Ireland gives a wakeup call to green-shirts with a 3-2 triumph

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Karachi: Host Ireland overpowered Pakistan hockey team registering a 3-2 victory in the second match of the three-match series at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club in Belfast.

Although green-shirts left for Ireland in high spirits with an aim to gain momentum ahead of Hockey World League to be held in London later this month but first a draw and then conceding a 2-3 defeat must have waken the former champion from slumber.

In the first match of the series on Friday, Pakistan led twice only to see Ireland draw level each time eventually to draw the match 2-2.

But on Saturday in the second tie, Ireland took the lead each time and Pakistan had to come from behind to equalize the score-line twice. First through an Aleem Bilal penalty stroke and then via an Umar Bhutta field goal.

However, Ireland’s third goal scored by Shane O’Donoghue off a penalty corner with a few minutes left remained unanswered, and the hosts won 3-2.

Playing in the three-match test was planned to provide green-shirts some practice and acclimatization before Hockey World League semifinals, which begins June 15 in London.

From Pakistan perspective, who failed to qualify for Hockey World Cup 2014 for the first time in the history of the event, Hockey World League event in London is very important since it provides teams the first opportunity to secure a berth in next year’s Hockey World Cup.

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