Asian Games: Dreams of gold alive as hockey team reaches semis

Thursday, September 25th, 2014 9:59:21 by



KARACHI: Defending champions Pakistan qualified for the hockey semi-finals after defeating arch-rivals India 2-1 in their third Pool B match of the 17th Asian Games at the Munhak Hockey Stadium in Incheon on Thursday.

Captain Muhammad Imran felt that good team play and the presence of supporters at the ground helped his side win.

“The large number of Pakistani supporters present increased our desire to win the game and the team played as one; each and every player played their part on the field,” said Imran while talking to The Express Tribune after the match.

Meanwhile, coach Shahnaz Sheikh was quick to play down the rivalry with India, saying it was more important to gain full points from the match. The former international added: “I think we played our best game in the tournament so far. Every match counts in an event like this and we are capable of doing well against any team.”

Forwards Muhammad Waqas and Muhammad Umer Bhutta scored to hand Pakistan their third consecutive win of the competition. Bhutta is now the leading field goal-scorer of the tournament with three goals to his name.

Pakistan, India and South Korea have qualified for the semi-finals that will be held on September 30. India will face South Korea, while Pakistan’s opponents will be decided after Japan and Malaysia’s match on September 27.

Pakistan, however, still need to face Oman in their final group match on Saturday. 

Women’s Cricket

History repeats itself as the finalists of the 2010 Women’s Twenty20 tournament, Pakistan and Bangladesh, make it to the final once again.

Nida Dar’s stellar bowling performance helped defending champions Pakistan to a nine-run victory over China at the Yeonhui Cricket Ground, while Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka in the second semi-final by 25 runs.

Batting first, China were restricted to a mere 37 all out in 19 overs as 27-year-old Nida claimed four for seven in three overs with her off-breaks. Pakistan reached the target in the eighth over for the loss of one wicket.

Squash

Pakistan crashed out of the men’s squash team event as Kuwait stunned the defending champions 2-1 in their last Group A match at the Yeorumul Squash Courts.

This was Pakistan’s worst squash performance in Asiads. The country has won two gold, three silver and two bronze medals since 1998, the year that squash was included in the programme.

The Pakistan Squash Federation Secretary, captain Aamir Nawaz, said that it was disappointing to see the team lose. “We were quite confident that we could take gold in the event,” Nawaz told The Express Tribune. “I don’t know what happened really, but we’ll look into this.”

Nawaz conceded that defeating Kuwait and Hong Kong should not have been difficult for the defending champions. “They defeated these teams earlier this year. However, the criticism is valid and at the end, it is the result that matters. They didn’t win.”

The women’s team also lost 3-0 to Hong Kong on Thursday. 

Badminton

Badminton players’ poor showings continued as they failed to win even a single set in any of the matches, losing all of them 2-0 in straight sets. Mahoor Shehzad and Umer Zeeshan lost the mixed doubles round-of-32 match against Chinese Taipei’s Min Chun and Hsiao Huan, while Palwasha Bashir and Irfan Bhatti lost against Indonesia’s Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto.

Zeeshan and Bhatti lost the men’s doubles round of 16 to Japan’s Kenichi Hayakawa and Hiroyuki Endo, while Palwasha suffered the same fate against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in the women’s singles round of 16.

Zeeshan lost to Malaysia’s Chong Wei Lee in the men’s singles round of 32, while Bhatti lost to Singapore’s Zi Niang Derek Wong.

Cycling

Pakistan’s only cyclist at the Games, Muhammad Shakeel, failed to qualify for the next round of men’s keirin.

Shooting

Pakistan’s Muhammad Ayaz and Umar Siddique finished 38th and 41st respectively in the 50m rifle prone men’s qualification round. 

Swimming

Muhammad Saad finished 25th in the men’s 50m butterfly event and 31st in the men’s 100m freestyle event.

Anushe Dinyar Engineer finished 14th in the women’s 50m breaststroke category.

Boxing

Pakistan boxer Aamir Khan defeated Jordan’s Seif Emad Issa Qraish 3-0 in the 64kg event and progressed to the round of 16.

Tennis

Pakistan’s highest ranked player, Aqeel Khan, lost to china’s Hsun Yen Lu 6-0, 6-1 in the men’s singles event and Muhammad Abid was outplayed by Uzbekistan’s Sankar Fayziev 6-2, 6-0 in the second round match.



Karachi News Sources -2

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