Sunday May 29, 2022

Ireland hold Pakistanto 2-2 draw

By our correspondents
June 03, 2017

KARACHI: Ireland held Pakistan to a 2-2 draw in the first of their three-match series at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club in Belfast on Friday.

Pakistan got lead twice but the hosts managed to equalise both times.

Ireland are ranked ninth and Pakistan 14th. Ireland defeated Pakistan in the qualifiers for Rio Olympics.

In front of a packed house, the Green-shirts went ahead in the 9th minute when Aleem Bilal converted a penalty corner with a powerful drag flick. But the lead did not last long. Connor Harte, who was playing his 200th international, availed himself of a pass from Shane O’ Donoghue in the 17th minute.

Just two minutes before the half time, Ali Shan restored the lead for Pakistan when he put in the ball after a hit from Dilber rebounded off the goalkeeper’s pads.

At half time, Pakistan were leading 2-1.

In the last quarter, Jeremy Duncan finished off an excellent combined move involving Alan Sothern and Matthew Nelson to make it 2-2.

Pakistan coach Khwaja Junaid said the players would take some time to get accustomed to the conditions. “We took lead twice but failed to keep it. We are here to fine tune our preparation for London’s qualifying rounds,” he said.

“We will finalise our combinations and focus on weaknesses in these matches,” Junaid said and added that Pakistan would play better in the remaining two matches.  The second match of the series is scheduled on Saturday (today).