India were under pressure having lost the last two matches to Malaysia - at the Azlan Shah and then in the Hockey World League at London - but yesterday they wrested the initiative and plundered goals.
In all of Pakistan's three Asia Cup wins, India were the runners-up.
Second-placed Malaysia (three points) and third-placed South Korea (two points) will vie for the other final spot. The final result however, was a resounding 4-0 win for India. After that, Harmanpreet Singh scored the second goal in the 19th minute.
India's first win, in 2003, came at Pakistan's expense in the final and then again in both countries' last pool match in 2017.
Pakistan kept their defensive shape well as they did not allow India to have spaces in behind their defence which meant that the latter struggled to attack.
Three times champions Pakistan will, however, play the 3rd place-deciding consolation match on Sunday at 3:00pm against losers of the South Korea-Malaysia match.
India relaxed in the fourth quarter, allowing Malaysia some space and they pulled back two goals through Rahim Razie (50th minute) and Rosli Ramadan (59th minute). The tempo of the match increased towards the end of the first quarter but the teams ended the first quarter goal-less.
After the match, sportspersons including Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Hockey India tweeted from their official Twitter account expressing their joy on social media as Indian team qualified into the finals of the Asia Cup. Gurjant Singh (33rd minute), Gurjant Singh (33rd minute), SV Sunil (40th minute) and Sardar Singh (in the 60th minute) scored 1-1 goals.
Shambolic defending or just an Indian comeback, call it what you want, the spoils very clearly go to India in this particular encounter. Lalit finished off a brilliant team move with a fierce backhander in the 52nd minute to make it 3-0 in India's favour.
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