Islamabad, Oct 25 - Pakistan Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan has said the country would…
Pakistan played with purpose and organisation to outplay host India 2-1 in a men’s round-robin pool match here at the Maulana Tayabullah Stadium, Bhetapara on Monday. Muhammad Arslan Qadir scored both the Pakistan goals once in each half while Indian captain Mandeep Antil reduced the margin in the second half.
Pakistan executed its plan well taking control of the midfield right from the start. India, defending on most of the occasion, lacked direction and its weakness was exposed when Fareed Ahmed set up Qadir in the 11th minute with a pass inside the semicircle and the latter, who was left unchallenged, used the free space to place the ball home past a hapless Vikas Dahiya in the Indian goal.
India was not able to breach the better-coordinated Pakistan defence. The only good chance, a penalty corner in the 27th minute, was wasted by India as there was no one to make use of the push by Gagandeep Singh.
Pakistan continued its dominance after the change of ends and doubled the lead two minutes into the second half when it exploited the confusion in the Indian defence once again.
Qadir was located, again unmarked, by a smart pass from the midfield and the Pakistan forward made no mistake with his finishing.
India won back-to-back penalty corners in the 42nd minute but Manpreet Singh was not sharp enough with his drag-flicks to beat the Pakistani goalkeeper Imran Butt.
Indian captain Mandeep Antil finally put a diving effort to guide home a snap reverse shot from the left by Abhay Ekka, to make it 2-1 in the 53rd minute.
India failed to take the ahead the momentum and find the equalizer in the remainder of the action as Pakistan consolidated its defence effectively.
The result: Pakistan 2 (Muhammad Arslan Qadir 11, 37) bt India 1 (Mandeep Antil 53).
Keywords: South Asian Games, Maulana Tayabullah Stadium, Muhammad Arslan Qadir, Mandeep Antil