ISLAMABAD: Pakistan got off to an encouraging start in the Junior World Cup Hockey by pulling off an exciting draw against a powerful Dutch team in Kuala Lumpur.
Pakistani youngsters came back from a two goals deficit to hold Holland to a 3-3 draw, earning a crucial point in the process. Ardenburg Borris netted a spectacular field goal in 21st minute with Van Den Veen Casper adding a second in the 30th minute to give the Dutch team a 2-0 cushion going into the third quarter.
Pakistan retaliated immediately at the start of third quarter with Arshad Liaquat making it 2-1 converting a through pass into the net.
Sufyan Khan banged home Pakistan’s second in the 38th minute to make it 2-2. Both teams then started playing aggressive hockey with Olivier striking a spectacular goal to give Holland 3-2 edge going in the last 12 minutes of play.
Arbaz Ahmad then made it 3-3 by converting a penalty stroke in the 56th minute. All efforts by Pakistan to strike a winner went fruitless. “We played a better brand of hockey in the second half. I was confident that if we go on to play to our potential, we can score three goals in the second. That is exactly what happened,” team head coach Roelant Oltmans said.
He stressed on players not to get complacent going into the second match against New Zealand on Thursday. “It is all about how we play on Thursday. If we stay focused and play that brand of hockey which was there during the second half, I hope for positive results,” he said.