India and Pakistan were declared the joint winners of the Men's Asian Champions Trophy hockey tournament. (Image credit: Pakistan hockey twitter)
The India vs Pakistan Men’s Asian Champions Trophy hockey final was set-up as a mouth-watering clash between two arch-rivals. However, nature decided to play spoilsport as heavy rain resulted in both teams being declared joint winners.
The final was being played after Malaysia and Japan played out a thrilling match for the third place shoot-out. With both teams tied 2-2 at regulation time, the match went into penalty shoot-outs and Malaysia edged out the Asian Games gold medal winners 3-2.
The match was scheduled to begin at 10:40 PM IST but then, heavy rain lashed Muscat. The heavy rain flooded the pitch. There were pools of water on the hockey track and this prompted the tournament director to abandon the final after discussions with both teams. This is the first time that teams shared the trophy in the Men’s Asia Cup Hockey tournament.
India and Pakistan had played the final on four occasions in this tournament, with India winning in 2011 and 2016 while Pakistan won the tournament in 2013 and 2015. Although the tournament ended with a damp squib, India will be mighty proud of their achievements, having gone through the tournament undefeated.