KARACHI: Pakistan were left shell-shocked in Malaysia yesterday as a rampant Australia thrashed the Greenshirts 4-0 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup encounter.
Having lost to New Zealand a day earlier, Pakistan entered the match with a defensive game plan. However, that game plan was shredded by a rampant Australian attack. Pakistan not only failed to curtail their opponents, but by following a defensive plan, they failed to even threaten the Aussies.
Pakistan head coach Mohammad Khawaja Junaid, while commending the team for sticking to the game plan, rued the team’s inability to take the attack to their opponents.
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“We knew Australia’s game play and had a plan to keep them at bay. It worked early in the first two quarters but we lost our way in the final two,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “We should have found a balance between the attacking and defensive play.”
Junaid further added that despite the poor results, he was happy that the young team was gaining experience. “We tried our best to stop them but we failed. This is a great learning experience for my young players and they are bound to learn from it. We hope for a better show in the next matches,” he added.
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Pakistan started the game well and were able to snuff out any Australian attacks in the opening moments and ended the first quarter 0-0. Australia’s Blake Govers drew first blood when he capitalised on a defensive lapse to score in the 24th minute.
While Pakistan managed to keep the scoreline 1-0 till half-time, Australia came out with all their strength in the third quarter and managed to increase their lead when veteran Jamie Dwyer netted in a spectacular goal and followed it up by another a minute later to make it 3-0.
With Pakistan all but silenced, the Australians completed the rout when Aran Zalewski went past two Pakistan defenders to slot the ball past goalkeeper Imran Butt to end the match 4-0.
New Zealand defeated Japan 4-1 as Nick Wilson scored the opening goal in the fourth minute of the game followed by skipper Simon Child’s 13th-minute goal to double the lead.
Nic Woods scored the third in the 27th minute and Wilson scores his second and the team’s fourth in 58th minute. Japan’s consolatory goal was scored by Kazuma Murata in the 20th minute.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2016.
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