Pakistan beat India to secure bronze at Champions Trophy
MELBOURNE: Pakistan came back from a goal down to beat India winning the bronze-medal match of the Champions Trophy 2012 in Melbourne on Sunday.
Muhammad Rizwan senior, Shafqat Rasool and Mohammad Atiq scored a goal each to help Pakistan secure third place in the tournament.
Pakistan beat India by the same score in the bronze medal showdown at Lahore eight years ago.
India began as the stronger team, drawing a penalty corner in the opening minutes as the ball came off the foot of a Pakistani defender.
The goal was converted by VR Raghunath and India had all the momentum.
However, Pakistan eventually worked their way back into the game, drawing level with a field goal from Muhammad Rizwan Senior on 21 minutes.
Pakistan continued to control the play after half-time, scoring twice more through Shafqat Rasool and Muhammad Ateeq to set up a commanding lead.
India continued to fight until the end, scoring a penalty corner goal through Rupinder Pal Singh as the final siren sounded.
Pakistan’s Shakeel Abbasi said the bronze was as good as winning gold.
“It was a very important match for us because for the past eight years we haven’t won a medal at the Champions Trophy,” Abbasi said.
“So for us this is a gold medal because after such a long time between winning medals, but also winning against India, for me and my team and for Pakistan this is a gold medal.”
Indian midfielder Yuvraj Walmiki said despite losing, his team would take a lot away from the tournament.
“Coming out from the London Olympics we finished 12th and now at the Champions Trophy, after the Olympics and World Cup, it is one of the top tournaments so finishing fourth is a good achievement,” Walmiki said.
“But we are sad that unfortunately we couldn’t get bronze.”
In the day’s other matches, Australia clinched a record fifth straight Champions Trophy field hockey title with a 2-1 extra-time win over the Netherlands.
The second-ranked ‘Kookaburras’ went some way to erasing the pain of their bronze medal at this year’s London Olympics with victory over the world number three Dutch in a tense final.
After dominating much of the match the Australians were frustrated by Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann with their many shots on goal.
The Netherlands struck first with an early penalty corner, however the Kookaburras levelled the score minutes later through Russell Ford.
Australia had the chance to go in front before half-time, but the penalty stroke was missed by Jamie Dwyer.
The Kookaburras dominated the second-half, but the home side could not break through and the game went to extra-time.
Australia continued to push in the golden goal period with Kieran Govers firing in a brilliant shot from the top of the circle, finally beating Stockmann to give Australia victory before their home fans.
In the classification matches, Belgium pulled off a 5-4 upset against world number one Germany to claim fifth spot, while New Zealand defeated England 3-2 in the 7th-8th place playoff.