Commonwealth Games 2018 Hockey: Pakistan’s 4th Draw; to play for 7th spot
Both Pakistan and Malaysia were out of semifinal contention at the hockey competition of XXI Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia. But there was something at stake when they came across in their last pool game. Pakistan needed to win in order to finish third in the pool and qualify for the 5th place game. For Malaysia a draw was enough. The two sides ended equal on points. As per the tournament rules, the side with more wins finished ahead. Pakistan drew all the four matches while Malaysia had one win.
Malaysia called the early shots. A steal in Pakistan half left goal keeper Imran Butt with no option but to rush out of the 23 metre to thwart the danger. It cost him yellow card. Replacement Mazhar Abbas was called to make two outstanding saves in his five minute appearance on the pitch.
Pakistan managed to settle down and were certainly the better side during the rest of the first half In the ninth minute, after some delightful shot passes, a high ball reached Shafqat Rasool standing unmarked near the right post. The veteran first timed it into the cage.
In the second quarter, both the two sides got a couple of back to back penalty corners but to no avail. Dilber had the best open play opportunity. He had goal at his mercy but the try was poor.
Half Time Score: Pakistan 1, Malaysia 0
Pakistan rushed out of the blocks after the change of the sides and had a penalty corner in the first minute but the variation did not click. After some back and forth play, Malaysia tested Imran Butt, who was well positioned to stop.
In the 39th minute, Fitri Sari, after a magnificent dribbling run, sent a parallel reverse ball in the path of Ramadan Rosli from deep inside circle’s left. The latter dived to complete a memorable goal. First minute of the fourth quarter saw Pakistan waste another PC. Then Malaysia could not make out of two back to back PCs.
With less than three minute left, Pakistani head coach Oltmans replaced the goal keeper with an out field player. There was some high drama as Pakistan obtained two back to back penalty corners in the penultimate minute but the Malaysian net minder Hairi Abdul Rahman anticipated well each time and it ended 1-1
Pakistan: Shafqat Rasool (9′)
Malaysia: Ramadan Rosli (39′)
Pakistan plays the 7th/8th position match on Friday.