KARACHI: Leaving all experimentation aside, Pakistan will look to book a place in the Asian Champions Trophy final when they lock horns with archrivals India in their last group match.
Dubbed the most crucial encounter, where even a draw will take the Greenshirts through, Pakistan have decided to go for the kill. The Asian Games champions, sitting on top of the table with nine points, are looking for the confidence-boosting win ahead of Sunday’s final.
“We will not go for a draw,” Pakistan team manager Khwaja Junaid told The Express Tribune from Ordos. “We’ll go all-out for the victory and plans have been made accordingly. We want to go through to the final with a win and a victory against India will give the team a lot of confidence.”
Legendary Olympian Samiullah felt India have nothing to lose and Pakistan have to be aware of the threat.
“Pakistan will have to play really well,” said the Olympian. “The team should avoid repeating their mistakes and step up their performance in the important match. The team will have to convert half chances because they are crucial in such a high-profile clash.”
Meanwhile, seasoned goal-keeper Salman Akbar suggested that Pakistan should not be under undue pressure when facing India.
“The team should be confident and not think that they’re playing against India,” he said. “That will just put them under undue pressure.”
In the other matches, Korea face China while third-placed Japan meet Malaysia.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2011.
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