Dhaka seems to be lucky for the India U-18 hockey team for they were able to clinch the Asia Cup in the recently played finals in Dhaka. This victory is even more special because the Indians beat the hosts in the finals of the Asia Cup on their home turf. A last minute goal enabled the U-18 Indian team to take the edge. They beat the host Bangladesh by 5-4 to lift the Asia Cup.
The finals seemed just like a repeat of the opening game between the U-18 team and Bangladesh. Both the teams aroused great excitement in the audience in the finals which was a nail biting 9 games encounter.
In the beginning, the Indian team started off quick and was able to have the ball in their hands while they searched for an opportunity to make inroads into the rival circle.
This aggressive and thoughtful approach of the Indians seems to have paid off as they were able to win the first penalty corner in the 6th minute itself.
As the Indian team held possession of the ball, the hosts waited for a counter. And the Indians with the help of a counter were successful in winning a penalty corner. After Pankaj Kumar’s initial save, M Roman Sarkar was able to guide the ball into the goal post to give the host a much-needed lead.
Shivam Anand now came as a saviour for the Indians and scored an equaliser. Although the Indian team subsequently got themselves two more penalty corner but an error on their part took them away from a goal.
Now the host team moved from a counter and ran through the midfield. After this came across from the Bangladesh player Mohammad Mohsin who deflected the ball enabling the hosts to put up a lead of 2-0.
Immediately after the break, India’s Hardik Singh got a PC and equalised the scores. After which Dilpreet Sigh scored another goal for the Indians and enabled the Indian team to a 3-0 lead.
This game saw shifting of fortunes from one side to the other much like the opening game. Mohammad Aslam again was able to equalise the scores after he netted a ball in the 60th minute.
Ibungo Singh Konjengbam got the Indian team back with his excellent play and enabled India to take a much-required lead. After this Bangladesh again came back when Mahabub Hossain after a quick counter again levelled the scores. This happened in the 64th minute of the game.
The threat of a penalty shootout was looming large with the scores at 4-4. After this followed a quick counter from the Indians which saw Abhishek in the box and his deflection enabled India to lift the Asia Cup trophy. This happened just seconds before the hooter was about to buzz.