Pakistan began their quest to earn that one elusive spot for the 2014 World Cup with a 7-0 hammering of Japan on the opening day of the 9th Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, which got underway today.
Muhammad Imran’s men, who must win the title to earn a berth at next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands, started in rollicking fashion through a Muhammad Waqas double in the 11th and 20th minute of the match. Star forward Abdul Haseem Khan then got on the board in the 22nd before Muhammad Tousiq’s brace and another by Imran gave the Greenshirts a commanding 6-0 lead going into half-time.
Japan came out with a clear plan and much more intent in the second half and brilliantly kept the quick and skillful Pakistani forwards at bay and also made some offensive inroads.
However, they had a mountain to climb and the solid Pakistan side kept their shape to deny their opponents any goals. Skipper Imran sealed the thumping victory for Pakistan at the final buzzer from a penalty corner.
In the day's other mathces, India thumped minnows Oman 8-0 while hosts Malaysia beat Taiwan 10-2.