Indian hockeys habit of faltering at the final hurdle continued as they allowed two late goals by arch-rivals Pakistan to lose 3-2 in the final of the Genting four-nation Under-21 tournament in Malaysia on Sunday.
In a high-voltage encounter at the Taman Daya Stadium here,Pakistan skipper Haseem Abdul Khan fired home the golden goal three minutes into extra time after the teams were tied 2-2 at the end of regulation time.
India,who had been unbeaten in the tournament coming into the final,were also unlucky to be denied a penalty stroke in the second half when Victo Singh was tripped inside the striking circle by Usman Tariq.
India led till 2-1 four minutes from time through a brace by Mandeep Antil both through penalty corners but faulty trapping and miscued passing from the Indian defence in the dying minutes saw Muhammed Zubair level scores in the 67th minute.
Haseem was named Man of the Match while Diwakar Ram was adjudged Player of the Tournament.