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October 26, 2018

Pakistan beat Malaysia 1-0 to reach semi-finals


October 26, 2018

KARACHI: After a tough fight and three goal-less quarters, Pakistan managed to defeat Malaysia 1-0 in their round robin match of Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat on Thursday.

Both teams have qualified for the semi-final stage where they will play against each other on Saturday (tomorrow). The match was interesting in that the Malaysians were coached by Roelant Oltmans who had been Pakistan’s head coach until a few weeks ago.

At the recent Asian Games, Pakistan had defeated Malaysia 4-1. Malaysia found an open chance during the last moments of the first quarter when goalkeeper Imran Butt mistakenly kicked the ball towards a Malaysian forward, who, however, failed to score.

In the second quarter, Umar Bhutta had a chance to score but he was far too slow to react. No goal had been scored by the half time. During the third quarter, a Malaysian forward beat Pakistan’s defence, but Imran handsomely cleared the ball.

Malaysia were reduced to ten men when Tajuddin Tengku was shown a yellow card. Pakistan forwards attacked Malaysia’s goal post but their goalkeeper Hairi Rehman superbly tackled them.

Pakistan got their first penalty corner in the fourth quarter but Aleem Bilal’s drag flick was blocked by Hairi. Pakistan faced a great loss in the last quarter when Faisal Qadir was shown a yellow card, while Malaysia’s Tajuddin was back on the pitch. In the 52nd minute, Abu Bakar had a great chance when he was to beat only Hairi to score but he failed to reach the ball on time.

In a counter attack, Farhan Ashari missed a goal scoring chance for Malaysia. Pakistan launched their own counter attack and Irfan Junior managed to strike the goal for Pakistan, which proved decisive.

Pakistan manager Hasan Sardar, who is now also acting as the head coach, was satisfied with the result. “Each victory has increased the confidence of our boys,” he said. He said that Malaysia also played well and that his boys would come in the semi-final with a different strategy.

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