24 Sep 2013

Pakistan bludgeon England in Johor Cup Featured

JOHOR BAHRU (Malaysia), Sept 23: Pakistan’s junior hockey team recovered from a goal down to eventually outclass England 6-2 as the colts recorded their second consecutive victory in the third Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here on Monday.


On Sunday, Pakistan had also registered a formidable 3-0 victory against South Korea, and Monday’s triumph against England has propelled the green-shirts to the top of the table.

In spite of the fact that Pakistan mostly kept the possession since the beginning of the match, English players stunned Umar Bhutta-led Pakistan side as Richard Gail scored in the fifth minute to give England 1-0 lead.

However, Mohammad Tousiq levelled five minutes later converting the very first penalty corner earned by Pakistan. Five minutes later, England scored one more goal as Luke Taylor converted a penalty corner to put his side ahead once again.

Pakistan then bounced strongly when Tousiq once again converted a penalty corner, producing an equaliser for the second time. The green-shirts managed to take a 3-2 lead prior to the second half as Mohammad Dilbar scored seconds before the referee blew whistle.

Ayub Ali scored the fourth goal for Pakistan after umpire gave him an advantage in the 54th minute and the player converted the close range opportunity easily. Ayub got the advantage from the umpire after the ball hit the English goal-keeper Jay Gibson’s body.

Mohammad Suleman scored the fifth goal in the 62nd minute while Dilber added one more in the dying minute, giving Pakistan a convincing 6-2 victory.

Pakistan head coach Manzoor-ul-Hassan expressed his delight over his charges’ show in the event so far.

“I am happy with the team’s performance as they have defeated two strong teams in the tournament,” Manzoor said after Pakistan’s win.

“I am especially glad to see that our defence managed to protect the lead by not conceding goals even after the team came under pressure from England’s forwards during final minutes of the game,” the coach said, while praising his team for converting penalty corners during the match.

After two consecutive wins, Pakistan have now accumulated six points and have jumped to top of the table, with a positive goal difference of seven goals.

Meanwhile, India also accumulated six points as they defeated England 2-1 on Sunday and then overcame Argentina 3-2 on Monday. However, India, having lower goal difference of two goals, sit at the second spot behind Pakistan.

Pakistan and India will face off in the event on Wednesday.

Apart from Pakistan, South Korea, Great Britain, India, Argentina and hosts and defending champions Malaysia are featuring in the event.

On Sunday, the green-shirts played impressively in the first match of the tournament. While players from both sides failed to convert chances in the first half, the colts in green came with a better strategy in the second half, and then onwards dominated the match. Mohammad Dilbar scored twice while Mohammad Umair once for Pakistan to produce a formidable 3-0 victory.—Agencies

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