Pak beat India 3-2 in Azlan Shah Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> India lose 2-3 to Pakistan in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Kuala Lumpur:

India failed to fulfill early promise and went down 2-3 to Pakistan in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament here today in a match that did not witness the customary passion and excitement. A hat-trick by full-back Sohail Abbas (13th, 18th and 50th minutes) was the highlight of Pakistan's success that came after a series of losses, including in the finals of the Asia Cup and Afro-Asian Games, to their arch-rivals. The Indians, after taking a 2-1 lead, thanks to goals by Baljeet Singh Dhillon (13th) and rookie substitute Rajpal Singh (15th) failed to maintain the momentum and a series of midfield errors, compounded by a disjointed forward-line, denied them further success. It was India's second straight defeat in the seven-nation tournament following the 1-3 loss to Germany yesterday, while Pakistan picked up their second set of full points, having beaten South Korea 4-2 in their opener. The Indians put in an eye-catching performance in the first-half as they matched the more experienced Pakistanis move for move. In fact, the Indians appeared far more decisive and dangerous when on the counter-attack, and with a little more combination among the forwards, they could well have come out on top. Statistically, the Pakistanis, with six penalty corners to the one of their rivals, might have looked superior but these awards were mostly forced with the intention of letting loose Abbas who came up with two good conversions off the first (1-0) and sixth (2-2) to keep Pakistan afloat. (PTI)