Jakarta, May 24 After holding defending champions India to a 1-1 draw thanks to a late goal, Pakistan put up a dominant performance to thrash hosts Indonesia 13-0 win in the Asia Cup hockey championship at the state-of-the-art GBK Sports Arena here on Tuesday.
With this win, Pakistan kept intact their hopes of making it to the Super 4s stage of the tournament, which is a World Cup Qualifier.
Getting off to a strong start, Pakistan scored a flurry of goals against hosts Indonesia from quarter to quarter.
Rizwan Ali scored thrice in the 15th, 25th and 43rd minutes while Ajaz Ahmad (2′, 49′) and Abdul Rana (4′, 17′) added a brace each. Mubashir Ali (16′), Ali Shan (19′), Ali Ghazanfar (35′), and Moin Shakeel (45′) scored a goal each in Pakistan’s big win.
Pakistan thus moved to the top of the table with four points from a win and a draw while India, who take on Japan later in the day, have one point. Japan have three points while Indonesia have none as they have lost both their matches.
Pakistan skipper Umar Bhutta said the win was a confidence booster after Monday’s nervous performance in which his team missed many chances against a young Indian side before managing to hold their nerves and scoring the equaliser with two minutes remaining in the match.
“Yesterday’s match was good, we had the chances to win but could not utilize the opportunities we created. Nonetheless, we are here with a young team and a draw against India and a good win against Indonesia is a confidence booster for them,” said the captain of the Pakistan team.
“The team is focused on earning a spot for the World Cup in India. Indonesia is a lower-ranked team, and we tried our best to score as many goals as we could because, in the last game against India, we could not score from the chances we created,” added Bhutta after the big win.
Bangladesh beat Oman
In another match, a spirited Bangladesh beat nemesis Oman 2-1 in their Pool B encounter. It was a sweet victory for the Bangladesh team, as they had lost to Oman 6-2 in the final of the Asian Games Qualifier only a fortnight ago. The team stuck to coach Gobinathan Krishnamurthy’s plans, converted from the chances they created and restricted Oman from making potential scoring opportunities.
An early sixth-minute goal by Ashraful Islam, through a well-struck penalty corner, set the right momentum for Bangladesh. Even though Oman bounced back with a field goal in the 17th minute through Rashad Al Fazari to equalize 1-1, they could not convert a single goal from the six PCs they created in the match which dented their hopes of a win.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, regained the lead in the 40th minute off yet another PC, well-converted by Md Rakibul. They ensured they defended this lead till the final hooter and seal the winning points.