Sports News – Pakistan held Malaysia to a 2-2 draw here on Thursday but they were out of the race of final in the azlan Shah hockey tournament.
Thus, the match ensured a grand stand finish for the tournament as the finalists are yet to be decided.
Three teams are in the running for the two final slots, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand. Malaysia played like they badly wanted to win the match, and earned their first penalty corner in the fifth minute.
Faisal’s powerful low drive hit first runner Muhammad Waqas’s leg and the deflection caught postman Muhammad Imran as the ball trickled through his leg and Malaysia had the lead they were looking for.
That boosted the confidence of the Malaysians and a concerted push upfront saw Malaysia win their second penalty corner in the ninth minute, but the first runner doused the attempt.
Faisal was all over the pitch, and for his untiring effort, he made another mistake in the 11th minute and was yellow carded. Pakistan then won a string of penalty corners and in the 15th minute, Muhammad Imran finally perfected it for the equalsier.
There was no letting up on the remaining minutes of the half, as Malaysia kept attacking, but the side netting, as well as an off form Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, failed to produce a lead into the breather.
Malaysia were awarded their sixth penalty corner in the 40th minute. But the Pakistani custodian Imran Butt cast aside his indifferent form early in the tournament to deny Malaysia yet again.
Malaysia won their 8th penalty corner in the 53rd minute and this time Mohammad Razie Rahim made no mistake, despite a heroic effort by Imran, for Malaysia to lead 2-1. Malaysia then won three penalty corners but failed to extend their lead.
Pakistan forced a late onslaught and forced their fifth penalty corner in the 67th minute but Kumar was once again the stumbling block.