KARACHI: Abu Mahmood’s penalty-corner brace was unable to save Pakistan from exiting the Sultan of Johor Cup, going down 3-2 to New Zealand in their penultimate preliminary-round match.
Prior to their clash, both teams had just one point on board, with Pakistan having previously held Australia 1-1 and New Zealand drawing hosts Malaysia with a similar scoreline in their respective second matches on Monday.
New Zealand took the lead in the sixth minute as Harry Miskimmnim scored from the top of the semi-circle after picking up a rebound. The Kiwis then doubled their advantage in the 19th minute as Nick Woods converted a penalty corner.
The 44th minute saw Graig Jones step into the scoring act to give his side a 3-0 lead via a penalty corner.
Pakistan staged a fightback as Mahmood converted penalty corners in the 56th and 66th minutes, but were unable to do more.
“The position of the team was an expected one as this is not only their first international tour but also their first experience to play together as a team,” head coach Manzoorul Hassan told The Express Tribune from Malaysia.
“The players underwent training for a week after their selection, in which they did not get a chance to play as a team.”
A win in this match would have placed Pakistan in contention for a bronze medal playoff on Sunday. In all, the Greenshirts were able to score just three goals in four matches while conceding 15.
In another match, Malaysia lost 4-2 to India and will next face Pakistan in their last match tomorrow.
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