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Pakistan hold Spain to 1-1 draw

Published Jul 30, 2012 02:50pm


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-Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan opened their hockey campaign at the London Olympics with a spirited 1-1 draw against Spain on Monday.

The scoreline was not indicative of the free-flowing game witnessed at the Riverbank Arena in London, with Pakistan looking the more convincing team in brief spells. Even then, the draw was a favorable result for the Greenshirts who were expected to be  to taken to task by the 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medallists.

Both teams took a while to hit top gear and the first-half saw plenty of unforced errors and turnovers. Pakistan, it seemed, had put a string of big losses in the warm-up to the Olympics well and truly behind them and put on a performance which was very uncharacteristic of the recent form they have displayed. They were quick on the counter and compact in defense, marking the Spaniards to the man. Their positive intent almost provided early dividends and the first real scoring opportunity of the match came to them through a penalty-corner. Captain Sohail Abbas and 'the king of the drag-flick' stepped up and nearly provided them with the first goal, his powerful strike deflected by Francisco Cortes in the Spanish goal.

Shaken by the effort, Spain swiftly mounted an attack of their own, denied only by a superb stick save by defender Muhammad Ifran.

It was left to veteran striker Rehan Butt to open the scoring for Pakistan, and he put the Greenshirts in the lead on a great counter-attack that opened up the Spanish defense. It was a heartening bit of play for Pakistan, who recently have been criticized for squandering the easiest of chances.

The celebrations though were short-lived as Spain equalized almost immediately, Pau Quemada hammering in a long pass with a stunning reverse shot.

With the game level, the two teams scrapped hard but failed to provide finishing touches to their well-crafted moves.

The resulting 1-1 draw meant the Greenshirt could walk off the pitch with some confidence restored ahead of their encounter against Argentina on Wednesday.

Scoring Statistics:

Spain Pakistan
1/7 14% Total Goals/Shots 1/6 17%
1/3 Field Goal Goals/Shots 1/4
0/4 Penalty Corner Goals/Shots 0/2
- Penalty Stroke Goals/Shots -


