Pakistan hockey team lost their first match of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 in Indonesia to Japan.
The green shirts were beaten by a single goal margin, 3-2, in a highly competitive game whose momentum swung both ways.
Pakistan hockey team finishes their Pool A matches with 4 points from three games after a draw against arch-rivals India and a 13-0 hammering of the hosts Indonesia.
Their fate in the tournament will be decided when India faces Indonesia at 6:30 PM (PKT) as they must beat the hosts by a 15-goal margin to qualify for the next round.
In a lethargic start, Pakistan shipped in two goals at the very end of the first period.
Ryoma Ooka opened the scoring for Japan in the 14th minute via a field goal before they got a second just a minute later to leave Pakistan in a two-goal deficit.
A much-improved start in the second period allowed Pakistan to reduce the margin to a single goal when Ajaz Ahmed scored Pakistan’s first goal in the 23rd minute.
Their celebrations were cut short when Takuma Niwa converted a penalty corner to restore Japan’s two-goal advantage.
Mubashir Ali responded with a penalty corner conversion of his own as Pakistan went into half-time just a goal down.
Unfortunately for the green shirts, they failed to equalize the scoreboard despite their best efforts.
Pakistan managed to put the ball twice in the net for what they thought were equalizers but they were denied both times through reviews.
The national hockey side is almost assured of their progress unless India, who were beaten 5-2 by japan, scores at least 15 times against Indonesia.