In-form Pakistan hockey team is fully charged to take on Japan in the semi-final of the Asian Games Hockey today (Thursday).
The team is in full knick having beaten Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Oman, Thailand and Malaysia in five consecutive matches to qualify for the knockout stage without any hindrance.
Their spirit and technique they showed against each team at the group stage was way impressive and it seemed like a lot of work has been done on them.
All looks good till now but they need to go out with the same aggression in today’s which is going to be a tough challenge for them.
In pool matches, Pakistan scored 45 goals in total and conceded the only goal against Malaysia–the second semi-finalist team from Group B.
Pakistan also having a chance to play arch-rivals India if they win against Japan and India beat Malaysia in the second semi-final of the event.
It is pertinent to mention here that India and Pakistan are the gold and silver medalists of the Asian Games hockey 2014.
On the other hand, Head coach Roelant Oltmans has done a great job throughout to take the team back on the right track.
Oltman needs to plan something different to field his boys in a competitive position and no doubt he is a man with great presence of mind.
It’s a big opportunity for the Dutchman to let Pakistan accomplish their first big achievement under his supervision.
The team has shown some outstanding work at defense as they defended many goals in their last matches but the thing they need to work on is to not miss the goal scoring chances.
They were seen missing several chances against Bangladesh in their last pool match they won by 5-0.
If we look onto players’ stats, Mohammad Atiq with seven strikes is the leading goal scorer for Pakistan so far.
The left striker, Atiq is in threatening form and if he clicks in the semi-final against Japan, it can create pressure situation in opponent’s camp.
Mohammad Touseeq Arshad and Ali Shan are also having some valuable contribution for Pakistan scoring six goals each so far.
Win or lose is a part of the game but what the entire hockey fraternity in Pakistan hoping from them is to showcase fighting spirit in the ground.