IPOH: Pakistan defeated Argentina 4-2 in the opening match of the 21st Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh on Thursday.
Both the teams were playing on the blue pitch for the first time, which will help them practice for Olympics where the pitch will be similar. Struggling to get accustomed to the pitch, none of the teams scored any goal nor received any penalty in the first ten minutes of the match.
Shabbir Ahmad Khan from Pakistan tried to score the first goal but was defended by Argentina’s custodian Juan Manuel Vivaldi, and gave Pakistan a penalty corner in the 22nd minute which was not utilised.
Argentina also received a penalty corner in the 29th minute but failed to utilise it.
The first goal of the match was scored by Pakistan’s Muhammad Irfan and the second goal by Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas.
Argentina scored their two goals with one by Gonzalo Peillat in the 53rd minute and by Mathias Parades in the 62nd minute equalising the scores.
But in the 65th minute, Pakistan’s Haseeb Khan deflected a shot and then Muhammad Waqas scored another goal leading Pakistan to the victory.
Seven hockey teams, including Pakistan, India, South Korea, Great Britain, New Zealand, Argentina and hosts Malaysia, are taking part in the 10-day event to get in shape ahead of the London Olympics in July.
Pakistan won the tournament in 2003, having also triumphed twice before as well. They finished second behind Australia in last year’s edition.