KARACHI: Australia defeated India 4-0 to be crowned the champions of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, being played in Ipoh, Malaysia, yesterday.
Thomas Graig and Matt Gohdes both scored two field goals apiece to guide Australia to their ninth title. India, the five-time champions, were left ruing bad defending as Australia gave them no time to breathe during the hour played on the Azlan Shah Stadium AstroTurf.
Meanwhile in the fifth-place match, Pakistan defeated Canada 3-1 to finish fifth, out of seven teams, in the tournament.
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: Contrasting aims highlight Pakistan, India’s stark fortunes
Fareed Ahmed scored the opening goal in the 11th minute, while Ajaz Ahmad doubled the lead in the 27th minute of the match.
Canada managed to halve the deficit through Ian Smyth in the 51st minute, but Mohammad Arshad ensured Pakistan end their campaign third-last in the tournament when he scored the winner in the 57th minute.
Pakistan managed to win only two matches from a total of six in the competition.
Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: Greenshirts succumb to yet another defeat
Former captain Mohammad Imran, who was a part of the team that played the Azlan Shah final in 2011 when they lost 3-2 to Australia, believes it was playing individually rather than as a unit which cost the Greenshirts a chance to win the trophy.
“It wasn’t a good performance,” Imran told The Express Tribune. “I can say that Pakistan could’ve been in the final if they played as a team. It was individual play and individual mistakes that affected the performance.”
Pakistan hockey in a shambles
The 37-year-old further added that despite champions Australia, no other team was difficult to play against.
“Australia were the best side in the tournament and deserved to win but we could’ve defeated India, New Zealand and Malaysia,” he added. “We really need to improve on our defending as we gave the opposition a lot of opportunities in our half of the field. The goalkeeping must improve as well.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2016.
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