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Pakistan sets up summit clash with India in AHF Junior Men Asia Cup Hockey

Six goals in the last 18 minutes helped Pakistan to defeat Malaysia and set up a summit clash with defending champions India in the AHF Hockey Junior Men Asia Cup at Salalah on Wednesday. Pakistan, trailing 1-2 till 43rd minute, in a blitzkrieg scored five goals in 16 minutes to complete a fascinating 6-2 win over Malaysia. Incidentally, it was Malaysia’s first loss in the tournament. It will now play Korea for the bronze medal match. Earlier, defending champions India trounced Korea 9-1 in the first semi-final.

Both India and Pakistan have been recording big wins in the tournament so far. The only game that did not yield many goals was a match between two traditional rivals and neighbors that had ended in a thrilling 1-1 draw.

Malaysia started well taking the lead in the 21st minute through a penalty corner conversion by Tangara Perabu. Pakistan had to wait until 42nd minute to restore parity through a penalty corner. It was Mohammed Khan who found the target with a low flick. Pakistan quickly took the lead with a brilliant field goal by Abdul Rehman.

Pakistan’s joy was, however, short lived as Malaysia made the score 2-2 when Muhammad Danish Aiman  latched on a free ball and scored a gem of a field goal from the top of the circle. But that was the end of the road for hard working Malaysians.

Once Roland Oltmans’ players took command of the game, they scored at regular intervals to keep the score board moving.

After Abdul Shahid made it 3-2 with a field goal in the 47th minute, Abdul Rehman, chipped in with a brace, including a penalty corner conversion to make the score 5-2 before Arbaz Ahmad completed the tally with a penalty corner conversion to secure a berth for Pakistan in the gold medal match.

Prabhjot Singh