KARACHI: Hosts Malaysia clinched the Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament after defeating an in-form Pakistan side 2-1 in the final in Malacca.
However, the Pakistan team management complained about ‘biased umpiring’ that cost them the title.
After enjoying an unbeaten run in the run-up to the final, Malaysia proved too strong for the tourists and dominated right from the start. According to details made available, the hosts scored both goals in the first-half, also defying Pakistan’s attempts on goal.
However, Pakistan hit back and scored their opener after the interval through Mohammad Irfan. But they failed to find the equaliser, much to the dismay of head coach Rana Mujahid.
“It was biased umpiring that affected our performance in the final,” Mujahid told The Express Tribune from Malacca. “The two referees from Germany and Argentina kept on favouring the hosts with their decisions. They affected several moves of the team with their wrong decisions and also denied us short-corners on several occasions.
“I have the video as evidence and we will file a formal complaint against them in the World Hockey Federation.”
However, Mujahid expressed his satisfaction at the team’s performance. “The team played really well. It achieved the main target of reaching the Junior World Cup. Although there were a few mistakes, I am satisfied with the team’s overall performance.”
The team will return home tonight where it is expected to get a warm welcome from the Pakistan Hockey Federation officials.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2012.