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Pak stun China 5-0 in fourth hockey Test
BEIJING: Former World Champions Pakistan stunned Asian Games Silver Medallists China with a hefty margin 5-0 in the fourth hockey Test match and wrapped up the five match series at Changzhou on Wednesday.
Pakistan who were already leading 2-1 in the series now have stretched it to an unassailable 3-1 reducing the fifth and final Test to a pure training session.
According to an information received here, it was a spellbinding performance from the Pakistanis who outclassed the high speed chinese team in every department of the game.
Pakistan frontline stormed the Chinese citadel in the opening minutes of the first period with deadly precision.
Prolific goal scorer Waqas Sharif broke through from the right flank and then switched to the centre to rifle in a bullet in the 2nd minute. Striker Shakeel Abbasi, displaying deadly form in the series, flicked the ball in the 5th minute from an acute left angle to double the lead before the hapless Chinese defense could get together to stem the fierce onslaught.
With brilliant assistance from the midfield specially centre half Muhammad Saqlain, streamlining the attack with precision, Pakistan forwards were just unstoppable. Pakistan stretched the lead further in the 28th minute when pivot Saqlain and experienced striker Rehan Butt executed an excellent move from the midfield with Rehan hammering his first goal of the series and Pakistan led 3-0 at half time.
On resumption, China came back in the game but all their efforts were petered out as Pakistan defense of Zeeshan Ashraf, Muhammad Atiq and goalkeeper Salman Akbar stood like a rock.
Waqas Sharif struck again in the 48th minute with a fine goal, his second of the match and Pakistan led 4-0. As the Chinese defense crumbled, Pakistan penetrated further to pulverize what was left of the resistance. Forward Shafqat Rasool banged in Pakistanĺs fifth goal with a stinging shot to seal the fate of the match and the series.
An overjoyed Pakistan Chief Coach Khwaja Zakauddin profusely praised his lads for performing par excellence, ô It was really heartening to see boys playing so wonderful hockey, particularly centre half Muhammad Saqlain proved that he is the really pivot. He masterminded the whole games with intelligence and vision. The half line functioned according to the plan and with deep defenders Zeeshan Ashraf and Muhammad Atiq the defense was impregnableö.
Zaka further said, ôThe team really worked like a well oiled machine. The forwards were combining well and were well assisted by the midfield. We will not be complacent and play the same pattern to win the fifth Testö.
The final Test will be played on 21st March (Friday) at 1230hrs (PST).
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