After a thrilling 1-1 draw against arch-rivals against India in their Asia Cup hockey 2022 opener, Pakistan inched closer to Super 4s with a 13-0 rout of hosts Indonesia with Rizwan Ali scoring a hattrick in a Pool A game on Tuesday to remain unbeaten in the competition. (More Hockey News)
With this win, Pakistan kept their hopes intact to make it to the Super 4s of the tournament, which is FIH World Cup Qualifier. Such was Pakistan’s dominance that were 4-0 up in the first quarter itself with Ajaz Ahmad, Abdul Rana, Manan Abdul and Rizwan all netting once each.
Mubashir Ali (16th), Ali Shan (19th), Abdul Rana (17th), Manan Abdul (19th) and Rizwan (25th) netted in the second quarter to kill the match there only. Ali Ghazanfar made it 10-0 for Pakistan in the 35th minute before Rizwan completed his hattrick with a 43th minute strike.
Moin Shakeel (45th) and Ajaz Ahmad (49th) completed the rout. “Yesterday's match was good, we had the chances to win but could not utilize the opportunities we created,” Pakistan captain Umar Bhutta said after the game.
“Nonetheless, we are here with a young team and a draw against India and a good win against Indonesia is a confidence booster for them,” he added. “The team is focused on earning a spot for the World Cup in India.
“Indonesia is a lower ranked team, and we tried our best to score as many goals as we could because in the last game against India, we could not score from the chances we created,” added Bhutta after the big win.
In another match of the day, a spirited Bangladesh beat nemesis Oman 2-1 in their Pool B encounter. It was a sweet victory for the Bangladesh team, as they had lost to Oman 6-2 in the final of the Asian Games Qualifier only a fortnight ago.
The team stuck to coach Gobinathan Krishnamurthy’s plans, converted from the chances they created and restricted Oman from making potential scoring opportunities. Bangladesh got the momentum from an early sixth-minute goal by Ashraful Islam, through a well-struck penalty corner.
Even though Oman bounced back with a field goal in the 17th minute through Rashad Al Fazari to equalize 1-1, they could not convert a single goal from the six PCs they created in the match which dented their hopes of a win.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, regained the lead in the 40th minute with yet another PC, well-converted by Md Rakibul. They ensured they defended this lead till the final hooter and seal the winning points.