The biggest clash of the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy will finally take place on August 9, as an in-form Team India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their final group stage clash of the tournament at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium in Chennai.
The match will start at 8:30 PM Indian Standard Time (IST), as per Olympics.com.
India is at the top of the points table, with three wins and a draw in four matches, with a total of 10 points. On the other hand, Pakistan is in the fourth spot with one win, two draws and a loss in four games, which translates to five points.
Both the countries have produced some thrilling and high-profile matches in recent years. The world’s number four side India has an edge over a largely younger Pakistani side thanks to their experience. Pakistan, ranked world number 16 will be under pressure to perform with a semifinal spot at stake. If they draw the match, they will be guaranteed a spot in the final four. But if they lose, Pakistan will crash out of the competition if Japan beats China on August 9.
India has already assured themselves of a semifinal spot thanks to their undefeated run in the tournament. India started with a 7-2 win over China, followed by a 1-1 draw against Japan and then secured wins over Malaysia (5-0) and South Korea (3-2).
Pakistan registered a 3-1 loss to Malaysia in their opener before drawing with Korea and Japan. They secured their first win of the tournament against China on August 7 by 2-1.
India and Pakistan are both the most successful teams in Asian Champions Trophy history with three titles each. They last met in Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta, where they played a 1-1 draw. Pakistan has a 82 wins-64 losses track record in head-to-head. The last time Pakistan beat India in hockey was in 2016 at SAF Games in Guwahati after that India and Pakistan played 14 matches together, where India won 12 while two ended in a draw.
Indian captain Harmanpreet Singh is the leading run-scorer in the tournament with five goals and will be a key threat for Pakistan. On the other hand, India will have to be vary of Muhammad Khan, who has netted three goals so far. Indian side has been superb with their attack, scoring 16 goals in the tournament, the most by any team, while Pakistan has seven.
India has been a fantastic defending side as well, conceding only five goals, the least among all teams. Pakistan has conceded eight goals so far.
(with inputs from ANI)