Rana helps Pakistan hold India to draw

Our Correspondent
May 24, 2022

KARACHI: A young and energetic Pakistan stunned hockey world when they held India to a 1-1 draw in their high-voltage match of Asia Cup in Jakarata.India took the lead in the first quarter when...

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KARACHI: A young and energetic Pakistan stunned hockey world when they held India to a 1-1 draw in their high-voltage match of Asia Cup in Jakarata.

India took the lead in the first quarter when Selvam Karthi scored his first international goal in the 9th minute. Pakistan equalised through Abdul Rana’s (59th minute) penalty corner strike.

India are the silver medallist of Olympics and ranked 4th in the world. They are also the defending champions of Asia Cup. But the 18th ranked Pakistan did not come under pressure despite conceding lead early in the match. They continued attacking and put pressure on India's defence. But due to inexperience of their players the Greenshirts missed four straight chances of goals.

In the first quarter, there were a flurry of penalty corners for both the teams. While Pakistan secured two, India managed as many as three, the last of which resulted in a goal.

India took the lead in the eighth minute through debutant Karthi, who scored his first international goal from a penalty corner.

After the start of the second quarter, India had the first shy at the goal but an alert Pakistan goalkeeper Akmal Hussain made a quick reflex save from close range to keep out Pawan Rajbhar’s effort.

India secured a penalty corner in the second quarter in the 21st minute but the title holders failed to convert the chance into another goal. In the 28th minute, Pakistan too got a penalty corner, their third, but once again they failed to stop the push.

After the change of ends, Pakistan started on an attacking note, albeit for a brief period, and secured their third penalty corner but Rizwan Ali’s shot went wide. India also continued attacking but due to wonderful tackling of Pakistan defenders they failed to double their lead.

India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera saved an effort from Abdul Rana from close quarters. As time lapsed swiftly, the Indians again took control of the proceedings and secured a penalty corners but they failed to get past an alert Hussain in front of Pakistan goal. With little over a minute to go for the final hooter, India conceded a penalty corner and Rana scored from a rebound to draw parity.

“I think India could not read our strategies. I am quite satisfied with how we performed and played disciplined hockey with good structure,” said Pakistan’s newly-appointed coach Siegfried Aikman.

The manager of Pakistan hockey team Khwaja Junaid said that the Greenshirts were improving after each match. "Today our players controlled their nerves and bounced back in the match," he added.

Green shirts will next play against Indonesia on May 24. They will face Japan on May 26. In other matches, Malaysia started their Group B campaign with a 7-0 win over Oman at Gelora Bung Karno hockey pitch.

Razie Rahim registered a hat-trick, scoring in the sixth, 13th and 19th minutes. The other scorers were Faizal Saari (23rd), Shahril Saabah (34th), Faiz Helmi Jali (40th) and Ashran Hamsani (43rd).

In the other Group B match, South Korea came back from a goal down after Rahman Khorshadur scored in the sixth minute to beat Bangladesh 6-1. For South Korea, goals were scored by Hwang Taeil in the 13th and 22nd minutes, Jang Jong Hyun in the 18th and 52nd, Lee Nam Yong in the 32nd and Yang Jihun in the 45th.

In Group A, Indonesia were beaten 9-0 by Japan in a one-sided match. The goals were scored by Kirishita Yoshiki (7th), Nagayoshi Ken (8th), Ooka Ryoma (10th), Kato Ryosei (13th), Yamasaki Koji (15, 21, 22, 35th), Niwa Takuma (30th).

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