Hockey: Pakistan clinches Champions Trophy bronze medal

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Pakistan Hockey
Melbourne, Dec 9: India will once again return empty-handed from the Champions Trophy after losing 2-3 in the bronze medal play-off against arch-rivals Pakistan, who walked away with their first medal in the event in eight years.

Pakistan scored through Muhammad Rizwan Junior (22nd minute), Shafqat Rasool (41st) and Muhammad Ateeq (66th) to overcome India, for whom V Raghunath (70th) and Rupinder Pal Singh (70th) scored through penalty corners.

Three-time Champions Trophy winners Pakistan's last medal came at Lahore in 2004, where too they won the bronze by overcoming India in the play-off.

In fact, Pakistan's last four medals in the Champions Trophy have come at the expense of India, who have lost bronze medal matches to Pakistan in 2002, 2003, 2004 and now in 2012.

India, who came to the Champions Trophy on basis of a wildcard after finishing last in the London Olympics, took the early lead when VR Raghunath converted a penalty corner by sending a low drag-flick into the left corner.

Pakistan then applied pressure to cause problems for the Indian defence, while at the other end, the Indian forwards messed up some openings due to their wayward shooting.

Pakistan equalised in the 22nd minute through Muhammad Rizwan Junior, who sent a soaring shot from top of the circle after being put in possession by Fareed Ahmed.

India created a lot of openings in the next 10 minutes, but failed to score, and were lucky to be tied 1-1 at half-time as unmarked Muhammad Waqas shot wide after getting a loose ball on top of the circle.

PTI

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