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Indian Hockey team wins record fourth Asian Champions Trophy after beating Malaysia 4-3 in final


The Indian Hockey team made a seemingly impossible comeback to defeat Malaysia 4-3 in the Asian Champions Trophy 2023 (Hockey) Final to lift the trophy for the record fourth time at Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai. India had previously defeated Japan, Pakistan, China, South Korea and Malaysia in the group stage and semis to reach the final.

Heading into the final against Malaysia, India had an advantage over their opponents as India had won 23-7 head-to-head against Malaysia with 4 games tied between them on previous occasions.

Team India started well, attacking at every available chance and thanks to Jagraj’s fantastic dragflick scored on the 10th minute. However, the Malaysians were not deterred and were quick to make a comeback on the 14th minute after a shot from Hasan got deflected to Arzai who calmly controlled the ball and tapped it in. India had got a penalty corner but failed to convert on the 15th minute after which the first quarter ended with India and Malaysia both at 1-1.

Malaysia was the one to draw first blood in the second quarter after they utilised a penalty corner to their benefit as Rahim drilled it past everyone into the goal. Malaysia was blessed again in the form of another penalty corner which was successfully converted into a goal by Aminudin to take the score to 3-1. Even though India tried to change the equation, they were unable to go past the Malaysian defence till the referee blowed the whistle for half time.

But as they say, nothing is over until it is actually over and this game was far from over. From the moment the second half started, India were on top of the game but were not able to capitalise on their opportunities. Just as Malaysia too started to get into their rhythm and look dangerous, a careless tackle from Rahim gifted India with a penalty stroke which taken by Harmanpreet who stepped up and sent it high for a goal. This moment turned out to be the turning point of the game as India scored another goal thanks to Gurjant, at the end of the third quarter to level with Malaysia 3-3.   

 India put the last nail in the coffin after Amandeep hammered the ball into the right side of the goal to take the most wanted lead in the game and with just a few minutes to go, it was game over for Malaysia as India defended their one-goal lead well till the hooter went off in addition to the five-minute suspension handed to Hasan Azuan which reduced the Malaysian side to 10 men in the dying minutes of the game which helped India make a rather impossible looking comeback and win the trophy for the record fourth time.

Contested by Asia’s top six sides biennially, the Asian Champions Trophy was previously won by India in 2011 and 2016. India had shared the trophy with Pakistan in 2018 after rain played spoilsport in Muscat, Oman. Earlier in the day, Japan defeated South Korea 5-3 in the third-place match for a bronze medal.

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