Pakistan defeated Malaysia 3-2 in their opening match of the inaugural men’s Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, yesterday.
Abdul Haseem scored the opening goal for Pakistan with captain Mohammad Imran doubling the score. Malaysia managed to hit back and reduce the deficit with Pakistan leading 2-1 at the interval.
The Greenshirts faced more resistance after the interval as Malaysia equalised but Shakeel Abbasi sealed maximum points for Pakistan by a strike in the second half.
Pakistan, the Asian Games winners, will play their second match against China today.
Team manager Khawaja Junaid had said prior to the team’s departure that his side will be looking to improve their defending skills throughout the tournament. The European tour earlier in the year, according to Junaid, was when Pakistan conceded more goals than they would have liked.
Chief selector Hanif Khan remained impressed with the team’s 3-2 win and said that it will help Pakistan win against India on September 6.
In the event’s opening match, India thrashed China 5-0 while South Korea beat Japan 3-2.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.