Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup, Pakistan beat Egypt
Pakistan continued their pursuit of a place final of Sultan Azlan Shah cup, thumping Egypt by 6 goals to 2. The green shirts have accumulated 8 points with this win, and will play their final match on Saturday, when they square off against South Korea.
And just like the t20 cricket world cup, where England beat New Zealand to make a place for Pakistan in the semi finals, Pakistan hockey team after their win were banking on Korea to either draw or beat Australia in the match later the same day, if the Kangaroos would have won, it would have wiped out any chances of men in green progressing in the tournament, because Australia have a rather easier match on Saturday, when they take on China and a win would take them to 13 points, ending any hopes for not just Pakistan but also for Malaysia and Korea , and just as in cricket luck was on Pakistan’s side as Korea did hold the world champions to a 2 -2 draw, but it was not as simple as cricket, an English win over New Zealand sealed Pakistan place in the semi finals, but here the hockey team still has to go out and do the business against Korea.
Pakistan took the lead in the 12th minute, through Muhammad Touseeq, Muhammad Zubair doubled the lead just 6 minutes later as he finished off another brilliant counter attack.
Captain Muhammad Zeeshan who in absence of Sohail Abbas has take on the responsibility of taking the penalty corners, made no mistake on the first opportunity, in 28th minute as Pakistan got their first penalty corner, which made the score 3 nil.
Pakistan though still needed more goal, and they got just that in the 2nd period of the game, it was 4 goals to nothing in the 40th minute as Abdul Haseem Khan was on the score sheet, and the rout was to get worse for Egypt, just 2 minutes later it was Muhammad Waqas who sneaked through the Egyptian defence to score his first and Pakistan’s 5th goal.
Egypt were handed a penalty stroke, after Muhammad Aamir fumbled the ball but could not make use of it, and just after 2 minutes Pakistan’s goalkeeper Imran Shah mad a mistake allowing a harmless shot from Muhammad Hassan to find its way in the net.
But things were about to get much worse for the Egyptians as Haseem Khan who is touted as one of the best young players for Pakistan, made it 6-1 following a swift counter attack, as the opposition committed too many men forward in attack, Pakistan made good use of the spaces behind going all out in attack, leaving the defenders chasing shadows. 6-1 was not even enough to satisfy the 4 time world champions, and they kept on attacking, with wave after wave of green pressure, but could not penetrate any further, while Egypt sneaked one more goal 20 seconds before the final whistle to make the final score 6-2.