Pakistan hockey rarely provides us with some good news these days and the current Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia has been another sorry episode for our nation.
Although Pakistan got off to the perfect start possible with a win under their belt against Canada (3-1) in the opening match of the tournament but after that a sorry tale unfolded as the side lost their next four matches in convincing fashion to end any hopes of lifting the trophy.
Pakistan lost to New Zealand by 5-3 in their second match before succumbing to a humiliating loss against Australia by a margin of 4-0 on the very next day. On the 12th of April Pakistan faced off against arch rivals India in a bid to keep alive their hopes of reaching the final but those were tarnished as a spirited India side trounced Pakistan by a score of 5-1 to hand Pakistan their third straight defeat. Pakistan lost to Malaysia in their fifth match of the tournament by a slender margin of 1-0 and it was irritating to see Pakistan lack the vigor and determination to secure a win.
Pakistan play their final match of the tournament today against Japan who are ranked last on the points table and both teams will be playing for pride and end their tournament on a high. Japan has failed to win even a single game and they would be looking to achieve a different result when they face Pakistan today.
In other matches of the day table toppers Australia face Canada and India play hosts Malaysia in the final match of the evening. India will need to beat Malaysia in order to secure a berth in the final of the tournament or else the Kiwi side will face Australia.