KARACHI: Muhammad Dilber Hussain’s hat-trick guided Pakistan’s junior hockey team to a comfortable 7-1 win over Oman in the last Pool B match of the 8th Men’s Junior Asia Cup, which saw the Colts top their pool, at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old opened the scoring in the third minute, but the lead lasted only two minutes as Oman’s Shafi alShatari equalised in the fifth.
However, that was it for Oman who found it difficult to curtail Pakistan’s attack as Abu Mahmood got the Colts back in the lead with a goal in the eighth minute through a penalty corner, while Muhammad Bilal Qadir added another in the 15th minute to make it 3-1.
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Goals kept on coming for the Colts as Mahmood once again found the net by successfully convert a penalty corner in the 28th minute, while Muhammad Atiq opened his account by scoring a minute before the interval to give Pakistan a commanding 5-1 lead at half time.
Oman became more offensive in the second half which saw Ammaar alShaaibi getting booked and while he was out serving his five-minute penalty, Pakistan found the net again through Dilber, who converted in the 62nd minute and added another three minutes later to complete his hat-trick and the 7-1 rout.
Pakistan coach Tahir Zaman praised the team for their performance, especially reserving his appreciation for Dilber.
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“It was a great effort by the team,” Zaman told The Express Tribune. “The boys showed impeccable attacking skills by putting seven goals past the opponents.
“We will take the positives out of the game and work hard on deriving a balance between attack and defence for the next match. Dilber was outstanding. I knew he can contribute for the team, but seeing him play this well is something really impressive,” he added.
Meanwhile, the hat-trick hero credited the team for his performance. “The energy I get when the whole team plays together is what enables me to gain confidence and score,” said Dilber. “It was the efforts of the whole team which led to such an amazing result.”
Pakistan now need to win their quarter-final against China to progress in the tournament and qualify for next year’s Junior World Cup in India.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2015.
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