South Korea rallied to deny Pakistan a first win in the Asian Champions Trophy as both teams played out a 1-1 draw here on Friday at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium.
Pakistan, which lost to Malaysia on the opening day, pretty much played a similar game against the Koreans. The Green Shirts were sharp with their high press and forced plenty of turnovers, but were wasteful with their finishing and failed to convert five penalty corners. Korea ensured it made Pakistan rue its misses.
In the sixth minute, Abdul Rehman failed to hit the target from close range after being set up by Arshad Liaqat. Pakistan was excellent in cutting out passes and surging forward in numbers. Abdul Shahid made one similar run through two Korean defenders and played the pass across the goal, where a sliding Afraz couldn’t get on the end of.
HIGHLIGHTS | Pakistan vs Korea, Asian Champions Trophy 2023
Shahid, though, made up for the miss from earlier, when he had the simplest of tasks to divert Abdul Rana’s fiercely struck pass to the back post. The Koreans were poor in closing down Rana, who had the time and space to pick out Shahid from inside the circle.
Pakistan could have added to the scoreline, but drag flicker Mohammed Khan had another forgettable evening from penalty corners. Pakistan couldn’t convert any of its seven PCs on Thursday, while it squandered four opportunities. Khan and his men tried variations but weren’t successful with any of them.
Korea pinned Pakistan in the final quarter of the game and forced mistakes from Pakistan. Korea, too, had chances from its penalty corners, especially in the 48th minute when Jonghyun Jang’s drag flick was crucially blocked by the last man Liaqat on the line.
It had six PCs in the final 15 minutes and Jang struck the body of Muhammad Abdullah on the line to earn his side a penalty stroke. Jihun Yang made no mistake in restoring parity with seven minutes left.
Against the run of play, Pakistan had the chance to go ahead in the final three minutes but Jaehyon Kim pulled off a stunning triple save including two from the stick of Shahid to end the game with a point.
Malaysia beats China 5-1
Faizal Saari continued his impressive Asian Champions Trophy campaign with a two-goal display in Malaysia’s 5-1 hammering of China here at the Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium on Friday.
China took a surprise early lead when Chongcong Chen slid to divert a deflected shot into the Malaysian goal. The Chinese flashed a few shots inside the Malaysian circle, but the opposition defenders and goalkeeper Mat Deris Zaimi kept them at bay.
Malaysia grew into the game thereon as their skill and pace proved too difficult for China to handle.
Malaysia hit back in the first quarter through penalty corners. Faizal Saari, who set up three goals against Pakistan, turned drag flicker and sounded the board by placing it in the right corner. Faisal and Malaysia were aided by the defender on the line getting out of harm’s way from the dragflick. In the final minute of the quarter, Azrai Aizad held his composure to hold off a defender and find the roof of the net after a rebound from a penalty corner.
Despite the 3-1 win against Pakistan last night, Malaysia head coach Arul Anthoni Selvaraj was annoyed at the lack of control in the second half, which made it an end-to-end contest. Malaysia ensured it didn’t repeat the same mistakes here. It maintained its discipline, while moving the ball swiftly from one side to the other and ultimately got a two-goal cushion through Faisal.
Marhan Jalil fired a pass from outside the 23m line into the path of Faisal, who deflected the ball towards the goal. China’s Caiyu Wang hesitated due to Azrai’s presence in front of him as the ball dribbled past him and onto the board. The Chinese wanted a review claiming it came off their own stick but the referee stood firm in his decision.
Malaysia added a fourth through Firhan Ashari in the final quarter when he slammed home a rebound for his third goal of the tournament. While first-choice drag flicker Razie Rahim failed to convert his penalty corners, Najmi Jazlan made it five with a well-placed drag flick through the keeper’s legs.
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