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Men’s hockey team off to a rocky start after losing 2-1 to Pakistan

A lacklustre India suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Pakistan in their much-anticipated group match of men’s hockey event at the 12th South Asian Games here on Monday.

Muhammad Arslan Qadir scored both the goals for Pakistan in the 11th and 37th minutes while Indian captain Mandeep Antil pulled one back in the 55th minute of the match at the Moullana Tyabulla Stadium. The much-awaited match of the Games played between second string sides of the two countries did not rise to any heights as there were few very goal-scoring chances. There was not much spark either on the field as both sides lacked creativity for most of the time. This was the first time both sides were playing against each other after the controversy in the 2014 Champions League match in Bhubaneswar. The Indian side, without a host of top stars, lacked coordination and had mispasses galore as they have not played together often and the defence was vulnerable.

The two sides could play in the final again on February 12 as they should finish first and second after the round robin league of the four teams taking part in the Games.
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