India played against China in the first math of the Asia Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2003 and the Chinese players did well to tightly mark Dhanraj Pillay throughout the match. However, Dhanraj Pillay made some good moves in spite of the tight marking and as China deployed more than one player behind Pillay, it created a lot of space for the other Indian strikers. The players like Dilip Tirkey, Gagan Ajit Singh and Prabhjot Singh made good use of the space they got and provided India a comfortable victory of 5-1 against China. Dilip Tirkey scored two goals for his team in the 5th and 37th minute and Prabhjot Singh also scored twice in the 41st and 59th minute of the match. Gagan Ajit Singh scored the other goal for India in the 20th minute. The Chinese players became successful to break the Indian defence only once in the match.
Starting the tournament on a highly confident mode after getting the huge win over China, the Indian team played against Bangladesh in their second match in the Asia Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2003. Dhanraj Pillay and his teammates were quite confident of getting a huge win over the poor Bangladesh side and the Indian team started the match on an attacking mode. Dhanraj Pillay was playing brilliantly in the midfield for India and he was making some superb moves through the Bangladesh defence to cause a lot of troubles to the Bangladeshi defenders. India scored its first goal through Dilip Tirkey's stick in the 7th minute of the match. Then, Deepak Thakur increased the lead to 2-0 in the 11th minute. The youngster Vikram Pillay scored the third goal for India in the 16th minute and Dhanraj Pillay himself scored the fourth goal in the 33rd minute of the match. The Indian players were clearly dominating the entire field at that time and India ended the first half with a huge margin of 5-0, as Sandeep Michael scored in the 35th minute of the match.
The second half of the match also saw a goal fest by the Indians, as Dhanraj Pillay and his teammates continued scoring goals in this half also. Gagan Ajit Singh started the procedure for India in the second half, as he scored the 6th goal for India in the 37th minute. Then, Prabhjot Singh put on his name in the scorers' list by scoring a goal in the 48th minute of the match. The lead was 7-0 and it was increased to 8-0 by Gagan Ajit Singh, who scored his second goal in the 50th minute of the match. India's goal fest was still not over, as the team added two more goals within a few minutes. The experienced campaigner Baljit Singh Dhillon scored the 9th goal for India in the 53rd minute and Dilip Tirkey completed the 10-0 margin in the 55th minute of the match. Though, Dhanraj Pillay scored only one goal in the match, he was there in almost all the attacks made by the Indians through the Bangladeshi defence. He also made good use of his speed to penetrate the Bangladeshi defence and created space for the other Indian strikers that they utilise wonderfully to thrash Bangladesh 10-0. India also entered into the Semi-Finals by winning this match.
After getting two huge victories against China and Bangladesh in the first two group matches, the Indian team met with its arch rivals Pakistan in its final league match in the Asian Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2003. Though India was confident of playing well in the match, they started the match in a shaky mode. The Indian defence made two mistakes in the beginning of the match and the mistakes helped Pakistan to take a 2-0 lead. Pakistan scored the first goal in the 11th minute of the match and then scored the second goal in the 21st minute. However, Dhanraj Pillay and his teammates soon realised the necessity of scoring goals, after conceding two goals and they started attacking on the Pakistani defence. Dhanraj Pillay was playing with brilliance at that time and he was also making some wonderful moves through the Pakistan defence.
India scored its first goal without much delay, when Ignace Tirkey initiated an attack by giving the ball to Gagan Ajit Singh. Though Gagan's shot was stopped by the Pakistani goalkeeper, Deepak Thakur picked up the loose ball and nicely sent it to the net. Deepak Thakur once again became instrumental in the second goal for India that was scored by Sandeep Michael in the ending part of the first half. However, the Indian team failed to keep up the speed of attacking in the second half of the match and the Pakistan team played well to score two goals more in the half. The Pakistan team eventually won the match with a margin of 4-2. Dhanraj Pillay was quite disappointed after losing the match to Pakistan.
India played against the South Korea team in the Semi-Final of the Asia Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2003 and the match was a closely contested one. Both the teams played well in the match and tried hard to score a goal in the first half. However, as the defence of both the teams was intact, the first half ended goalless. The South Korean team started the second half on an attacking mode and scored the first goal in the 39th minute to take a 1-0 lead over India. However, the South Korean team failed to maintain the lead for longer, as India scored the equaliser in the 53rd minute, through the stick of Sandeep Michael. Dhanraj Pillay was also playing wonderfully during that period and as the other Indian players like Prabhjot Singh and Gagan Ajit Singh scored, India soon took a 3-1 lead in the last two minutes. Though, the South Korea team scored its second goal just a minute to go in the match, Deepak Thakur scored the fourth goal for India and the team clinched a 4-2 victory in the match.
The Final of the Asia Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2003 was played between the teams of India and Pakistan and both the teams were confident of winning the coveted championship title. The captain of India, Dhanraj Pillay was very much determined to win the title by beating Pakistan in the Final. India started the match on a positive and attacking note, as it made a wonderful move in the very first minute of the match. Dhanraj Pillay was showing his skills right from the beginning and the Pakistan team also started to make attacks equally on the Indian defence. The match was being played on an attack-counter attack basis and the excitement was increasing by every minute. India took the first lead in the match when a lapse from the Pakistan defence helped Kanwalpreet Singh to score the first goal for India. However, Pakistan struck back immediately and scored the equaliser within a minute.
Dhanraj Pillay was playing as central midfielder in the match and he was making a number of wonderful moves through the Pakistan defence to put on huge pressure on the Pakistani defenders. The Pakistan team scored their second goal in the match, thanks to a lapse from India defence and took a 2-1 lead in the ending part of the first half. However, the Indian players did not get de-motivated after conceding the goal and Dhanraj Pillay continued encouraging his teammates to make attacks on the Pakistani defence. Dhanraj Pillay brilliantly led the players like Gagan Ajit Singh, Deepak Thakur and Sandeep Michael to penetrate the Pakistani defence with intelligent inter-play among them. India got the benefit of the continuous attack and scored the equaliser through the stick of Gagan Ajit Singh and leveled the score 2-2.
The match was equally balanced at that point of time and Dhanraj Pillay and all the other Indian strikers were playing with utter brilliance and intelligence to keep the Pakistan defence on their toes. Dhanraj Pillay made a wonderful quick run through the Pakistan defence in the second half and sent the ball to Gagan Ajit Singh, though Gagan failed to send the ball to the net, in that occasion. Then, with just about 2 minutes to go in the match, the Indians made the move of the match that was initiated by Baljit Singh Saini. He first made a quick run through the Pakistan defence and after dodging a few Pakistani defenders, he passed the ball to Ignace Tirkey, who was standing totally unmarked. Ignace then made a splendid run into the Pakistani defence and brilliantly sent the ball to the net to give India a 3-2 lead. Pakistan was trying hard to get the equaliser soon; however, it was Prabhjot Singh who scored yet another goal for India in the last minute of the match to set the final margin at 4-2. It was a historic win for India and Dhanraj Pillay was overwhelmed with joy, as the team won the championship title in the Asia Cup, Kuala Lumpur, 2003, under his captaincy.