India On Thursday defeated Pakistan at the the Under-18 Asia Cup hockey tournament semi-finals by 3-1 in Dhaka.
In this year’s tournament, the two teams had traced a contrasting path to the semifinals.
Pakistan defeated Chinese-Taipei 6-1 in their opener and China 6-0 in the next game. They won their final game against Hong Kong 14-0 to top the group.
India, however, faced a tough challenge against hosts Bangladesh in the opening game in which they went down 4-5. Brushing off that loss, they then defeated Oman 11-0 to take their first points of the competition.
Indian forwards Ibungo Singh Konjengbam and Dilpreet Singh have been in sparkling form in the tournament with four goals each.
Speaking about the coming encounter, India U-18 coach B.J. Kariappa said: “The traditional rivalry adds a unique flavour to the contest, but we expect that. The boys are focused on the task at hand.”
“Pakistan have been prolific in front of the goal, so obviously we will need to tighten up our defensive structure in the game. On the other hand, I don’t think they have had to face an attacking side like ours, with this depth of talent yet, so it will be a challenge for them too,” he added.