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.
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.”
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.