It was a sort of a deja vu. As against India the day before, Pakistan were trailing 1-2 with little time left. A penalty corner arrived. And again it was Mubashar Ali. The Gojra boy’s strong push went in off the left postman’s stick.Thus, the 13th ranked Pakistan drew with the 7th ranked England after holding the 6th ranked India in the hockey competition of the XXI Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia.
Now, they have drawn all the three matches here.
Another full house enjoyed a good game of hockey. England had more of the exchanges in the first four minutes but Pakistan settled well and it was back and forth stuff for the remaining portion of the first quarter. A penalty corner came in the way of either side. Dilber made an attempt with a reverse hit from the top of the circle but it went wide.
In the second quarter, Pakistan appeared the better of the two sides. They made more circle entries but couldn’t make any dangerous attempt.
Half Time: 0-0
Third quarter was the most action packed. Imran Butt averted danger by brilliantly closing on a lonely Ansell. In the 33rd minute, a pin point long ball by Pakistan’s former captain M.Irfan Sr reached M.Irfan Jr at the top of the English circle. Junior beautifully side stepped the defender before finding the right side of the board with a well placed shot.
Pakistani joy was short lived. Very next minute, an English raid found Faisal Qadir’s foot in the circle. The resulting penalty corner was converted as Gelghorne’s well directed push hit the right side of the board. It was 1-1.
Pakistan applied pressure without looking ominous. England had two chances including a PC in the dying minutes of the third quarter but could not utilise either.
The greenshirts came out stroming in the last quarter and had two good chances in the very first minute. It was the sheer brilliance of England’s celebrated short stopper Pinner that Pakistan were denied. It was followed by a spell of immense English pressure. Finally they had their fourth PC. A top of the circle parallel pass confused Pakistani defence and Ward’s carpet shot slammed the board.
Immediately, a midfield collision between Ward and Pakistani captain Rizwan Sr resulted in 5 minute suspension for both.
In the 55th minute, a top of circle English attempt almost crossed the goal line off Imran Butt’s pads. Tasawar Abbas appeared from nowhere to clear the ball.
And two minutes later, Mubashar’s act made it 2-2. England had a goal disallowed in the last minute for a very obvious foot.
After quite sometime, the Pakistan team has been showing some real structure in defence as well as in attack; in the last two matches.
Pakistan will play final pool game against Malaysia on Wednesday.
Pakistan: M.Irfan Jr (33′) & Mubashar Ali PC (57′)
England: Gleghorne PC (34′) & Sam Ward PC (51′)
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