IPOH, MALAYSIA: Pakistan kept up its chase for a place in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final with a 6-2 win over Egypt.
Pakistan went ahead in the 12th minute when Muhammad Touseeq scored before Mohamad Zubair doubled the advantage. Captain Muhammad Imran converted Pakistan’s first penalty corner in the 28th minute to put his team firmly in the driver’s seat. In the second half, Haseem Khan scored the fourth goal in the 40th minute before Muhamad Waqas made it 5-0 two minutes later. Egypt missed a penalty stroke in the 49th minute when Mohamad Amr fumbled the attempt but two minutes later Mohammad Hassan opened the account for his side.
Haseem Khan, however, increased Pakistan’s lead in the 51st minute but Hassan hit the target in the last minute to make the final scoreline 6-2. Pakistan now has eight points and will complete its fixtures on Saturday with the match against South Korea. Pakistan coach Khwaja Junaid said it had been crucial that his team should win with a big margin against Egypt. “The lack of concentration in the later stages allowed Egypt to score,” said Junaid. “Goals are going to play a big part on who goes to the final.
This is a good tournament with a level playing field. Four teams are fighting for one berth. It is a great battle and we will see it going to the last match.” In another match, world champions Australia and South Korea drew 2-2, leaving the fight for the finals berths wide open with five teams in contention. Australia scored goals through Kieran Govers in the fifth minute and Matt Ghodes in the 48th minute. The Koreans were on target through a Nam Hyun-woo penalty corner in the 25th minute and a goal from Ro Jong-hwan in the 58th minute.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 14th, 2010.
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