Busan, Republic of Korea: In a thrilling clash, the Indian men’s kabaddi team secured a hard-fought victory over Iran, earning a spot in the final of the Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023. The match took place at the Dong-Eui Institute of Technology Seokdang Cultural Centre on Thursday.
Led by Captain Pawan Sehrawat, the Indian team displayed their prowess on the kabaddi mat, with Sehrawat contributing an impressive 16 of the team’s total of 33 points. Both India and Iran entered the contest undefeated, adding to the intensity of the match.
The game started cautiously, with both teams treading carefully. However, India quickly gained momentum with Aslam Inamdar’s two-point raid, followed by an all-out and another two-point raid by Pawan Sehrawat, allowing India to build a substantial lead in the early stages.
At halftime, the scoreboard favoured India with a scoreline of 19-9. However, the reigning Asian Games champions, Iran, staged a remarkable comeback after the break. Iran, who had defeated Korea 72-17 earlier in the day, executed their game plan effectively and inflicted India’s first all-out of the tournament, narrowing the gap to just two points with only a minute remaining on the clock.
Nevertheless, India showcased their resilience by executing a super tackle in the dying seconds of the match. Arjun Deshwal’s two-point raid further solidified India’s position, securing a hard-earned victory with a five-point margin.
In previous matches of the tournament, India had displayed dominant performances, defeating Japan 62-17, Korea 76-13, and registering a convincing 53-19 win over Chinese Taipei. Before the final, the Indian Kabaddi team is scheduled to play their last league match against Hong Kong on Friday.
With the top two teams from the league stage progressing to the final, India’s win ensures their spot in the title match. Having won seven out of the eight Asian Kabaddi Championship editions held thus far, India is the most successful team in the tournament’s history.