HANGZHOU: Pakistan men’s hockey team crashed out of the Asian Games 2023 medal race following a 3-2 defeat against Japan on Monday.
Japan needed to win the all-important clash to book their place in the semi-final of the Asian Games 2023 Hockey event while the Green Shirts only needed to avoid a defeat.
However, the result came out in Japan’s favour as they edged Pakistan 3-2 and made it to the final four.
Pakistan got off to a flying start as they opened their account just five minutes into the game through Arshad Liaquat only for Japan to hit two goals in response in the sixth and 17th minutes via Tanaka Kaito and Fukuda Kentaro, respectively and took the lead.
Fujishima Raiki then enhanced Japan’s lead to 3-1 in the 28th minute but Pakistan cut their lead soon after through Arbaz Ahmad.
Both sides threatened to score more goals in the final quarter of the sea-saw contest but the scoreboard remained intact at 3-2 till the final whistle in Japan’s favour.
A narrow defeat against Japan meant Pakistan have now crashed out of the Asian Games 2023 medal race and will compete against a third-placed side from Pool B for the fifth and sixth position on October 6.
Earlier in the tournament, Pakistan hockey team suffered a 10-2 thrashing at the hands of arch-rivals India on Saturday.
India had a flying start to the match as they took a dominant 2-0 lead over Pakistan in the first quarter, courtesy of Harmanpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh, who scored one each.
The men in blue then doubled their lead in the second quarter and attained the complete command of the highly-anticipated match.
Pakistan finally showed some resistance in the third quarter as they managed to pull two back but it was insufficient as India still managed to further extend their lead by scoring three.
India then enjoyed another dominant quarter as they scored three more in the fourth to finish the match with a scoreline of 10-2, one of their largest victories against Pakistan.
Harmanpreet Singh was the star for India, scoring four, followed by Varun Kumar, who scored two while Mandeep Singh, Sumit, Shamsher Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay scored one each.
For Pakistan, Mohammad Sufyan Khan and Waheed Rana Ashraf could score one apiece.