KARACHI: Three-time Olympic gold medallist Pakistan team, one of the pioneers of field hockey, have failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics for the first time in the history of the game as they lost the crossover match 1-0 for 5th-6th position against a 15th ranked Irish team at the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals being played at Antwerp, Belgium on Friday.
Pakistan enjoyed 58% possession in the first quarter and won a penalty corner in the 10th minute which was defended well by Irish Kyle Good.
Pakistan vice-captain Shafqat Rasool missed an important chance in the second quarter as he sent an upright reverse shot wide in the 17th minute of the game.
Pakistan maintained high level of possession but Irish defenders and goalkeeper handled the defence perfectly to deny the men in green on another occasion when Muhammad Rizwan senior struck a shot on goal from close range but David Harte, the Irish goalkeeper made a brilliant save to end the half on equal terms, nil-nil.
Irish Dowds made an important move for Ireland in the 33rd minute but hits from top of the Pakistani goalkeeper.
Read: Olympic hopes a distant dream for Pakistan now
In the 36th minute Azfar Yaqoob got a green card for a foul on Jackson and Ireland capitalised on the 10-man Pakistan team to take the all-important lead when Alan Sothern converted a penalty corner in the 46th minute of the match.
Ireland then resorted to defensive tactics and Pakistan were struck out of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Recently, Pakistan did not qualify for the field hockey World Cup as well.
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