A dominant India registered their biggest win over arch-rivals Pakistan in six years when they cruised to a 5-1 win in a round-robin league match of the 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Tuesday.
This was India’s biggest win since their 7-4 triumph against Pakistan in the 2010 Commonwealth Games at New Delhi.
Playing their best game of the tournament, Manpreet Singh opened the scoring for India in the fourth minute but Pakistan equalised in the seventh through captain Muhammad Irfan.
But thereafter it was all India as the Sardar Singh-led side controlled the proceedings with SV Sunil scoring two opportunistic field goals in the 10th and 41st minutes.
Talwinder Singh then capitalised on a rebound to score India’s fourth goal in the 50th minute before Rupinder Pal Singh converted a penalty corner in the 54th minute.
India’s victory would have been bigger had Rupinder converted a penalty stroke in the 55th minute and a deflection into the net by Ramandeep Singh in the 69th was not disallowed after the umpire initially blew for a goal.
The victory took India to the second spot in the round-robin league standings with nine points from four outings. The table is led by world champions Australia on 12 points from four straight wins.
Australia took one step into the final when they prevailed 1-0 over Oceania rivals and defending champions New Zealand, who now have eight points from five matches.
The all-important goals for Australia was scored by captain Jamie Dwyer, who capitalised on a rebound to shoot into the open goal with the goalkeeper at his mercy.
Later in the day, in an exhibition of the sub-continental style of hockey, India lifted their game by leaps and bounds to dominate the match, forcing Pakistan to crowd their territory in the second half to deny Sardar’s men more goals.