India made it to the final of the Hockey Asia Cup for the second time in a row after handing Pakistan a convincing 4-0 defeat in the last match of the 2017 edition’s Super Four round at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium Saturday.
It was the eighth time India reached the final of the Asia Cup. Since the introduction of the tournament in 1982, India couldn't reach the final only twice in 1999 and 2009. They lost 4-3 against South Korea in the last edition's final in Malaysia four years ago.
Two-time champion India will now face either South Korea or Malaysia in the grand finale, scheduled to be held Sunday at 5:30pm while three-time winner Pakistan will play the third-place deciding game at 3pm.
The match, scheduled to be held at 5:30pm, started one-and-a-half-hours late due to heavy rainfall. The other Super Four game between South Korea and Malaysia, scheduled to begin at 3pm, was delayed for more than six hours.
After the opening two quarters ended goalless, Satbir Singh put India ahead in the 39th minute before a more dominant display in the last three quarters where three more goals were scored in the span of only six minutes. In-form Harmanpreet Singh doubled the lead from a penalty corner in the 51st minute while Lalit Upadhyay and Hurjant Singh added one apiece in the 52nd and 57th minute respectively.
It was the second time the two fiercest arch-rivals in hockey, India and Pakistan, took on each other in the tournament. They met in the group stage where India defeated Pakistan comfortably 3-1 in a Pool A encounter on Sunday. Malaysia beat South Korea 2-1 in a Pool B match the previous day.
India finished their Super Four campaign with the most number of points – seven - while Pakistan finished at the bottom, having earned only a single point.