Muscat, October 28: The much anticipated Asian Champions Trophy hockey final between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on Sunday (October 28) turned out to be a damper as mother nature played the dominant role, forcing the match to be forfeited.
After the match was delayed due to heavy downpour, the officials declared both the teams as joint winners as there could be no play. The turf was completely waterlogged diminishing the chances of play and after consulting with both coaches the tournament director called the match off and declared them both winners.
The Indian Men's Hockey Team will share the trophy of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 with Pakistan after the Final of the tournament was forfeited due to adverse weather conditions on 28th October.#IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 pic.twitter.com/B5BWkJGedV— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 28, 2018
It had started raining in Muscat, ten minutes before the start of the mouth-watering final and the final was initially delayed by an hour. But following the hour, the incessant rain continued and ruled out any play on the day. Hence the 2018 edition of the Asian Champions Trophy, witnessed joint winners as both India and Pakistan lay their hands on the trophy.
Defending champions India had had a dominant run throughout the tournament, after the Men in Blue entered the finals unbeaten. The Manpreet Singh-led side had gotten off the a rollicking start with an 11-0 win over Oman, following it up with a 3-1 win over finalists Pakistan and then hammering Japan 9-0. The champs were held by Malaysia in the next round robin encounter, before topping the group stage with a 4-1 win over South Korea and a total of 13 points.
In the semifinals, India played out a thrilling match against Asian Games gold medallist Japan (3-2) to set up a mouthwatering final.
Pakistan ended the round robin stages on the second spot with 10 points.
The downpour dampened the action set for the final day of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy 2018 as Malaysia claim the Bronze Medal but India and Pakistan were declared joint winners. Here's how the matches played out on 28th October.#IndiaKaGame #HeroACT2018 pic.twitter.com/4ixt8HW7GW— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) October 28, 2018
But the fans were denied the joy of witnessing an India-Pak title clash as the clouds opened up washing out the final match. Indian drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh finished the 2018 edition as the second-highest scorer with six goals to his name.
Prior to this edition both India and Pakistan had won the tournament twice each. India had entered the tournament as defending champions having won the 2016 edition.