Pakistan U-18s down Australia’s hockey champions

Pakistan Hockey
The victory made it two in two for the Colts who beat Randwik Hockey Club 6-0 a day earlier. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Pakistan Junior hockey team beat Australia’s domestic defending champions Victoria 2-1 in the opening match of the U18 Australian Hockey Championship in Hobart on Wednesday, The Express Tribune reported.

The victory made it two in two for the Colts who beat Randwik Hockey Club 6-0 a day earlier to kick off their tour down-Under.

Ghazanfar Ali got the Greenshirts off the mark by converting their first penalty corner in to put the visitors up 1-0 in the 11th minute.

Pakistan could have doubled their lead minutes later when they were awarded another penalty corner minutes later, but this time failed to make the conversion.

The visitor’s failure to take the chance was capitalized by Victoria who were back on level terms in the 17th minute when Ryan Nangle converted a penalty corner.

The second half brought more chances for both sides as they pushed hard to made six entries each in each other’s circles, however clear-cut chances were rare.

It was courtesy Ahmed Nadeem’s finish off a penalty corner Pakistan scored the winning goal in the 63rd muinute, the visitors’ only attempt in the second half.

Pakistan’s displayed a good defensive show in the closing minutes of the game to keep the hosts at bay.

“The boys have shown brilliant skills today, and I am really happy to see them play like this,” head coach Kamran Ashraf told The Express Tribune. “The way they played and defeated the defending champions is really incredible.

“We still have many matches to go but more than winning our main focus on this tour is to gain valuable experience and identify our weaknesses and also to learn the way modern hockey is played.”

Ashraf praised his players for dominating possession throughout the game and also lauded the hosts for their hospitality.
“We saw good sportsman sprit too when the kids from opponent team congratulated the Pakistan team on their win,” he said.

Shahzaib Khan and Adeel Latif were the two booked players for Pakistan with a green and yellow card respectively during the match.