8th Men’s Junior Asia Cup: Pakistan go top of Pool B with 3-0 win over Korea

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KARACHI: Two goals by experienced vice-captain Muhammad Dilber Hussain led the Pakistan junior hockey team to their second win in as many games at the 8th Men’s Junior Asia Cup.

The Colts defeated Korea 3-0 at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Malaysia.

Dilber opened Pakistan’s tally when he converted a penalty corner in the eighth minute, which proved to be the only goal of the first half as Pakistan went in leading 1-0 at the break.

The forward doubled his side’s lead with his second goal of the game in the 42nd minute.

It went from bad to worse for Korea as SeongJae Kim was shown a yellow card in the 48th minute and was forced to sit for the next five minutes.

Pakistan made full use of their numerical advantage and made it 3-0, via Abu Mahmood,  just a minute later from a penalty corner to virtually end the match as a contest.

Muhammad Kamal also received a yellow card in the 54th minute to give coach Tahir Zaman’s men a nervy few minutes but the Koreans were unable to break through Pakistan’s obdurate defence, who held on for a convincing 3-0 win.

“Korea are not a weak team; defeating them by this margin is a great achievement,” said Zaman while talking to The Express Tribune from Malaysia. “Dilber displayed his entire repertoire of skills and also showcased his experience.”

The coach also expressed satisfaction with the way his side has begun the tournament, especially in attack. “The team in the last two games has showed tremendous combination play and perfect communication while scoring goals,” he said.

Zaman also hoped the players will improve as the tournament goes along. “It was a good win and I hope the good performances continue,” he said. “This is an important stage for the national junior hockey squad.”

Meanwhile, man of the match Dilber was happy with his contribution. “I am glad that I was able to perform for the team,” he said. “I didn’t feel any pressure because the entire team was playing as a unit.”

The Greenshirts now lead Pool B after claiming two wins in two games. They now face Oman, who have lost both their matches in the tournament so far, on November 17.

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