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Pakistan wins under 21 four nation tournament
14 Mar 2005 08:58

Pakistan 2 defeated India 0
Goals: Pakistan - Shakeel Abbasi PC 7m, Kashif Yaqoob  FG 52m

Pakistan scored a goal in each half to beat traditional rival India 2-0 in an emotionally charged final of the four-nation junior hockey tournament in Lahore.

Pakistan captain Shakeel Abbasi connected Mohammad Akhtar's pass from the top of the circle to put Pakistan ahead in the seventh minute.

Kashif Yaqoob sliced a shoulder height ball into the net in the 52nd minute to score the final goal of the match.

Players from both the teams displayed poor temperament as they regularly objected to umpiring decisions that hampered the flow and momentum of the match.

The players also got engaged in physical contact with each other besides passing remarks at each other. The umpires also did not really assert their authority and showed just two green and two yellow cards.

Both the teams finished the match with 10 players when Vickram Kanth was given marching orders in the 52nd minute, while Imran Khan was told to leave the field in the 58th minute.

Pakistan received just one penalty corner while the Indian team displayed better cohesion and understanding but lacked finishing touches.

The Indians, playing without five frontline players, failed to convert any of the five penalty corners they earned which meant they could not score any goal in the tournament from the short corners.

The Indian team, at one stage, refused to resume the match, raising objection to the umpiring decision awarding the second goal to Pakistan.

However, Indian coach Harendra Singh made his presence felt and ordered his boys to restart the game.

“India-Pakistan games will always be pressure games and sometimes the players go overboard,'' Harendra said after the match.

“I think the pressure of the people and the media told on the players. These were minor incidents and should be considered as part of the game."

Pakistan coach Tahir Zaman said the win would serve as a morale-booster for the team ahead of the Junior World Cup.

“The youngsters are in learning stages and these type of pressures will help them in the overall growth as good players,'' Zaman said.

“I think it was a good tournament and all the teams benefited from this event. Now they exactly know what they need to do to perform well in the coming Junior World Cup.”

Before the June World Cup, Pakistan and India will also compete in a six-nation tournament starting in Kuala Lumpur later this month.

India's Hari Prasad was adjudged Player of the Tournament, while Pakistan's Imran Warsi with seven goals was declared the highest scorer of the event.

In the third place playoff, South Africa beat Japan 4-2. However, Japan had the consolation of returning with Fairplay Trophy.

Article courtesy of The Hindu

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