TARASSA (SPAIN): Pakistan humbled India 2-1 in the first World Cup Hockey Tournament semi-finals to establish their supremacy over a traditional and equally powerful rival … today [Oct 22]. In the Pakistan camp, the triumph was rightly greeted with jubilant celebrations… . Players hugged and kissed each other, dancing and shouting, but tears of joy were also distinct…. The sense of happiness was especially great when viewed in the background of an electrifying first-half goal from centre-forward Rajinder that might well have proved decisive.

Instead of losing heart, the world champions redoubled efforts and equalised through their speedy spearhead Rashid. In all fairness, however, the architect of Pakistan’s victory was left-fullback, Munawwar-Uz-Zaman, who scored the decider…. Pakistanis said boyish-looking Muna­w­war from Karachi, had earlier been ignored by the selectors…. Munawwar’s task was enormous, more so when penalty-corner specialist Tanvir Dar had left the ground after a muscle pull. Mu­­nawwar converted the penalty-corner with a terri­fic shot… . With the match firmly in their pocket, the Pakistanis applied added pressure… .

…Pakistan, the Olympic champions, can now ho­­pefully look forward to lift the World Cup, an honour they richly deserve. With the Cup, they will complete a unique grand slam.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2021

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