KARACHI: Pakistan national hockey team moved closer to booking their berth for the semi-final of the Asian Men’s Champions Trophy tournament after claiming a crucial 4-3 win over Japan on Tuesday in Kuantan, Malaysia.
The Greenshirts began the much needed win match with an aggressive attack on a lowly Japan as they scored the opening goal in the fifth minute of the game with Muhammad Irfan Jr deflecting the ball into the net to take 1-0 lead.
Japan, who lost their last outing against Pakistan at Sultan Azlan Shah Cup by 1-4, struck back in the next five minutes to level the score with Seren Tanaka’s goal. However, Pakistan took the lead again through Muhammad Aleem Bilal’s successfully converted penalty corner in the 12th minute to end the first quarter on 2-1.
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Both teams struggled in the second quarter, but Japan was lucky to find a goal one minute before half time following a poor defensive work from Pakistan which allowed Kenta Tanaka to score an equaliser.
Muhammad Rizwan Sr’s reverse hit allowed Pakistan to lead 3-2 in the third quarter before Bilal added another for the Greenshirts in the last quarter of the game.
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However, Japan grabbed a consolation goal from a penalty stroke to end the match 4-3 in Pakistan’s favour.
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