Pakistan beat China 1-0 in their opening match of the Junior Asia Cup.
Pakistan beat China 1-0 in their opening match of the Junior Asia Cup. – File photo by AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan launched their Junior Asia Cup hockey campaign with a narrow win over China on Friday.

The seventh edition of the tournament, being held in Melaka (Malaysia), got underway on Thursday, with wins for the hosts and Korea.

Pakistan, meanwhile, played their first match against neighbours China and were lucky to hold on to a slender 1-0 to bag their first points.

Muhammad Suleman scored the all-important goal three minutes before the close of the first half in a lively mid field move. In the second half, the Chinese denied Pakistan any scoring opportunities but were also unable to break the Pakistani defence.

In the day’s other match, defending champions India made a statement of intent by thrashing Sri Lanka 11-0 to open their account.

Pakistan will hope for a better display in their next match, which is against the relentless Indian team, scheduled for Sunday, May 6 at 1505 PST.

The Greenshirts will play their final group match against Sri Lanka on Monday.

In Thursday’s matches, Korea were clinical in their 4-1 win over Japan, while hosts Malaysia beat Iran 6-1.

Pakistan are three-time champions of the tournament, a feat India are looking to emulate this year.

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