KARACHI: Pakistan won their opening match 3-1 against Bangladesh in the 8th Junior Men’s Asia Cup Hockey Tournament — which is also serving as the 2016 Junior World Cup qualifiers — at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia on Saturday.
Mubashir Ali opened Pakistan’s account with a successfully converted penalty corner in the 28th minute of the match.
However, Bangladesh’s Sabbir Hossain found the back of the net to equalise just two minutes later, ending the first half at 1-1.
The second half saw Muhammad Bilal Qadir score a field goal in the 39th minute to lift Pakistan 2-1, with Rana Riaz wrapping up the match with a 70th-minute field goal to end the match 3-1 in the Greenshirts’ favour.
Junior Asia Cup: Pakistan colts face Bangladesh in opener
“This win has increased the confidence of the whole team,” head coach Tahir Zaman told The Express Tribune. “They played well and retained all the lessons taught a night before the match.”
The coach revealed that Bangladesh’s team included 10 senior players. “It’s a proud achievement for our youngsters to beat a side like that,” he said.
Meanwhile, captain Ammad Butt said the team’s victory was down to playing as a unit. “Our passes were well-synced, which enabled us to implement the game plan provided by our coach,” said Ammad, adding that it was too early to celebrate as they have to face other tough teams in the coming days.
Junior hockey: Colts geared up for Asia Cup
Pakistan play against Korea on Sunday, with the Koreans beating Oman 5-2 in their opening match while Malaysia defeated China 4-0.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2015.
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