Asian Champions Trophy:With a hard-fought victory over Malaysia and a final score of 4-3, India won the exciting 2023 Asian Champions Trophy final. Jugraj Singh (9′, Penalty Corner), Harmanpreet Singh (45′, Penalty Stroke), Gurjant Singh (45′), and Akashdeep Singh (45′) all scored goals for India during the match, which was an example of outstanding ability and determination. Azrai Abu Kamal (14′), Razie Rahim (18′, Penalty Corner), and Muhammad Aminudin (28′, Penalty Corner) all showed their skill on the field as Malaysia put up an outstanding performance.
Both teams launched energetic attempts in the first minutes of the game, but Malaysia ultimately gained the lead. Selvan Karthi’s skillful move inside the circle allowed India to suddenly turn the game around and earn a penalty corner. India gained the lead after Jugraj gained control and executed a strong dragflick into the top left corner. The advantage was short because Malaysia quickly launched a comeback. A swift one-two exchange was performed by the star player, Abu Kamal, who then gently lifted the ball over the cautious Kishan Pathak who was manning the Indian goal.
India found it difficult to match Malaysia’s intensity when they increased it in the second quarter. As Malaysia’s quick forwards skillfully moved in and around the Indian circle, it was difficult for the home team to come up with any significant attack. Rahim’s stunning flick into the bottom corner in the second minute gave Malaysia the lead early in the quarter. Despite louder cheering from the home audience, Malaysia continued to lead. Just two minutes before halftime, another goal was scored as a result of their continued dominance. Aminuddin quickly took advantage of Ashran Hamsani’s deft stickwork to earn a Penalty Corner (PC), and he performed an excellent dragflick into the upper corner.
India came out strong in the second half, putting Malaysia on the back foot as the pressure increased. For 14 minutes, Malaysia was able to maintain their position, but in the closing seconds, the defense gave way. The turning point came when Sukhjeet Singh was about to have a one-on-one opportunity and Razie Rahim had no choice but to make a last-ditch tackle on him. The following penalty shot was successfully converted by Harmanpreet, tying the score.
This important goal was exactly what India required and the momentum continued with a quick equalizer. Sukhjeet quickly slapped the ball into the circle, where Gurjant and Karthi quickly exchanged one-two passes until Gurjant powerfully hit the ball into the goal, leaving the goal undefended.
A balanced and tight game played out in the fourth quarter, with India displaying composure to perform under pressure. Shamsher’s excellent tackle in the middle of the field dropped Azuan to start the series. Shamsher was tripped from behind, but he kept his balance and controlled the ball into the circle. Akashdeep skillfully controlled the ball there, made a quick turn, and then fired a strong shot that soared into the top corner of the net.India’s victory was ultimately guaranteed at a significant historical turning point.