Abdul Rana scored a last-gasp goal as India and Pakistan played out a 1-1 draw in the Asia Cup hockey opener in Jakarta on Monday, May 23.
Karthi Selvam put India in the driver's seat with a scintillating goal, his first at the international level, in the ninth minute giving India the lead.
The Indian hockey team will be disappointed with the result as they had more ball possession. Both India and Pakistan had the same number of shots on goal (nine) and circle penetrations (11) though.
The Indians continued to put pressure on the Pakistan defense and secured two more penalty corners in the first quarter. The second was converted by Karthi, who scored his first international goal after his flick went inside the Pakistan citadel after getting a deflection off the stick of defender Muhammad Abdullah.
Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal Hussain was the star of the evening for his team as stood like a rock and produced good reflex saves to deny the Indians many times.
A lapse in concentration cost India dearly in the final moments of the game. The Indian defense were caught napping as they failed to collect a long ball. The resulting penalty corner chance was converted by Abdul Rana to equalize and the arch rivals shared points.
Meanwhile, in the other matches on the opening day of the Asia Cup, Malaysia beat Oman 7-0, Korea got the better of Bangladesh 6-1 and Japan thrashed hosts Indonesia 9-0.
Twitter reactions as India vs Pakistan ends in a draw in Asia Cup opener
Fans took to social media as Pakistan clawed their way back into the contest to hold India 1-1 in the Asia Cup opener.
The Indian hockey team is vice-captained by veteran SV Sunil, who is making a comeback after many years. The versatile player was happy to be donning the Indian colors again.
Former Indian skipper Viren Rasquinha lauded the hockey greats from both teams for being on the sidelines.
Former cricketer Harbhajan Singh wished India the best for the Asia Cup and urged them to retain the title.
Fans were glued to the screens and enjoyed every minute of the thrilling action.
Fans also came up with some interesting stats.