Asian Champions Trophy: India beats Pakistan for second straight win

India faces Asian Games champion Japan on Sunday.

Manpreet Singh drew first blood for India in Saturday's encounter against arch-rival Pakistan.   -  Getty Images

India beat arch-rival Pakistan 3-1 for its second win in as many games at the Asian Champions Trophy on Saturday.

Pakistan opened the scoring in the very first minute when Irfan Jr. scored off a rebound after Sreejesh — playing in his 200th game — had thwarted a drag flick.

India pulled one back in the 24th minute with Manpreet Singh beating three opposition defenders to outsmart the keeper. On the stroke of half-time, both teams were locked at 1-1. But Mandeep Singh put India ahead in the opening minutes of the third quarter, deftly tipping the ball in to make it 2-1.

Pakistan, reeling under the impact of India's spirited counterattack, conceded a third after Dilpreet Singh converted a Lalit Upadhyay pass for his fourth goal of the tournament.

Pakistan tried hard to claw its way back into the contest but a two-goal lead combined with India's successful possession meant it had to remain content with the existing scoreline.

This was India’s second consecutive win in the tournament, after having thrashed host Oman 11-0 in its opener.

India had defeated Pakistan 4-0 in the final edition of the Champions Trophy earlier in the year before registering a close 2-1 win over the arch-rivals in the Jakarta Asian Games.

India next faces Asian Games champion Japan on Sunday, while Pakistan will play against Oman on Monday.

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