The fifth and final day of the Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 marked the climax of this historic event, which was the first-ever Hockey5s Championship at the Asian level. Held in the picturesque city of Salalah, Oman, this tournament also served as a crucial qualifier for the FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024. With Oman securing its World Cup berth as the host nation, four other teams were eager to prove their mettle and secure their place on the world stage.
Semifinal 1: Pakistan vs. Oman – Pakistan’s Path to the Final
The opening match of the day featured Pakistan against the tournament’s host nation, Oman, in the first semifinal. Pakistan had their eyes set on the final, while Oman dreamt of making it to the ultimate showdown on home soil. Pakistan proved their supremacy, netting seven goals, with RANA Abdul leading the charge with five goals, and LIAQAT Arshad contributing two more. Although Oman managed to level the match at one point, their three goals, courtesy of AL FAZARI Rashad and MADIT Aiman (x2), were not sufficient. Pakistan advanced to the grand finale, where they would face the winner of the second semifinal, while Oman set their sights on the 3rd/4th Place match. MURTAZA Muhammad was awarded the Player of the Match.
Semifinal 2: India vs. Malaysia – India’s Commanding Victory
The highly anticipated second semifinal saw India square off against Malaysia. The blue-clad Indian team showcased their prowess, securing a convincing 10-4 victory. SINGH Maninder, RAHEEL Mohammed (x4), RAJBHAR Pawan, Sukhvinder, MOR Mandeep, SINGH Jugraj, and SINGH Gurjot contributed to India’s resounding win. On the other side, ABU Ismail, ANUAR Akhimullah (x2), and DIN Muhamad scored Malaysia’s four goals. India’s triumph paved their way to the final, where they would lock horns with Pakistan, while Malaysia aimed for a podium finish in the 3rd/4th Place match. Dipsan Tirkey received the Player of the Match award.
Battle for 9th-11th Place: Afghanistan vs. Hong Kong China
In a match that would define their overall standings, Afghanistan and Hong Kong China faced off. Both teams sought to avoid finishing at the bottom of the tournament table. The red-clad players from Hong Kong China delivered a stellar performance, netting twelve goals against Afghanistan’s five. Hong Kong China secured the tenth place, leaving Afghanistan at the tournament’s bottom. Player of the Match was awarded to IU Felix Chi Him.
7th/8th Place Match: Kazakhstan vs. Japan – Kazakhstan’s Convincing Win
Kazakhstan and Japan competed for the 7th/8th Place in a match where both teams aimed to climb the standings. The Kazakh team triumphed, scoring nine goals compared to Japan’s solitary goal. Kazakhstan secured the seventh place, while Japan finished in eighth place. URMANOV Daulet earned the Player of the Match accolade.
5th/6th Place Match: Iran vs. Bangladesh – A Thrilling Contest
The battle for the 5th/6th Place was an intense and thrilling affair. Both Iran and Bangladesh gave their all in a match that could have gone either way. Bangladesh emerged victorious with seven goals, including contributions from ALAM Saiful, SAROWAR Sawon (x3), MOHAMMAD Uddin, EMON Md. Deen, and HOSSAIN Mohammad. Iran’s valiant effort saw goals from MIRZAKHANI Amirmahdi, HAMEDI Aref (x2), TAHERIRAD Navid (x2), and SHAHROKHI Mahdi. Bangladesh secured the fifth place, leaving Iran in sixth place. SAROWAR Sawon was named the Player of the Match.
3rd/4th Place Match: Oman vs. Malaysia – Oman’s Narrow Victory
In a closely contested match for the third and fourth place, Oman faced Malaysia. The match saw back-and-forth action until the last minute, with both teams refusing to give in. Oman secured the victory with a final score of 5-4. MADIT Aiman (x2), AL SHAAIBI Khalid (x2), and AL FAZARI Rashad scored for the host nation, while KAMARUDDIN Kamarulzaman (x2), MOHARAM Muhibddin, and ANUAR Akhimullah found the net for Malaysia. Oman clinched the third place, and Malaysia finished in fourth place. MADIT Aiman received the Player of the Match award.
Final Match: Pakistan vs. India – A Nail-Biting Shootout Decider
The grand finale of the Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 featured arch-rivals Pakistan and India, both of whom had displayed remarkable performances throughout the tournament. The match ended in a thrilling 4-4 draw, necessitating a shootout to determine the champion. While the green-clad Pakistani players managed to score four goals during regular time, courtesy of Abdul REHMAN, RANA Abdul, HAYAT Zikriya, and LIAQAT Arshad, the blue-clad Indian team responded in kind with goals from SINGH Jugraj, SINGH Maninder, and RAHEEL Mohammed (x2).
The shootout added even more tension to the already high-stakes match. In the end, India emerged victorious, converting two shootout attempts, while Pakistan failed to score any. With this dramatic result, India secured the first-place position, while Pakistan took second place.
World Cup Qualifiers and Final Standings
The Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 also served as a qualifier for the FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024 in Muscat, Oman, from January 24 to 31. The national teams that secured their spots in this prestigious event were India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Oman.
Here are the final standings of the tournament:
10. Hong Kong China
Congratulations to all the teams for their incredible performances and sportsmanship throughout the tournament. The Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 will be remembered as a historic and thrilling event that showcased the immense talent and determination of Asian hockey teams. We look forward to witnessing their continued success on the global stage at the FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024.