India beat Pakistan by 4-0 in the Champions Trophy opener

India beat Pakistan by 4-0 in the Champions Trophy opener

BREDA:  Indian hockey team beat Pakistan 4-0 in the opening match of the Champions Trophy in Netherland’s Breda city on Saturday, ARY News reported.

With Pakistan pulling out their goalkeeper in last five minutes of the game, Indians India upped their ante in attack to find three splendid breakthroughs in the 54th, 57th and 60th minute to end the opening match with a 4-0 win.

All of the goals came from open play, with Birendra Lakra putting India in front four minutes ahead of half-time before Dilpreet Singh doubled the advantage by wrong-footing the goalkeeper and firing into an unguarded net with six minutes of the match remaining.

In an effort to chase the game, Pakistan replaced goalkeeper Imran Butt with an outfield player, but it was the Indians who benefitted from the switch as Mandeep Singh – who netted the 3000th goal in men’s Champions Trophy history – and Lalit Upadhyay completed the scoring.

According to match statistics provided by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the green shirts were not entirely outplayed, managing to possess the ball 50.7% of the time.

The Hockey Champions Trophy was founded in 1978 and the first event took place in Lahore, Pakistan. The host nation won, beating Australia 2-1 in the final. Two years later, in Karachi, Pakistan repeated the feat, this time beating West Germany into second place.

Pakistan have won the title three times, with their third victory coming in 1994. On this occasion, they beat Germany in the final. The match itself was tied at 2-2, but a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out saw Pakistan emerge as 7-6 winners. Among the Pakistan scorers on that day was the Pakistan hockey legend Shabaz Ahmed, known in his homeland as the Maradona of hockey.

The Green Shirts have participated in all bar five editions of the event and, over the course of those 31 appearances, the team has won seven silver medals and seven bronze medals to add to the three gold medals. These statistics make Pakistan the fourth most successful team to have competed in the Champions Trophy, behind Australia, Germany and the Netherlands.