Dhaka (30 Sept, 2016): India exacted revenge on Bangladesh with a late strike from Abhishek that saw the young Indian side pull through 5-4 winners in the final of the Boys Under-18 Asia Cup at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium on Friday.
In a thrilling nine-goal final, the score line reflected a reverse of the Group A preliminary round match that saw the Bangladeshis triumph.
It was Bangladesh that dominated the game early after team captain Roman Sarker’s 21st minute goal from a rebounded shot after a penalty corner strike was poorly cleared by an Indian defender.
The Indians, however, equalised a minute later through Shivam Anaand’s field goal off a reverse hit but the host were up 2-1 by the 35th minute with Mohammad Mohsin scoring a field goal.
The second half turned into a nail biting experience for both teams and fans as India levelled the scores via Hardik Singh’s penalty corner strike in the 44th minute before Dilpreet Singh netted the ball to give his side a 3-2 lead in the 50th minute for the first time.
Not to be outdone in front of home fans, Bangladesh went on the counter attack and Mohammed Ashraful Islam scored in the 60thad minute but Ibungo Singh Konjengbam fired India back in the front again minutes later.
Bangladesh gave everything they had and Mahabub Hossain levelled the scores after a quick counter attack in the 64th minute. With the scores tied 4-4 and the threat of a shootout looming, Abhishek made all the difference with a deflection shot into goal seconds to the hooter to give India the title.
Hardik Singh was named Man of the Match while Pankaj Kumar Rajak was named the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament.
In the play-off for third-fourth placing, Pakistan defeated Chinese Taipei 18-0 while China finished fifth following a 2-1 win over Oman.
Naveed Alam scored a hat-trick while Ali Aziz, Khairullah Shah, Shahzaib Khan and Amjad Ali Khan scored two goals each with Junaid Rasool, Afraz, Junaid Manzoor, Ahmad Nadeed, Mohamed Awais Arshad, Waqar Ali and Abdullah Babar scoring a piece for Pakistan.