KARACHI: The Pakistan junior hockey team got off to flyer at the Sultan of Johor Cup, defeating South Korea 3-0 in its campaign opener at Johor Bahru, Malaysia yesterday.
Both sides played a goalless first-half, but Pakistan dominated the final session to secure winning points, thanks to a brace from Mohammad Dilber.
Both teams started cautiously however the match gained momentum after Korea won their first penalty corner in the 13th minute, which they failed to capitalise.
This, in turn, charged up the Pakistan team who began to break into the opposition’s defense. In spite of repeated attempts, a defiant Korean defense restrained them well.
The greenshirts continued to dominate in the second-half and found an opener with the help of Mohammad Dilber.
Pakistan geared up to make further impact and came close to doubling their lead in the 50th minute, but Faisal Qadir’s brilliant reverse hit was well saved by the Korean defender.
However, they managed to increase their lead by 2-0 three minutes later through Mohammad Umair who took a strike from captain Umar Bhutta’s pass. Seven minutes before the final whistle, Dilber sealed a 3-0 win for Pakistan.
Team head coach and manager Manzoorul Hassan was content with the start.
“We missed chances in the beginning but ended the game well,” said the Olympian. “We will take it one match at a time. This is a good result and start for us.”
Pakistan will meet England in their second match today.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2013.