Junior Hockey World Cup: Belgium choke Pakistan to win quarters r
KARACHI: The Pakistan Junior Hockey team drew their crucial World Cup match after allowing European powerhouse Belgium to claw their way back despite a two goal advantage. The result ended Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the 16-team tournament taking place in New Delhi, India.
The greenshirts made a rampant start and looked like a different team to the one that was thrashed 6-1 by Germany. After making repeated inroads, the former champions succeeded in gaining a two-goal lead by the 54th minute.
Muhammad Dilber scored the opening goal in the 41st minute while the score was doubled in Pakistan’s favour by Muhammad Faisal Qadir.
With the match seemingly won, Pakistan allowed the European team to claw back with some weak defence.
Belgium closed the gap in the 60th minute when Maxime Plennevaux stole a pass from a defender, turned on the spot and blasted a backhand shot high in the corner.
Plennevaux scored another spectacular goal, managing a diving shot that left goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas stranded in the Pakistan goal.
The last minute draw pushed Belgium to the top of Pool A in front of Germany, sending the greenshirts to the bottom half of the draw for the second part of the competition.
With this loss, Pakistan coach Anjum Saeed feels that his team was unlucky to draw the match after maintaining a stranglehold for a long time
“It wasn’t an easy match,” Saeed told The Express Tribune. “Belgium are current European champions, but if we converted our chances we would have won by five goals.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2013.
کہاں اتنی سزائیں تھیں بھلا اس زندگانی میں
ہزاروں گھر ہوئے روشن جو میرا دل جلا محسنؔ