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Indian hockey team returns home after runners-up finish in Asian Champions Trophy

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The Sardar-Singh led 18-member Indian senior men’s hockey team returned home after their runners-up finish in the second edition of the Asian Champions Trophy tournament, which recently concluded at the Al Rayyan Hockey Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The team arrived in New Delhi along with the support staff, including chief coach Michael Nobbs. India, who were the defending champions in the tournament, fought valiantly in the final match against arch-rivals Pakistan before going down 4-5.

In fact, India led Pakistan 2-1 at halftime before the Greenshirts struck twice in quick succession before India came from behind to level the scores twice at 3-3 and 4-4 before Pakistan captain Muhammad Imran slammed home the match-clincher in the dying moments.

India team walked off the field three minutes from the final hooter after they were livid with Korean umpire Yun Shin Dong for first awarding a penalty stroke and later cancelling it with a 16-yard hit.

In fact, India can take solace from the fact they gave Pakistan a run for their money before finishing second best, and also topped the pool in the league stage.

It may be mentioned here that India had also topped the pool in the FIH 34th Champions Trophy in Melbourne before going on to finish a creditable fourth.

The national players would now take a short break before letting their sticks do the talking in the inaugural Hockey India League starting later this month.

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