KARACHI: Forward Muhammad Atiq’s hat-trick on Monday helped Pakistan hockey team thrash low-ranked opponents Thailand 10-0 in the former’s campaign opener during the Asian Games in Jakarta.
The silver medallists of the last edition of the Games did not give any chance to the opposition as they struck 21 shots at the goal — 12 through field moves and nine through penalty corners — and converted 10 chances. Meanwhile, Thailand had only one shot at the goal which was saved by goalkeeper Muhammad Imran.
Pakistan opened their goal tally with Toseeq Arshad scoring in the last minute of the first 15-minute quarter courtesy a penalty corner.
In the second quarter, former captain Muhammad Irfan senior scored the second for Pakistan in the 22nd minute through a penalty corner, followed by Atiq who completed a move on the field to give Pakistan a 3-0 lead. Irfan scored his second goal in the 30th minute to end the first half with a lead of 4-0.
After a timeout of 15 minutes, Pakistan team did not slow down and scored their fifth goal in the 33rd minute as Mubashir Ali scored a goal through a penalty corner. The hero of the day Atiq scored his second and team’s sixth goal in the 39th minute of the game through a field goal.
In the 42nd minute of the game Abu Bakar Mehmood scored through a penalty corner and his goal was followed by the third goal of Atiq, a field goal, as Pakistan gained an unassailable 8-0 lead in the game at the end of the third quarter.
In the final 15 minutes, Pakistan scored two more goals in the 48th and the 50th minute of the game courtesy Mehmood’s penalty corner conversion and Toseeq’s field goal, respectively, to end the game with a convincing 10-0 win.
The player of the day Atiq told The Express Tribune after the match from Jakarta that he was well assisted by fellow players. “We went in to win the match,” he said. “Thailand is an easy side to play against, but still we didn’t give them any chance to score. As soon as we got the ball, we went in to score and ended up with 10 goals. I feel good to have scored three goals which will help me in the matches against tougher teams.
Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Rizwan Senior said that the defenders did a great job as they didn’t let the Thailand attackers’ enter the area to make goal-scoring attempts. “Today we saw a perfect show by our defenders, attackers and mid-fielders. They all did their job well and we hope to see the same in next matches,” he said.