ISLAMABAD: Rizwan Ali scored a hat-trick on penalty corners as Pakistan beat Egypt 3-1 to get two points ahead of the make-or-break clash against Argentina on Sunday (today) in the Junior World Cup underway in Bhubaneswar, India.
Pakistan were looking forward to a goal-scoring spree against Egypt in the wake of Argentina’s thumping 14-0 win over the African nation. But the Greenshirts had to be content with a 3-1 win with not a single goal coming from a field effort.
Rizwan banged home the opening goal in the 19th minute, scooping the penalty corner push into the goalkeeper Saleem Mohamud’s left corner.
Egypt were quick to respond, scoring the equaliser through a field effort four minutes later as Awad Hussein dodged the keeper with a first-time strike.
Pakistan got many open goal-scoring opportunities but the forwards made a mess of all the chances. Seleem was exceptional under the bar as he made it difficult for Pakistan forwards with some exceptional saves.
The Green-shirts forwards happened to be too selfish, trying to play an individual game rather than allowing teammates to have a go on the goal.
Pakistan could have added five open goals had it not been to Rana Waheed and other forwards’ self-centered approach to get a goal on their name.
Rizwan scored his second in the 32nd minute following the same penalty corner pattern, netting the ball again in the left corner of the Egyptian goalkeeper.
His 53rd-minute goal also came through a penalty corner. This time around he struck the ball on the board to right lower corner of the goalkeeper.
Moin Shakil, who was declared the player of the match, showed some exceptional stick work, making easy inroads into the Egyptian striking circle, but all his efforts went in vain.
Pakistan now require an outright win against Argentina on Sunday in order to qualify for the quarter-finals. Even a draw means curtains for Pakistan as they are too low on goal average.
Germany have edged out Argentina 3-2 to book a place in the quarter-finals.
“We could have added more goals had we converted opportunities coming our way,” Moin said. “We will try to overcome these flaws during the last pool match,” he added.