Pakistan set to meet Japan in crucial tie today

LILLE: Led by Zeeshan Ashraf, Pakistan will face off with Japan in their important Hockey World Cup 2010 Qualifiers match at the Metropole Club Ground here on Thursday (today), Geo news reported.

Pakistan, who are heading the points table with nine points, must beat Japan to cement their berth in the final. Japan, who have also won all their matches but are behind the green shirts due to a lesser goal average, have shown consistent performance in the six-team competition.

Japan are likely to give the green shirts a tough time. There are strong chances that Pakistan and Japan will qualify for the final depending on the outcome of other matches. The first contest will be played between Poland and Italy, second between Pakistan and Japan and the last between Russia and hosts France.