JAKARTA (Monitoring Desk): Pakistan hockey team narrowly missed Bronze as they lost to Arch-rivals India 2-1 in the Bronze medal contest of Asian Games hockey on Saturday.
After performing extraordinarily at the group stage, Pakistan gave up in two back-to-back knocks out stage matches to climb back on their old trend. India, as usual, kept an upper hand on the green shirts not giving a single chance to score until the fourth quarter.
The men in blue just took two minutes to hit their first goal in a must-win contest that put heavy pressure on Pakistan who was already seen helpless against India’s strong defence. Pakistan tried hard to hit an equalizer but missing simple scoring chances a couple of times led them down miserably.
Prior to that, Pakistan also missed four penalty corners chances straight away to further minimize scoring chance in the game. At last Pakistan got off to the mark after Mohammad Atiq on 52nd minute drove the ball into the net but it was too late as India had already doubled their lead scoring on the 50th minute.
Harmanpreet Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored for India in a crucial game. Pakistan’s skipper, Mohammad Rizwan after disappointing defeat said that they tried really hard to cross the victory line but it was not their day.
Rizwan in a video message said that “We remained strong at defence and defended many goals but in the end, we were a little short in converting goal scoring opportunities,” He asked the nation to support the team in hard times as they are in a rebuilding process and need some time to be back on the right track.
On the other hand, Former Olympian Akhtar Rasool praised the team’s performance in the tournament and said that the boys showcased impressive performance throughout and judging them from one or two matches would be unfair.
In a video message from Jakarta, he said that Pakistan is gradually coming back to their previous form and it will take time for them to change fortunes. “We as hockey supporters are too much emotional and deciding the team’s future from just two games. We need to give the team some time to get themselves into the right shape,”.