Pakistan come-up with another good show against strong England team when it held England to a 2-2 draw in the third pool-B match of the ongoing Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games hockey event being played at Hockey Club ground on Sunday.
Englanders were on higher note against 13th ranked Pakistan, but thanks to the Pakistanis defence line and some perfect show of the front-line that played like a team and subdues all such attempts by succeeded in holding England to a 2-2 draw. It was Pakistan’s 3rd match in the hockey team event decided on a 2-2 before playing against Wales (1-1) and India (2-2). Pakistan held Wales to a 1-1 draw and in another memento match and against India played another 2-2 draw before a thrilling match against England. Pakistan drew with the 7th ranked England after holding the ranked 6th India in the hockey competition.
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. 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 Senior reached M. Irfan Junior 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 penalty corner in the dying minutes of the third quarter but could not utilize either. The green-shirts came out with big bang 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 penalty corner. 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 Senior 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. Tasawwar 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 some-time, the Pakistan team has been showing some real structure in defence as well as in attack; in the last two matches. They play final pool game against Malaysia on Wednesday. For Pakistan M. Irfan Jr (33′) & Mubashar Ali PC (57′) were the scorers while for England Gleghorne PC (34′) & Sam Ward PC (51′) were the scorers. In the Women’s singles Ranked No. 4 seed Sarah-Jane Pery (ENG) following her 3-0 semi-final women’s squash victory over No. 6 seed Tesni Evans of Wales at Oxenford Studios on Sunday. “I’m really excited to be through to the final on Monday and secure a medal. I really wanted to win a Commonwealth medal and take it home,” Sara-Jane Pery said, adding “I will looking to win back medal.”
Pakistan’s only hope Madia Zafar was also beaten in semi-final against Meagan Best of Barbados in just 17th minute, the score was 11-2, 11-5 and 11-5. In the first day shooting event Pakistan’s Mehvish Farhan got eight position with her three attempts of points comprising 45.9, 93.7 and 112.1 in the Women 10m Air Pistol while in Men 10m Air Rifle Usman Chand moved to the qualifying round after taking 5th position in the Men qualify but he failed to get room in the top 8th..—APP