Jakarta, May 23: The Indian men's hockey team opened their Hero Asia Cup 2022 title defence with a 1-1 draw against rivals Pakistan at the GBK Sports Complex Hockey Stadium, in Jakarta on Monday.
Debutant Selvam Karthi (9') scored his first international goal for India, while Pakistan equalised late in the game through Abdul Rana's (59') penalty corner strike, as the match ended in a draw.
In the first quarter, there were a flurry of penalty corners for both the teams. While Pakistan secured two, India managed as many as three, the last of which resulted in a goal. India took the lead in the 9th minute of the match through debutant Karthi, who scored his first international goal from a penalty corner.
After the start of the second quarter, India had their first shy at the goal but an alert Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal Hussain made a quick reflex save from close range to keep out Pawan Rajbhar's effort. India secured a penalty corner in the second quarter in the 21st minute but the title holders failed to convert the chance into another goal.
In the 28th minute, Pakistan too received a penalty corner, their third, but once again they failed to stop the push, thereby wasting a bright chance. After the change of ends, Pakistan started on an attacking note, albeit for a brief period, and secured their third penalty corner but Rizwan Ali's shot went wide.
India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera then saved an effort from Abdul Rana from close quarters. But as time passed, the Indians again took control of the proceedings and secured a handful of penalty corners but they failed to get past an alert Hussain in front of Pakistan goal as the scores remained tied after third quarter. With little over a minute to go for the final hooter, India conceded a penalty corner and Abdul Rana scored from a rebound to draw parity.
India will next play Japan in their second Pool A match on Tuesday.
Source: Hockey India