Azlan Shah Hockey’ Pakistan beat South Korea 4-2 | Pakistan beat South Korea 4-2 In Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match
Pakistan beat South Korea 4-2: Asian Games champions Pakistan came alive in the last 10 minutes of a Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match Friday, defeating former champions South Korea 4-2 to go top of the standings. Despite trailing the Koreans twice in the match, three goals in the last few minutes turned the tide and gave them full points.
Jubilant team manager K. M. Junaid said it was a great day for Pakistani hockey as the team played as a family and more importantly, was able to withstand 70 minutes of good hockey. “We are never a 70-minute team and many times we have faltered at the later stages of a match. This is a turning point and it shows the mental strength of the players here,” said Junaid.
“To come back after trailing twice is also great and there is the fact that we managed to score three goals in the last seven minutes. I am pleased and this augurs well for the team,” he added. Surprisingly, it was the Koreans who were stronger in the first half, scoring an early goal in the 13th minute from a penalty corner taken by Hyun Hya-sung. Rehan Butt pulled his team level in the 21st minute for a 1-1 half time score.
The Koreans again took the lead in the second half with Hya-sung scoring in the 48th minute with another set piece move but the Pakistanis slowly clawed back into the game and soon were attacking in greater numbers.
The turning point came in the 63rd minute from their fifth penalty corner when Sohail Abbas scored with a high flick against goalkeeper Lee Myung-ho.
A minute later, youngster Abdul Haseem Khan scored a field goal and Waqas Akbar ended a great day for the Pakistanis with a 70th minute field goal.
The Pakistanis will face Britain on Sunday while the Koreans have New Zealand in their sights. In the second match of the day, 23-year-old Rupinderpal Singh turned hero for India as he scored the first hat-trick of the tournament when defeating Britain 3-1.
A much improved Indian team took to the field with Rupinderpal scoring the first goal in the 10th minute for a 1-0 first half lead and was again on target in the 55th and 57th minutes.
James Tindell pulled a consolation goal back for Britain in the 62nd minute. Indian coach Harinder Singh was pleased with the effort which he said was better than the first day. “The young players had more confidence in their abilities and it showed in the game. It was a good result for us and put us back in the fold for a podium finish,” he said.
India, Britain and South Korea now have three points after two matches in the seven-nation meet. Saturday is a rest day and there will be no matches played.