Friday, May 4, 2012

Jaded Pakistan edge China 1-0


Pakistan played below par but still managed to etch out a 1-0 win over a resilient China in the 7th Junior Asia Cup Group B match at the MBM Stadium in Malacca, Malaysia.
    The match was marred with many niggling fouls and there was no real flowing hockey that Pakistan is so accustomed to displaying.
   It was a tentative opening ten minutes as both teams played over cautiously, neither will to throw players forward in search of the opening goal.
  But Pakistan was slowly creeping into the match and started to take territorial control, pinning the Chinese deep in defence.
   Pakistan was awarded their first penalty corner in the 14th minute. However the bar prevented Muhammad Tousiq from opening accounts for the green shirts.
   Another two penalty corners also went to waste in the 18th and 23rd minutes and off came the bandana that Pakistan skipper Muhammad Umar Bhutta was donning.
   China was content to let Pakistan have the lion share of the possession as they opted to wait for quick breaks via Su Yanjun and E Wenhui.
    Off Pakistan’s fourth penalty corner in the 31st minute, Tousiq opted to dribble and he evaded the runners but still sent the shot wide.
   But Pakistan were not be denied in the 33rd minute as Muhammad Dilber relayed the ball to Muhammad Suleman at the far post who had the easy task of slotting into an empty goal with keeper Yan Rongyao stranded.
   In the second half China were give an opportunity to draw level when awarded a penalty corner in the 38th minute but failed to get it on target.
    On the other hand Pakistan almost doubled their lead in the 64th minute but Muhd Umer Sardar Hafiz missed a sitter after being set up by Umar.
   On the overall although Pakistan won, their performance left much to be desired.