Pakistan get one more chance to spoil India’s party after defeating Japan 5-2 today and qualifying for the finals of the Asian Champions Trophy against India. They spoiled India’s quest for a bronze medal after a 30 year wait in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, and they will be hoping to do the same as India look for their second consecutive Asian Champions trophy in Doha tomorrow.
Pakistan started off with a goal in the first minute from Muhmammad Waqas but were then given a brief scare by Japan as the Japanese put two goals past Pakistan (Yoshihara scored in the 8th minute, and Tachinana scored in the 23rd). With one minute to go in the first half, Japan were still in the lead but Shakeel Abassi got one back for the green shirts to make it two all as the teams went into the break.
Pakistan came out with guns blazing in the second half, and Muhammad Waqas scored again from a field goal to make it 3-2 in the 36th minute. After that, Pakistan took complete control of the game, and Abdul Haseem scored a couple of goals to give his team some breathing room. Final score – 5-2.
Pakistan now play India in the finals. India have beaten Pakistan earlier in the tournament by two goals to one, but that results means nothing now, as both teams start with a clean slate (and Pakistan with a slight psychological advantage, having beaten India in the Champions Trophy bronze medal playoff). The game will be played at 7:30pm local (Doha) time on the 27th of December.