Pakistan Jrs defeat South Africa 5-2 in first hockey test

LAHORE - Playing under overcast sky and heavy downpour, Pakistan junior hockey outfit defeated South Africa Under-21 team 5-2 in the first Test of five match series at Durban Sunday. Pakistan led 3-2 at half time. According to information received here, Pakistan had to counter difficulty in getting their act together because of the incessant rains which almost continued throughout the match. Taking advantage of the soggy and slippery surface, South Africans took the lead in the 5th minute of the first half. Yet Pakistan fought back with an equaliser in the 14th minute from right winger Muhammad Taufeeq's brilliant field goal. Defying all odds, Pakistan launched forays which earned them their first penalty corner of the match in the 20th minute. Deep defender Muhammad Ateeq put his side ahead with an unstoppable low drive. Pakistan stretched the lead in the 21st minute when substitute right-winger Muhammad Adeel fired in from a close range. However, the South Africans reduced the deficit with a field goal just before half-time. As the rain relented a bit, Pakistan doubled their efforts not to let the encounter slip away from their grasp. The second period had mostly belonged to the Pakistanis who pulverised the South African defense with swift and well-coordinated moves. In the 44th minute inside forward and captain of the team Shafqat Rasool rifled in a bullet from top of the circle to give his side 4-2 lead. South Africa conceded fifth goal of the match five minutes before the final hooter when left-winger Muhammad Zubair struck with accuracy. Both the teams had earned four penalty corners each. "The match was played under cloudy and rainy conditions," chief coach Jehangir Butt said after the match. The second half was better as the rain had slowed down." He further said, "Physically the boys are fit and we don't have problem specially the forwards are working very hard and are in excellent form."

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt