Pakistan on Thursday defeated China 4-0 in their last match of the round robin of Asian Hockey Champions Trophy to confirm their berth into semifinal at Kuantan, Malaysia.
The win also witnessed Pakistan finishing third in their group. India and hosts Malaysia have already qualified for the semifinals.
The first quarter was evenly matched, with Pakistan emerging as a better side starting in the second quarter.
Pakistan completely dominated the last two quarters, freely entering the rival’s circle and creating several chances but most of the chances were wasted. Only one out of the six penalty corners was converted into a goal.
The first two goals were beautiful opportunistic strikes by Haseem Khan.
In the 21st minute, off the third penalty corner, a variation was employed. Tauseeq’s push from the top of the circle was deflected into the goal by Haseem’s flat stick.
Just one minute into the second half, Haseem dived to lunge on a long hit into the Chinese circle with an extended stick in one hand to score from a close range.
The third and fourth goals were both scored in the 48th minute of the game. Ali Shan provided finishing touch to a left side attack. Moments later, Ejaz sent a diagonal through pass from the left side which was slotted into the net by Mohammad Irfan Junior, sprinting into the middle of the circle.
After the first quarter, China were seen defending.
They did enter Pakistan’s circle on occasions, mostly on turn overs and also had four penalty corners. Amjad Ali, Pakistan’s goal keeper for the day, performed well whenever called into action.
Pakistan lost their matches against host Malaysia by 4-2 , India by 3-2 while winning against Korea by 1-0 and Japan by 4-3.
Their semi final opponent on Saturday will be known after the last match of the round robin between Malaysia and Korea. Agencies