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Historic low as Pakistan fail to qualify for Olympics

Updated July 03, 2015

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Pakistan needed to finish at least in the 5th spot at the Hockey World League to have any hopes of getting a ticket to next year's Rio Olympics. - Photo courtesy FIH
Pakistan needed to finish at least in the 5th spot at the Hockey World League to have any hopes of getting a ticket to next year's Rio Olympics. - Photo courtesy FIH

Pakistan have failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in their illustrious hockey history after losing to Ireland 1-0 in the 5-8 position classification match of the Hockey World League in Antwerp, Belgium on Friday.

The result comes as another low for Greenshirts who for the first time in the game's history also failed to qualify for the World Cup last year.

Pakistan needed to finish at least in the 5th spot at the Hockey World League to have any hopes of getting a ticket to next year's Rio Olympics. But they were once again guilty of not capitalising on opportunities in front of goal.

Mohammad Dilber had the first chance of putting his team in front but his attempt in the first quarter only found the keeper.

Pakistan upped the ante in the second quarter but once again, Umar Bhutta's effort was blocked by a resolute Irish goalie.

Ireland then scored in the 46th minute to condemn Pakistan to another historic low.

"This is a dark day for Pakistan," said Rashid Mehmood as he left the pitch following Pakistan's defeat.

"We played well and created chances, but we just couldn't score," added Mehmood.

The development will come as a big blow for hockey in Pakistan, which for years now has been struggling to keep afloat amid a shortage of funds and poor management.