KARACHI: Pakistan recorded a convincing 5-0 victory over Bangladesh in Jakarta on Tuesday to emerge as the group champions and set semi-final clash with Japan.
Japan defeated South Korea to qualify for the semi-finals form Pool A, which was topped by India.
The match between Pakistan and Bangladesh proved a one-sided affair as the Green-shirts took a lead of two goals in the first quarter.
Muhammad Atiq opened the account through a field goal in just the second minute of the first quarter. Mubashir doubled the lead when he converted a penalty corner.
Mubashir strike his second and the team’s third goal in the second quarter.Forward Ali Shan scored the fourth goal in the third quarter and Atiq struck the fifth on a penalty corner.
India are the top team in Pool A with five wins from as many matches. They will face second-placed Malaysia from Pool B.A marquee final between arch-rivals Pakistan and India is on the cards if both teams beat their respective opponents in the semi-finals on August 30.
The final will be played on September 1.Pakistan manager Hasan Sardar said that there was no room for complacency. “We have to win our semi-final and then the final. No other result will be satisfying,” he added.
“We prepared the team for this event for months, so we must win the gold medal here,” said the manager. “We want the players to give their hundred percent in these two matches,” he added.
Sardar said that the players played well against Bangladesh, who were an improving side. “The forwards made combined moves and were successful in scoring five goals,” said the former Olympian. “Our forwards were not scoring goals; we were wasting penalty corners; but now there is a big change in the Asian Games and our boys have clicked,” he added.
He said that Pakistan had scored 45 goals in five matches and only one was scored against them. “That we conceded only one goal shows how strong our defence has been. It means that all our players are doing their jobs. The defenders and the goalkeeper are proving to be a strong wall. The increased number of goals means that midfielders and forwards are making result-oriented moves,” said Sardar.