KARACHI: Pakistan captain Nohaiz Zahid Malik and midfielder Muhammad Atiq scored a hat-trick each to give Pakistan their third consecutive win, defeating Zambia by a colossal 9-2 margin in the third match of their Pool B fixture at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China on Wednesday.
Pakistan now lead their pool with nine points along with New Zealand, who also won all their matches. The pool leaders will face each other on Thursday in their final pool match.
Malik scored the opening goals of the match, first in the second minute and the second in the fifth minute, after which the Zambians equalised with strikes from Blessing Lowole and Alfred Chola Mpande in the fifth and eighth minutes of the match.
Pakistan regained the lead when midfielder Muhammad Junaid Kamal scored the third goal in the last minute of the first period.
The second period saw the greenshirts dominate the Africans with strikes from Muhammad Atiq, Muhammad Bilal Mehmood and Mubashar Ali in the 13th, 17th and 22nd minutes respectively. Malik completed his hat-trick in the 23rd minute to boost Pakistan 7-2.
Seventeen-year-old Atiq then achieved his treble by scoring two goals in the 30th and 36th minutes of the match, enabling his team to end the encounter 9-2.
In Pool A, Spain lead with nine points, while Canada and South Africa both are at six points each. Spain will face South Africa and Canada will face fourth-ranked Australia in their final pool matches.
Meanwhile, Pakistan weightlifter Abdur Rehman will complete in the 77kg event of the Youth Olympics on Thursday.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2014.
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