Jakarta [Indonesia], May 23 (ANI): A young Indian men's hockey team opened its title defence with a 1-1 draw against arch-rivals Pakistan in their first group A match of the Asia Cup at the GBK Stadium here on Monday.
Selvam Karthi (eighth minute) scored his first international goal for India, while Pakistan equalised through Abdul Rana's (59th) penalty corner strike.
In the first quarter, there were several penalty corners for both teams. While Pakistan secured two, India managed three and scored of the last one.
India took the lead in the eighth minute through debutant Karthi, who scored his first international goal from a penalty corner. After the start of the second quarter, India had the first shy at the goal but an alert Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal Hussain made a quick save from close range to keep out Pawan Rajbhar's effort.
India secured a penalty corner in the second quarter in the 21st minute but the title holders failed to convert the chance into another goal. In the 28th minute, Pakistan too got a penalty corner, their third, but they again failed to stop the push and wasted a bright chance.
After the change of ends, Pakistan started on an attacking note, albeit for a brief period, and secured a penalty corner but Rizwan Ali's shot went wide.
India's goalkeeper Suraj Karkera then saved an effort from Abdul Rana from close quarters. Indians again took control of the proceedings and secured a handful of penalty corners but they failed to get past an alert Hussain in front of Pakistan goal and the scores remained tied after the third quarter.
With little over a minute to go for the final hooter, India conceded a penalty corner and Rana scored from a rebound to draw parity. "I think India could not read our strategies. I am quite satisfied with how we performed and played disciplined hockey with good structure," Pakistan's newly-appointed coach Siegfried Aikman said.
In another match of the day, Japan beat hosts Indonesia 9-0. As many as four goals were scored by Koji Yamasaki (15', 21', 22', 35'). Yoshiki Krishita (7') scored the first goal for Japan followed by Ken Nagayoshi (8'), Ryoma Ooka (10'), Ryosei Kato and Takuma Niwa (33'). (ANI)