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August 21, 2018

Green-shirts steamroll Thailand in Asian Games opener


August 21, 2018

KARACHI: Pakistan crushed Thailand by 10-0 in their first match of Asian Games in Jakarta on Monday. Forward Muhammad Atiq smashed the rivals’ defence, scoring a hat- trick.

Muhammad Irfan Senior scored two goals. The forwards struck at least 12 times at Thai goal post through field moves. From the beginning of the match, Pakistan started attacks. They were successful in the last minute of the first quarter when Toseeq Ahmed opened the account on a rebound of penalty corner.

The silver medallists of the last edition did not give any chance to the opposition as they made 21 shots at the goal, 12 through field moves and nine through penalty corners. Thailand had only one shot at the goal which was saved by goalkeeper Muhammad Imran.

Irfan Senior scored the second goal for Pakistan in the 22nd minute through a penalty corner. Soon afterwards, Atiq scored through a field goal to give Pakistan 3-0 lead. Irfan scored his second goal in the 30th minute, which meant Pakistan had a 4-0 lead at the end of the second quarter.

Pakistan scored their fifth goal in the 33rd minute as Mubashir Ali scored through a penalty corner. Atiq scored his second and the team’s sixth goal in the 39th minute through a field move.

In the 42nd minute, Abu Bakar scored through a penalty corner and forward Atiq scored his third goal — a field goal — as Pakistan inflated their lead to 8-0 before the end of the third quarter.

In the last quarter, Abu Bakar scored in the 48th minute through a penalty corner and Toseeq struck a field goal in the 50th minute to make it 10-0, the final score.

Captain Muhammad Rizwan Senior was satisfied with the team’s performance. He told ‘The News’ from Jakarta that although Thailand was not a strong side, “the win gave us confidence. Our forwards were successful which is a good sign.

“Our defenders also played well and marked the rival team’s forwards throughout the match, not allowing them to penetrate our area,” he added.

Team manager Hasan Sardar was also satisfied. He said that the margin of the victory showed that the forwards had overcome their weaknesses. He said the team management had done a lot of hard work with the forwards and that paid off.

“The pool match against Malaysia will be a real test of the forwards,” he said. “The defenders, the forwards, the mid-fielders, the goalkeeper and the PC specialists played according to the plan they had been given,” Sardar said. He appreciated Atiq for scoring three goals.

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