LAHORE: A hat-trick by Mohammad Rizwan and a goal each by Mubashir Ali and Ijaz led Pakistan to a 5-3 win over Netherlands in the first of their two-match series against the hosts in Bred on Tuesday.
Ijaz gave Pakistan early lead with a strike in the first quarter before the Netherlands responded with two goals to take a 2-1 lead by halftime.
The third quarter saw Pakistan equalise before regaining the lead and losing it again thanks to a leveller by the Netherlands. The visitors scored the winner in the dying minutes of the game.
The second match of the series will be played on Wednesday.
“We started the match well but in the middle we allowed them to come back and we were a little shy and made mistakes,” Pakistan head coach Seigfried Aikman said.
“We changed it at halftime and entered the structure hockey we played in the practice and suddenly we were dominating the game.”
Aikman said it wasn’t only the result that mattered to him. The Dutchman believed the way Pakistan played was impressive.
“It is not about the win it is about the way you play the game,” said Aikman.
“It was a good game against a good team.
“I am very proud of the [Pakistan] team, it was a good hockey game and step by step we will grow.