JAKARTA: Pakistan got over the heart break of not being able to qualify for next year’s World Cup as they beat Oman 5-2 in the fifth to eighth place playoff match of the Asia Cup at the GBK Sports Arena on Saturday.
Pakistan had lost 3-2 to Japan on Thursday with the loss putting them out of the Super 4s stage and ultimately the race to qualify for the World Cup with the top three teams from the Asia Cup qualifying for tournament in India.
But they shook off the disappointment to sail past Oman and set up a clash for fifth place with either Bangladesh or Indonesia on June 1.
Although it was Oman who took an early lead through Rashad Al Fazari in the 11th minute, Pakistan made amends to a slow start as they went on the attack in the second quarter.
Rana Abdul Waheed fetched the first goal for their team in the 19th minute converting from a good set play. This goal was followed by Ali Ghazanfar scoring a scoring a fine field goal in the 21st minute.
The Pakistani team went into half time with a comfortable 4-1 lead on the board, with their penalty corner specialist Rizwan Ali scoring two back-to-back goals in the 29th and 30th minute of the match.
Coached by Dutchman Seigfried Aikman, the Pakistan extended their lead to 5-1 in the 32nd minute when Moin Shakeel scored from a penalty corner. Oman, not giving up, fought back hard in the last two quarters and even scored a goal in the 44th minute.
It was Aseel Al-Maaini who scored for Oman but Pakistan were able to close out on the victory.
In the opening matches of the Super 4s stage, Japan lost 2-1 to defending champions India while South Korea and Malaysia drew 2-2.
Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2022