10th Minute

Both teams playing cautiously in the opening five minutes. Pakistan attacking on the right and the match turned controversional after 4 minutes as Pakistan scored a legitimate goal through Tariq Aziz from the top of the semi circle but umpire John Right from South Africa blew for a 16 yard hit. The whole stadium could see that the hit was taken from inside the semi circle except the umpire. And even after consulting fellow umpire Simon Taylor from New Zealand, John stood his ground. Pakistan, though disappointed, kept up the momentum and had a better share of exchanges but were no real threat. India were somehow slow in their movements and hardly made any forays into the Pakistani D.

10th to 15th minute

India create their first chance when Gurbaj Singh weaves in on the right and shoots only to see his attempt saved by Pakistani custodian Salman Akbar .Pakistan too had a chance but Muhamad Waqas shot was saved by keeper Baljit Singh. India forced a penalty corner when Gurbaj was blocked in the 14th minute after another of his forays.

Prabjot Singh scores off the rebound from the attempt by skipper Sandeep Singh. Pakistan protest but to no avail. (Minute 16th)

15th – 20th minute.

Pakistan force a penalty corner in the 17th minute but a bad stop prevents Sohail Abas from making a decent attempt. However he manages a weak push that is saved by Baljit and Waqas muffs the rebound as he shoots straight into the keeper.

In the 20th minute Pakistan are awarded their second penalty corner and this time Baljit manages to push out the attempt by Sohail.

20th – 30th minutes

India move the ball around to frustrate Pakistan but keep losing the ball in midfield as Pakistan take control of the midfield. In the 25th minute Shakeel Abasi has a golden chance to draw level as he goes past the Indian keeper but the angle is too narrow for him.

India seize the initiative and Rajpal Singh makes forays deep into the Pakistan defence but lacks support. It’s end to end stuff as both teams throw caution into the wind and entertain the small crowd at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium. Pakistan, despite playing a match 24 hours earlier look more energetic then India but fail to create any goal scoring chances.

30th – 35th minutes

As dark clouds loom over the stadium, the play too becomes somewhat lack lusture. India slow the pace to protect their slim lead going into halftime and Pakistan look dangerous.

India pays the price for complacency as Haseem Khan weaves past Sandeep on the left in the 33rd minute to send a delightful reverse stick attempt into the top net giving Baljit no chance at all. Its now 1-1 with two minutes left to play.

The teams go into the halftime breather with the score tied at 1-1.


36th to 45th minutes

Pakistan start the second half on fire and take the lead as Haseem Khan scores in the 36th minute.

In the 41st minute it starts to rain and as the crowd rush to take cover the two teams too slow down the pace as they try to adept to the slippery surface. Pakistan force their third penalty corner in the 43rd minute but waste it as Waseem Ahmad fails to stop cleanly for Sohail. Waseem squares it to Rehan Butt but he finds the side netting.

India draw level as Rajpal Singh deflects a ball play to him by Gurbaj Singh and the clouds open up as the match is stopped due to the rain. Pakistan needs the breather as their defence is split open time and again by the Indian forwards and as a result of slack marking they conceded the equalizer.

Match stopped due to heavy rain for 40 minutes and will commence in 10 minutes time.

45th - 55th minutes

Match resumes after 45 minute rain delay.

Pakistan force their fifth penalty corner in the 54th minute after Muhamad Waqas attempt is saved dangerously by the Indian keeper.

Pakistan go 3-2 ahead from the resulting penalty corner as Sohail changes his angle and drag flicks low onto the right of the Indian goal.

55th - 60th minutes.

Pakistan force their 5th PC but Sohail's attempt is saved by the first runner. India are awarded a penalty corner in the 59th minute and Sandeep's attempt hits the foot of a Pakistani defender thus resulting in another penalty corner. However his subsequent attempt is saved by Salman with his stick. Play picks up tempo as India search for the equaliser.

60th to 70th minutes.

India attack but are foiled time and again.But they manage to force a penalty corner, their 5th in the 66th minute. Instead of a direct attempt, Sandeep opts to play a pass to Prabjhot who misses the chance.

3 minutes to go and Pakistan lead 3-2. India have two chances through SV Sunil but fail to score. And in the media room, some Indian journalists cannot control their anger as they hold their heads in disgust.

Pakistan win 3-2 as India will now have to defeat China to make the last four.