Former India captain Viren Rasquinha expressed surprise at "controversial" calls from video umpires during the final seconds of India's 2-2 draw against Pakistan in the men's Pool B hockey match at Commonwealth Games 2018 Saturday, April 7.
Quite a few fans on Twitter echoed Rasquinha's thoughts as Pakistan scored a late equaliser from the penalty corner to complete a remarkable comeback after being 2-0 down at the end of the second quarter.
FT. India's impressive show in their opening game of the @GC2018 XXI Commonwealth Games is marred by a set-piece goal at the last moment to result in a draw against Pakistan on 7th April.#IndiaKaGame #HallaHockeyKa #GC2018 #INDvPAK pic.twitter.com/9V2tWoXLJ8— Hockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) April 7, 2018
Fans had thronged to Gold Coast Hockey Centre to watch the arch-rivals in action and had their money's worth as the match went down to the wire.
With 7.3s left on the clock, Pakistan were awarded a penalty corner after the video umpires upheld a referral from the the Men in Green. Ali Mubashir failed to convert it but Pakistan players crowded the on-field referee over another referral.
Pakistan's referral was once again upheld as the video umpires ruled the ball had hit an Indian defender for the second straight time. As tension gripped the packed-stadium, Mubashir held his cool and slotted one past PR Sreejesh, who otherwise had a great outing on Saturday.
"Both the referral decisions were very surprising. To my eyes, I have been trying to watch this as closely, there was no foot. Very, very controversial decisions. I think the video umpire was watching something else," Rasquinha, who is among the panelists for SPN Sports India, was quoted as saying by The Field.
Nonetheless, India forced such a tense situation upon themselves after missing quite a few opportunities in the final moments of the match.
Having started the match by dictating play in the midfield and through the flanks, Sjoerd Marijne's men came up with a lacklustre effort in the last two quarters that allowed Pakistan to come back into the match.
India were comfortably leading Roelant Oltmans' Pakistan side by two goals after Dilpreet Singh (13th minute) and Harmanpreet Singh (20th minute) scored in quick succession in the first half. Muhammad Irfan Junior reduced his side's deficit with a well-constructed goal in the 39th minute.
If not for Srejeesh's brilliant saves, India would have ended up conceding more than two goals in their opening match of the Commonwealth Games.
Following Saturday's draw, India are placed fourth in the five-team group while Pakistan are third with two draws from as many games.
IBTimes India has compiled a list of reactions to the nail-biting hockey encounter between India and Pakistan. Find it below.
Certainly don't think India deserved more than a point from this match, so the draw is fine in that sense. But gutted for Sreejesh. Such a fantastic display spoiled by poor performance by the rest of his team and the video referral dude.#INDvPAK— Vinayakk (@vinayakkm) April 7, 2018
Really sad the way they Played in last 2 Quarters Should have won the match #INDvPAK ??— Abhijeet Anand ? (@3Dabhijeet) April 7, 2018
While other events are struggling to sell tickets in #GC2018, #INDvPAK Hockey tickets were sold within few hours, it's almost packed. Live now on Sony Ten 3 in Hindi, Sony Six in English & also on DDSports. pic.twitter.com/ZIVl1NlzNS— India Sports TV (@IndiaSportsTV) April 7, 2018