India's recent dominance over Pakistan continued as they handed their arch-rival a convincing 3-1 defeat at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium Sunday to conclude their Pool A campaign in the Hero Asia Cup 2017 as group champion.
Two-time Asia Cup title holder India also maintained their 100% winning record in the tournament and Sunday's win meant they top Pool A with nine points from three matches, scoring 15 goals and conceding two.
Despite the defeat, Pakistan heaved a sigh of relief as they also confirmed their berth in the Super Four. With a win, draw and loss, they earned four points while Japan also have the same number of points but better goal-difference meant it is Pakistan who go through.
Malaysia and South Korea are likely to move to Super Four from Pool B but who will face whom will only be decided after Monday's matches where South Korea will face China and Malaysia take on Oman.
The first-half was a closely fought affair as neither side managed to create chances to score. Pakistan managed to earn their first penalty corner of the game in the 15th minute but failed to convert.
India began the following quarter brightly as Chinglensana Kangujam scored two minutes into the second quarter. With sheer pace and skill, Kangujam broke into the d-box almost unmarked before hitting the ball past Pakistan goalkeeper Suraj Karkera into the net.
India earned their first penalty corner in the 40th minute with no fruitful output. Akashdeep Singh went close to scoring a minute later following a brilliant build-up with Gurjant Singh helped penetrate the Pakistan defence.
Ramandeep Singh doubled the lead in the 43rd minute tapping home from a yard away after connecting a long hit. India extended their lead two minutes later from their second penalty corner and it was Harmanpreet Singh who sent the ball straight into the middle of the net.
Pakistan pulled one back three minutes into the final quarter when Muhammad Arslan Qadir placed the ball into the net following a short pass from Ali Shan.
(Kangujam 17, Ramandeep 43, Harmanpreet 45) 1 Pakistan