Monday October 02, 2023

Pakistan face Chinese Taipei in Junior Asia Cup today

May 23, 2023

KARACHI: Pakistan will play their first match of the 10-day Junior Asia Cup against Chinese Taipei on Tuesday (today).

Pakistan are entering the tournament in tough circumstances because of financial constraints and departure of foreign coach Siegfried Aikman and local coach Adnan Zakir. It is pertinent to mention that the Junior Asia Cup 2023 is the gateway for securing the direct spot for this year’s Junior World Cup in Malaysia. Pakistan must finish among the top three to secure a direct berth.

While Pakistan haven’t played against foreign teams for long, the only plus point for them is the presence of nine players from the senior team who have competed in international events like Commonwealth Games and the Asian Champions Trophy. Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) included nine junior players in the senior team when they were teenagers, keeping in mind the future requirements. The other nine including the goalkeepers will make their debuts during the continental event. The team, however, got a boost three weeks ago when internationally acclaimed coach Rolland Oltman joined the training camp.

Pakistan are placed in a very tough group with India and Japan. They must defeat one of them to qualify for the semi-finals. Pakistan defeated South Korea by 8-0 in their second practice match in Oman, according to the reports received on Monday.