Pakistan faced New Zealand in the second match of the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament down in Ipoh. Having won their first match of the tournament against Canada on the 6th of April, Pakistan’s morale was up and they were rearing to go in the second match of the tournament in order to register consecutive victories.
Pakistan took the lead in the 8th minute of the match after Mohammad Arslan Qadir slotted in Pakistan’s first goal and handed them the lead in this match but the New Zealand side equalized few minutes later through Stephen Jenness and the match was evenly poised once again. Pakistan’s goal keeper Imran Butt made some crucial saves during the match. The first quarter ended with the score being 1-1.
In the second quarter the Kiwi side cam out all guns blazing and Simon Child scored their second goal in the 19th minute and took the lead for the first time in the match. Pakistan’s defense was caught napping on this occassion as they provided Child with an easy way through to the goal who scored with a powerful reverse flick. Pakistan did not lose hope and kept on attacking the New Zealand goal post which eventually resulted in their second goal but this time it was Mohammad Irfan Junior who brought Pakistan back on level terms by converting a penalty corner in the 23rd minute. At half time the scored stood at 2-2.
In the third quarter New Zealand kept a check on the Pakistan forwards to keep therm away from the top half. Couple of counter attacks from both sides resulted in no goals being scored. Although until the half way mark both sides did attack the opposition’s half but nothing substantial was achieved. Nick Woods converted the third penalty corner of New Zealand to hand his side the lead once again in the 39th minute. Nick Woods converted another penalty corner to put his side firmly in front three minutes later. A minute later the Kiwi side scored another to stretch their lead to three goals and the score to 5-2. Kane Russell was the goal scorer this time.
In the final quarter Pakistan had a tough challenge on their hands and Arslan Qadir pulled one back in the 52nd minute to bring Pakistan back in it but with 8 minutes left the task was a daunting on. The match ended with New Zealand taking the game away by a margin of 5-3.
In today’s first match Cananda defeated Japan by a margin of 3-1 and the final match of the day will be played between hosts Malaysia and Australia. Pakistan play their next match of the tournament tomorrow against Australia.