Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are all set to square off against each other yet again, as they look to book themselves a spot in the final of the Hockey Asia Cup 2017, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Saturday.
The two teams met earlier in the group stage where India soundly beat the Men in Green. India's journey to the Super 4s has been very smooth indeed as they won all their matches in the group stage. However, they struggled against South Korea to eke out a 1-1 draw. Yesterday, they rectified that by thrashing Malaysia 6-2. India will be hoping to keep up the streak with a win over their arch-rivals.
The Indian trio of Ramandeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and SV Sunil are on song this tournament. This is the 8th clash between the two and Pakistan lead the rivalry 5-2. With the momentum with India, Pakistan have their work cut out to prevent a 3rd defeat. In the last match, India defeat Pakistan 3-1.
Although both teams are in the Super 4s, Pakistan's road has been rockier with a loss to Malaysia and drawing with South Korea. India have scored a total of 15 goals in the group stage compared to Pakistan's 10. In the Super 4s, India added 7 more while Pakistan could only manage 3 more.
Pakistan's strongest players are Abu Mahmood, Ammad Butt and Arslan Qadir. The 3 were responsible for Pakistan's 7-0 crushing of host nation Bangladesh. Mahmood even scored a hat-trick in the same match. Pakistan can also take comfort in the fact that they have won the Asia Cup thrice. But, the bad news for them is that they are at the bottom of the table. The good news is, depending on what happens in the South Korea and Malaysia match, the table could change drastically.
India have plenty of goal-scoring arsenal on their squad. From SV Sunil to Sardar Singh to Ramandeep Singh, there are plenty of attacking players. Ramandeep Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and SV Sunil account for 67% of the 15 goals scored in the group stage.
The India vs Pakistan match is set to get underway at 5pm, on Friday. The match will be broadcast live on Star Sports. You can also stream it live on Hotstar.comPublished 20 Oct 2017, 17:07 IST