Pakistan Fans' Chants Fired me up in Hockey Final, Says P.R. Sreejesh

Indian goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh denied Pakistan twice in the penalty shootout to help India win a historic Asian Games hockey gold.

updated: October 16, 2014 17:56 IST
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P.R. Sreejesh (centre, in red), said he took several seconds after the match to realise that he had helped India win a historic Asian Games gold.


New Delhi: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. For India goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh, the tough Asian Games hockey match for gold against arch-rivals Pakistan brought out the best in him. This, despite the high stakes and a vociferous Pakistani crowd continuously chanting, "Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Zindabad."

India defeated Pakistan in a thrilling penalty shootout to win an Asian Games gold after 16 years. Sreejesh emerged as the hero when he denied Pakistan twice in the nerve-wracking shootout. "Pakistan fans definitely outnumbered Indians during the match there (Incheon). Chants of 'Pakistan Zindabad' were echoing all over but these chants in fact, helped me in becoming more alert. They made my blood boil," he told on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony in New Delhi on Wednesday. (Also read: Prime Minister Modi charms Asian Gamed gold medallists)

"A match against Pakistan is never an easy prospect - especially for goalkeepers in a penalty shootout. We can either become heroes or zeroes," Sreejesh said. (Watch: Indian players say beating Pakistan is a special rush)

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