India and Pakistan share Asian Champions hockey honours

Wednesday 31st October 2018 07:20 EDT

The Asian Champions Trophy hockey final between India and Pakistan on Sunday was abandoned following heavy rain and both the teams were declared as joint winners. The turf was completely waterlogged diminishing the chances of play and after consulting with both coaches the tournament director called the match abandoned and declared them both winners.

It had started raining in Muscat, ten minutes before the start of the final and the match was initially delayed by an hour. But following the hour, the incessant rain continued and ruled out any play on the day. Hence the 2018 edition of the Asian Champions Trophy, witnessed joint winners as both India and Pakistan lay their hands on the trophy.

Defending champions India had had a dominant run throughout the tournament, after the Men in Blue entered the finals unbeaten. The Manpreet Singh-led side had gotten off to a rollicking start with an 11-0 win over Oman, following it up with a 3-1 win over finalists Pakistan and then hammering Japan 9-0. The champs were held by Malaysia in the next round robin encounter, before topping the group stage with a 4-1 win over South Korea and a total of 13 points.

In the semifinals, India played out a thrilling match against Asian Games gold medallist Japan (3-2) to set up a mouthwatering final. Pakistan ended the round robin stages on the second spot with 10 points. Malaysia claimed the bronze medal. But the fans were denied the joy of witnessing an India-Pak title clash as the clouds opened up washing out the final match. Indian drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh finished the 2018 edition as the second-highest scorer with six goals to his name. Prior to this edition both India and Pakistan had won the tournament twice each. India had entered the tournament as defending champions having won the 2016 edition.

Indian hockey player Akashdeep Singh was adjudged "Player of the Tournament" while PR Sreejesh was declared the best goalkeeper.

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