Pakistan start tri-nation hockey tournament campaign on winning note

Beat Oman 3-0 in Muscat; face Japan next


Nabil Tahir February 15, 2018
PHOTO COURTESY: ASIAN HOCKEY FEDERATION

KARACHI: Pakistan kicked off their tri-nation hockey tournament campaign with a 3-0 win over hosts Oman at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Muscat on Wednesday night.

The Greenshirts, who are touring Muscat to warm-up for upcoming major tournaments, are playing the three-nation tournament with Japan and Oman.

Pakistan, deemed the pre-tournament favourites, dominated the game as they scored the opening goal in the 13th minute courtesy Ali Shan to end first quarter with a 1-0 lead.

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In the second quarter, Ajaz Ahmed scored the second goal for Pakistan in the 21st minute to double the lead and end first half with a lead of 2-0.

Third quarter saw Shafqat Rasool, who was recalled after a long time in the national squad, score Pakistan third and last goal of the match in the last minute.

In the last quarter, Oman tried their best to score a consolation goal but the quarter went goalless and the match ended with a scoreline of 3-0 in Pakistan’s favour.

“It’s good to be back in the team where we have young and senior players,” Rasool told The Express Tribune. “This tournament is a good initiative as we prepare for the upcoming major events and a chance for the new team to gel in together.”

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Oman is being coached by former Pakistan hockey team captain Tahir Zaman, who was associated with the Pakistan national team in the past.

“Pakistan are a strong team and Oman are in their developing stage, so obviously playing against Pakistan have taught the players a lot,” said Zaman. “They will eventually improve and will move up in the rankings. They have the skill and also the required passion to become better. Oman will be in a good better position soon if they keep working hard.”

Pakistan will now face Japan in their second match.

The three sides will play each other twice, followed by a final between the sides finishing with the most wins or points in the double league format.

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