Forward Abhishek Yadav scored three seconds from the final whistle to break the hearts of Bangladesh and help India lift the 4th Under-18 Asia Cup Hockey title with a 5-4 win in Dhaka on Friday.
It was the same scoreline in the opening match between two teams but different winners this time as Bangladesh had won the first encounter.
The hosts underlined their potential once again when they took the lead against the run of play with Roman Sarker converting the first penalty corner in the 22nd minute.
But the lead lasted only for one minute as Shivam Anand made it 1-1 for India.
After surviving a reverse-hit from Dilpreet Sigh in the 28th minute, Bangladesh restored the lead in the 35th minute when Mohammad Moshin changed the direction of a fierce hit from Sabuj Rahman to hit the board.
After the resumption, India levelled the margin in the 44th minute with Hardik Singh converting the penalty corner and took the lead through Dilpreet Singh in the 50th minute as India exploited the weakness of Bangladesh’s vulnerable backline through the left flank.
Three minutes later, penalty corner specialist, Ashraful Islam made it 3-3 for Bangladesh before Konjengban Singh again gave visitors the lead in the 61st minute.
The hosts took only two minutes to come back into the match when Mahabub Hossain made it 4-4 in 63rd minute.
When everyone though that the match was going for a penalty shootout, Abhishek silenced the local crowd by scoring just three seconds from the final whistle.
After the sucker punch, the boys in Red and Greens broke down in tears on the blue turf of the Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium.
‘We actually wanted to take the match into penalty shootout but we failed to keep our concentration in the last moment,’ said Bangladesh captain Roman Sarker, who was later adjudged as the player of the final.
Defender Ashraful Islam, who finished the tournament as the highest scorer with 11 goals, also lamented the loss.
‘It was a bad luck for us as we conceded the goal in the last moment and there was no time to bounce back,’ he said.
Indian captain Nilam Sandeep hailed his side’s mental superiority over Bangladesh.
‘Though both Bangladesh and India are equal in terms of strength, Bangladesh lost because they lacked of strong mentality,’ he said.
‘We availed the opportunity in the last minute when Bangladesh lost their concentration.’
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