Perth, Oct 21: India produced a much improved show after their opening match loss as they played out a 1-1 draw against arch-rivals Pakistan in a thrilling league match of the Lanco International Super Series Hockey 9s here today.
India, who had lost to New Zealand 3-6 in their opening match, were the more dominant side of the two for most part of the fast-paced match but they were also lucky not to have lost the match as Pakistan wasted a penalty stroke.
Substitute goalkeeper P R Sreejesh, who replaced his captain Bharat Chetri in the second half, saved the stroke taken by Waseem Ahmad a couple of minutes before the final hooter.
Sreejesh came out early and made a neat clearance to the relief of the tense Indian camp.
It was Pakistan who scored first in the 12th minute through veteran Waseem Ahmad as he gently pushed the ball home from close range.
But Pakistan's lead lasted less than a minute as India's Ravi Pal scored the equaliser with a diving reverse stick shot with Manjit Kullu and V Raghnath playing big role in serving the ball upfront.
The goal was Pal's second in the tournament.
In the second half, India had chances to take the lead but Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah spoilt the chances got by Sunil and Tushar Kandkar.
In the final moments of the match, India got another chance when Yuvraj Walmiki tapped a loose ball on the top of the circle but he failed to get it past the goalie.