India beat Pakistan 3-2 to clinch Asian Champions Trophy
KUANTAN (92 News) – India won the Asian Champions Trophy in a thrilling five-goal encounter, beating arch-rivals Pakistan 3-2 in Kuantan on Sunday.
India had a two-goal advantage through goals from Rupinder Pal Singh and Yousuf Affan but Pakistan made a resilient comeback to level scores through strikes from Aleem Bilal and Ali Shan.
With 10 minutes left on the clock in the final quarter, Nikkin Thimmaiah netted the winner to give India their second win in the tournament.
This was the first time the teams were meeting in the final of a continental tournament since India dethroned Pakistan as the Asian Games champions in Incheon, South Korea in 2014.
India grew in confidence from there. With five minutes left for the end of the first half, Yousuf Affan struck for India. Talwinder Singh’s shot across the face of goal found the Bhopal youngster at the far post, who nodded the ball home. Sardar Singh set it up with an excellent pass from midfield.
With only a couple of minutes left for the break, Aleem Bilal beat Akash Chite with a powerful shot, drilling it low past the goalkeeper’s right.
Pakistan started on the front foot in the second half and the Indian defence, which had looked solid till that point, started to panic. The Indian backline was all over the place when the ball reached Ali Shan at the near post from a deflection, who slammed it home before Sardar Singh and Chitke could react.
India had won the inaugural edition of the Asian Champions Trophy by defeating Pakistan in the final in 2011. Pakistan reversed the result in the title contest the next year and went on to retain it in 2013 by defeating Japan in the final.