Pakistan to face Germany in four-nation hockey


Pakistan will face Germany in their second match of the Rabo Four-Nation International Hockey Tournament at the Wagener Hockey Stadium today. The match will start at 20:30PST. Earlier Pakistan played 2-2 draw against England in their opening match of the event. Pakistan could not earn the success despite getting lead twice in the crucial contest. The green shirt wasted a golden chance to avenge the pervious defeat. Penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas led Pakistan by scoring goal on the short corner in the 8th minutes of the game. After going 1-0, Pakistani forwards missed a couple of open chances to double the lead.
England also got some good chances but failed to hold up as in the 20th and 26th minutes’ attacks were halted by smart goalkeeper Salman Akbar. Rehan Butt also got a chance to make the score-line 2-0 in the 18th minute of match. Pakistan was 1-0 ahead at lemon break. Both the teams started the second half with cautiously. Richard Smith squared the game 1-1 in the 64th minutes of goal. In the 68th minutes of the game, Shakeel Abbasi received the ball at half line and he quashed the defense of opponents to score a remarkable goal and led the team 2-1 with his all individual effort. But the woeful greenshirts could not maintain their lead second time, as English skipper Barry Middleton netted the ball in the penultimate minute of game after deflecting the ball off a left flank cross. At this time, Pakistan were playing with ten players, as Sohail Abbas was shown yellow card just seven minutes before the final siren.
Team manager, Kawaja Mohammad Junaid told reporters in the post-match press conference that Pakistan team played well but unfortunately could not scare the victory in the match. “We are in preparing process and win or loss is not important,” he said. Skipper Mohammad Imran said on this eve that he was satisfied with the performance of the team. “We missed chances to score goals but it is the part of game. We will focus on each game and boys will perform well against Holland and Germany in the upcoming matches,” he added.
PHF chief satisfied with performance: President Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and former Olympian Qasim Zia showed his satisfaction over the performance of the team as well as its foreign coach and hoped that the boys would perform well in the upcoming matches. On Thursday, Zia said that guys were doing well during the Europe trip. “We won the four-nation event in Dublin and the players did well and improved their game skills.” “The team is a blend of youth and experience and we will turn the squad in nice shape before the London Olympics 2012,” he said.