Lahore : It was their last match of the round robin and only a seven goal defeat to China could have prevented Pakistan from entering the semi final of the 4th Asian Champions Trophy.
Unthinkable didn’t happen in Kuantan, Malaysia as Pakistan had an easy sailing in the end.
Their semi final opponent on Saturday will be known after the last match of the round robin between Malaysia and Korea.
The first quarter was more or less evenly matched. Greenshirts were the better side in the next 15 minutes. They completely dominated the last 30 minutes: entering the rival circle at will, creating numerous chances and wasting most. One out of the six penalty corners was converted.
Coming to Pakistan’s goals: First two goals were beautiful opportunistic strikes by Haseem Khan.
In the 21st minute, off the third penalty corner, a variation was employed. Tauseeq,s push from the top of the circle was deflected into the goal by Haseem’s flat stick; two touches.
Just one minute into the second half, Haseem dived to lunge on a long hit into the Chinese circle with an extended stick in one hand to score from a close range.
Third and fourth goals both arrived inside the 48th minute. Ali Shan provided finishing touch to a left side attack. Moments later, Ejaz sent a diagonal through pass from the left side which was slotted into the net by M.Irfan Junior, sprinting into the middle of the circle.
After the first 15 minutes, China were mainly seen defending. They did enter Pakistan’s circle on occasions, mostly on turn overs and also had four penalty corners. Amjad Ali, Pakistan’s goal keeper for the day, performed well whenever called into action.
Scorers: Haseem Khan 2 (21′ & 31′), Ali Shan 48′ & M.Irfan Junior 48′