France hold Pakistan to 2-2 drawArchive
ANTWERP: Pakistan finished third in Pool ‘A’ after they were held to a 2-2 draw by France at the World Hockey League Semi-Finals at the KHC Dragons Stadium on Sunday.
Pakistan had only themselves to blame for not closing out the game, the Greenshirts missing several opportunities in front of goal. Captain Mohammad Imran missed from the spot after France gifted their opponents a penalty stroke in the first quarter.
Pakistan coach Shannaz Sheikh was disappointed with his team’s performance, saying they were not up to par.
“We didn’t play well and were slow. We have to improve greatly in the quarter-finals. We’re not sure whom we will play but it will not be easy at all,” said Shannaz.
It was a fast-paced match and France stunned Pakistan by taking the lead in the 21st minute. Simon Brisacs’ hit from the top of the D was accidentally deflected into goal by a Pakistani defender.
Mohamed Waqas put Pakistan on level terms with a field goal in the 36th minute. But two minutes later, France were back on top with a strike from Charles Masson.
Mohamed Dilber saved Pakistan the blushes when he scored the equaliser in the 45th minute.
Pakistan will now face the team that finishes second in Pool ‘B’ in the cross-over quarter-finals and have to finish at least third to qualify for next year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“France played well but we were quite sloppy. I think in the whole of the game we had too many chanced that we missed,” Imran said after the match. “We will learn from our mistakes and plan for the quarter-final.”
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2015
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