Greenshirts to fight for lowly fifth spot after draw against Korea

Karachi: In spite of going into the Azlan Shah Cup as second best ranked team behind world champion Australia, the greenshirts won only one match throughout the tournament and will now fight for a lowly fifth place with India on Sunday in Ipoh Malaysia.

On Saturday, Pakistan drew its final league match against South Korea 22. After the completion of league matches, Pakistan stands at lowly fifth position behind Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Korea respectively.

Australia will face off with Malaysia for the title while New Zealand and Korea will fight for bronze medal. Pakistan will face sixth placed India in the fifth place on Sunday. In league matches, India has overpowered Pakistan 31, its only victory in the tournament.

“It has been a humiliating campaign for Pakistan,” former Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh said. “Pakistan has been defeated by lowly ranked India and the green shirts will now have to fight for lowly fifth place in spite of the fact that it went into the tournament as a second placed team and considering this fact, Pakistan should have qualified for the final.”

He said that the team’s showing in the tournament brought into limelight all the wrong policies the federation has been following.

“Pakistan was Asian champions and it was at least one of the best regional team if not one of the best in the world. But they even failed to beat India, Malaysia or Korea, which should alarm the hockey chiefs of the country,” he said.

“The game plan was flawed. We didn’t see any aggressive game from our players. The players were playing haphazardly in the tournament and the results we could see that instead of going for the summit clash they would be fighting for a lowly fifth spot,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, another former Olympian Naveed Alam also criticized the federation and said that in five years, the federation has failed to produce any results,” he said.

“The faces are there and we have no bench strength. One can see where we stand. The federation never took series notice of consolidating the bench strength. They just followed their adhoc policies. If serious actions were not taken soon, we would only become a third tier team in the world because we have in truth now only a second tier team,” Naveed explained.

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