IPOH, Malaysia: Defending champions India found their rhythm and beat Pakistan 4-2 in the 19th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup to put their title challenge back on track.
Both teams had two penalty corners in the first half but only the Indians managed to find the target in the 25th minute when Sardar Singh following up on a penalty corner rebound, slotted past goalkeeper Imran Butt from close range.
Two minutes into the second half the Pakistanis drew level when they earned a penalty stroke following a goalmouth melee. Skipper Mohamed Imran converted the stroke.
The Indians were soon back on top in the 47th minute when Gurbaj Singh ran with the ball into the 25m line and sent a cross into the D which was met by Mandeep Antil. Gurbaj scored again in 53rd minute Gurbaj.
Three minutes later Tushar Khandker slotted home from top D. Kashif Ali reduced the deficit in the 66th minute through a penalty corner drag flick.
It was India’s second win in three months against their neighbour. India has four points after two matches while Pakistan have one after their opening 3-3 draw with Malaysia.
World Champions Australia struggled to a 4-0 win over Egypt in their opening match earlier which was delayed by one hour due to a heavy downpour.
Saturday is a rest day while the Australians will line up against hosts Malaysia on Sunday. Other matches are South Korea versus India followed by Pakistan against China.