Lausanne, Switzerland: The inaugural Hockey5s Asia Cup came to an end at Salalah, Oman as both Indian women’s and men’s teams claimed the gold medals. The top three finishers (men and women) were guaranteed a spot at the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024. Joining India in the women’s podium, and securing their spot at the World Cup, were Thailand as silver medalists, and Malaysia as bronze medalists. In the men’s competition, joining India in qualifying for the World Cup, were Pakistan who won the silver medal and Malaysia, who finished fourth behind Oman, who took bronze. As Oman have already qualified for the World Cup as hosts, Malaysia take the third available spot from Asia.
In the women’s competition, India went unbeaten throughout the tournament, topping the Elite pool registering three wins in their three matches. Thailand finished second to secure their semi-final spot. Japan and Malaysia went into the crossovers against Indonesia and Hong Kong China, who finished as the top two teams in the challenger pool. Indonesia and Malaysia were the crossover winners and moved on to the semi-finals.
India defeated Malaysia 9-5 in a goalfest in the first semi-final, while Thailand relied on a solid defence to take a 5-2 win over Indonesia in the second semi-final. The bronze medal match produced a thriller, with the teams ending regulation time tied at 4-goals apiece. Malaysia were down 4-1 at half-time but scored thrice in the second half to pull level and won the bronze medal in the shoot-outs. In the final Thailand led 2-1 midway through the opening half, but India scored 6 unanswered goals from that point on to snatch the gold medal and become the inaugural champions.
In the men’s competition, Pakistan and India topped the Elite pool securing their spots in the semi-finals. Pakistan topped the group with 13 points, while India finished second on 12 points. In their pool stage head-to-head match Pakistan got the better of India in a 5-4 thriller. In the first stage of crossover matches, Iran and Oman defeated Japan and Kazakhstan to make it to the second stage crossover matches. Oman defeated Bangladesh 5-3 to make it to the semi-finals, while Iran’s challenge came to a halt in a 6-1 loss to Malaysia.
India and Pakistan sealed a finals rematch, as Pakistan won their semi-final against Oman by a 7-3 margin, while India overcame an early 2-1 deficit to win 10-4 against Malaysia. The finals once again proved to be a tight contest between India and Pakistan as the momentum and lead switched hands multiple times. At the end of full time the teams were tied at 4-4 and the title was to be decided by a shoot-out. India edged the shoot-out and claimed the gold medal, with both teams securing a spot in the upcoming World Cup. Oman claimed the bronze medal with a 5-4 win over Malaysia. But with Oman already qualifying for the World Cup as hosts, the third available qualification spot from Asia went to Malaysia as the fourth placed team.
The inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024 will be played in Muscat, Oman from 24-31 January 2024, with 16 teams competing in both men’s and women’s tournaments.
All 16 teams participating in the women’s competition have now qualified. Oman (hosts), Namibia, South Africa and Zambia (Africa), USA, Uruguay and Paraguay (Pan America), Netherlands, Poland and Ukraine (Europe) Australia, New Zealand and Fiji (Oceania), India, Thailand and Malaysia (Asia) will be the 16 teams to participate in the World Cup.
All 16 teams participating in the men’s competition have now qualified. Oman (hosts), Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland (Europe), Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria(Africa), USA, Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica(Pan America), Australia, New Zealand and Fiji (Oceania), India, Pakistan and Malaysia (Asia) will be the 16 teams to participate in the World Cup.