After completely horrible performance in the first biggest match of the tournament where Team GB totally devastated, already weaker, defence of Team Pakistan and successfully handled, relatively stronger, mid field to end the game with a 4 goals to one. Today team Pakistan got into another nerve testing and a classic hockey match that could put any one on the edge of the seat. A match where total 9 goals scored and there were total 30 attacks on the goal posts from the both sides. However, in the end Waseem Ahmed, and Captain Sohail Abbas snatched the victory from South African team in last ten minutes of the match.
That was indeed the best match of this whole tournament so far and resulted in the favour green shirts but this victory shall not over shadow the shortcomings that we have seen again in this match.
The way defence in today’s match failed again is completely a nightmare before facing the haunting side of Australia. South Africa gained 3 penalty corners and they converted 2 of them into goals. Allowing opposite side so many penalty corners at this stage of the match indicate the lack of discipline in the D area of Green shirts.
Pakistan had the advantage of having senior players in their side, tough they have been a disadvantage too due to their stamina issues however Senior players and their experience clicked during the most crucial situation of the match where Waseem Ahmed, Sohail Abbas, and Shakeel Abbasi attacked on the goals multiple times. However, the young guns like Abdul Haseem Khan and Shafqat Rasool must get the due credit for scoring first three goals for green shirts in first half.
Team Pakistan has throughout played attacking hockey in this tournament, apart from Team GB match where green shirts were completely helpless. Team Pakistan shall continue the attacking hockey as match against Team GB is an example how attack can be a defence it self. The strategy of more players in mid-filed worked in first two matches but in the recent two games it seems as opposite sides have worked out on the loop holes in current field strategy of Pakistan. Therefore, Coach and senior team members must come-up with a better strategy against the favourite Australia. This factor must be kept in mind that Australian coach was special spectator of the match, it indicates that how closely Australia is looking at its opponents.
Yet again, same advice to the team that to face the toughest side they must work on the most lacking aspect and that is defence especially the goal keeping department. Attack has been good in this tournament and to keep this attack effective it must be backed efficiently that was missing against GB however to some extent in second half of today’s game there was improvement in that area. Overall match has been entertaining and the best one that as a hockey fan I have seen in this year so far. Today’s performance again has given a hope by putting team Pakistan on third spot on the table with 7 points equal to the points of Team GB(7) and Australia (7). And with that hope wishing all the best to Green Shirts for their match against Australia.