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Comments (41) Closed

KHAN Jul 30, 2012 02:54pm
2012 ,hockey GOLD MEDAL IS FOR PAKISTAN,even if they loose,these boys are playing in those conditions which are best,but back home they dont get these ideal conditions for practice.They loose or win,they are our sons,we should always be proud of them.Games are not only to win,it bring all the nations of WORLD together.So that when theses sportsmen go back home,they have message of PEACE.
A Rahman Jul 30, 2012 04:40pm
Welldone Greenshirts!
Khurram Jul 30, 2012 04:17pm
it is really good result especially keeping poor performance from green shirts in recent past. But i believe that spanish team missed lot of chances while we also missed lot of chances. We have to win against Britain and at least draw against Australia ( beside winning against other two team )... but correctly said that team is good on papers and they can produce unpredictable results ( although their recent past is very bad). Anyhow good luck
AmirDewani Jul 30, 2012 01:52pm
I wish they do their level best to bring the gold medal. What is important is to prepare and participate in such games for the best, and stand bold against humiliation if any.What I see is a strange observation. It is about physical fitness of the Pakistani's vs the rest from all over the world. And that the TV channels must be liberal to show such live events, because the 80% poor can't go for the registration as is obvious. Here in Florida I am watching free Olympic events live on some channels , straight from London. just now. a swimming event is in progress on telemundo- an Spanish language TV channel. May be they don't like my observations in this case. But those underprivileged must be having 'free-lunch' sometimes. Particularly when the dark clouds are hoovering over their heads. Incidentally your newly born interior minister appears to be in London. May be he enjoys the hockey event on behalf of all - I don't care!
Faizy Jul 30, 2012 05:46pm
Good opener from Pakistan. Spain are a good side, and even when Pakistan was a great side in Montreal Olympics in 1976, they drew 2-2 with Spain. So I will take this scoreline anyday in present circustances. Boys have the talent, they just need the belief! They can do it!!
WAQAS Jul 30, 2012 05:48pm
Well don Pakistani Hockey team for draw this match, I hope Pakistan win the gold medal in this Olympics 2012. (IN SHA ALLAH)
Naqi Jul 30, 2012 03:53pm
Where can see these matches. I live in Dallas, Texas.
Rizwan Jul 30, 2012 05:30pm
Good Luck to india as well !
samrat Jul 30, 2012 01:57pm
Paksitan G-?, S-?, B-? iam sorry but you wont win any so forget about it Pakistan
Asad Jul 30, 2012 02:00pm
I think we need to understand this reality. Pakistan's hockey team has no future in this olympics. Nobody plays hockey anymore in Pakistan at the school level. Apparently, its over. The place is taken over by religious extremism and cable TV.
Musta Jul 30, 2012 03:30pm
Ok game! need to keep the ball much better and take all chances to score
Khalid Uncle Jul 30, 2012 03:28pm
Hope future matches Pakistan will play more carefully .
Rao Jul 30, 2012 03:28pm
Drawing against No. 5 Spain was a good start for No. 8 Pakistan, But to win a medal they should have won the match. Nevertheless, good effort by Pakistanis and I hope they play well and gain back the reputation they had years ago. Medal does not matter to me, if they beat Australia or England.
Krishna Kumar-India Jul 30, 2012 03:24pm
Well Done Team Pakistan. Hope the team manages to build on this and achieve greater success. All The Best Pakistan. Do Well and Bring Back Those Wonderful Memories Of Asian Dominance
Yawar Jul 30, 2012 03:15pm
Pakistan is far from being the best team on paper. I hope the players accept that fact and not let the 1-1 tie with Spain go to their heads resulting in overconfidence. Phook mey nahi aana chaheay. The next game Pakistan should just go out and do the best and leave the rest for Allah. I am sure any positive showing will be welcome in Pakistan that has been flooded with bad news lately.
Rahat Jul 30, 2012 03:08pm
B positive darling
Momina Jul 30, 2012 03:04pm
Pakistan played wonderful and managed to get a draw when all odds were against it. We believe in you Pakistani team! You can do it! Bring home the GOLD!!
Babar Jul 30, 2012 03:02pm
Excellent Game Pakistan . Proud of your strong display both in defence and forwardplay . Spain , runners up in Beijing 2008 was a tough game to start the tournament with , i am utterly pleased with your performance . God Bless and bring home some gold , Go Pakistan Go !
Tahir Khan Jul 30, 2012 02:58pm
Why is Pakistan not reperesented in track & field events, boxing, judo, tennis, badminton, swimming etc for both men & women. Why only hockey? Are there no talented people in Pakistan? Is this all pakistan has to offer? Can Pakistan men & women not compete with the best?
Saadi Jul 30, 2012 02:50pm
How could you predict this way..?? Are you the God to predict or judge things..?? Now please don't say that it's a matter of past performance or so called "probability" matters. You better should know that Pakistan ownes unpredictable sports teams.
Asif Khan Jul 30, 2012 02:41pm
Win gold and win for Pakistan. I am sure you can do it, Insha'Allah.
ashish Jul 30, 2012 02:37pm
first match against spain, pakistan was quite lucky, but no doubt, pakistan played a wonderful game
I.Butt Jul 30, 2012 06:25pm
Is just hokey matches I would be able to see my countary men in action in London Olympics2012, it is heart breaking that Pakistan not providing any wrestler, judo, bedminton, boxing etc...Come on we are 167milion people and sending sportsmen just in 4 game categories. Olympic Games event is THE BEST PLATE FORM TO PROVE YOUR TALENTS TO THE WORLD! Please be prepared for as many as possible games to compete in next Olympics. May God Bless Pakistan...Amen !
Hasan Syed Jul 30, 2012 08:09pm
Awesome display well-disciplined defense and strategy. When Australia overwhelmed South Africa by 6-0 everyone was curious about what Spain is going to do with Pakistan but well done GUYS……
Hassan Jul 30, 2012 08:57pm
Pakistan played really well, they were solid in defence and better if not equally good in attack. See the olympics official website for match stats. Mr. Rao posted above that it would be great if pakistan could beat England or Australia, i think that is because England is placed 4th in the rankings. But listen, FIH rankings do not tell the story at all. England is a minnow in hockey it is only just beginning to get some respectable results, Spain is a big team just see the two teams' achievements on Wikipedia, don't dwell on rankings. Australia, Holland, Germany and Spain are the four big teams in hockey these days almost in this order.
Ahmed Jan Jul 30, 2012 09:11pm
This is because we are more busy in war on terror on behest of the western powers. The Pak Army used to provide most of the sportsmen and athletes and they are in the war for the past 12 years. we have no chance as long as we do not realise and come out of this mess. Simple.
zuair khan Jul 30, 2012 09:19pm
it was definitely impressive performance...but one thing which really was seeming covered is defense...they did some quality defense for which they're not famous..well, last decade pak has goal conversion issue...they manage to reach to the D n then they try to acquire Penalty corner...if they focus on field goal,....n try more direct short on goal they bring us medal..other wise it seems ...oz,,,germany...newzeland..dutch..r probably final 4.
Rizwan Hamid Jul 30, 2012 09:23pm
It only takes one extra good shot at the goal than the opposing team to beat them. You don't have to be brilliant every minute of the game to win. Believe in yourselves and the miracle shot will happen. !!! We know our boys are trying thier best, so we are 100% behind them. If you play well, win or lose, IT IS AS GOOD AS GOLD . That's what sports are meant to be. Our best wishes to our team
sane voice Jul 31, 2012 09:08am
coz addition in the head count is the easiest thing for them
Asghar Jul 30, 2012 10:12pm
Good result but lets not carried away by expecting Pakistan to win the Gold medal . A fair apprisal would be the team to finish in the top six .
sajjad ayed Jul 30, 2012 10:22pm
i pry to allah subhna victoy of pakistan inshallah
Nadeem Mirza Jul 30, 2012 10:26pm
Hello Mr. not sure where are you from. Simple answer is they did not qualify.
Pakistani in Geneva Jul 30, 2012 10:27pm
Beautiful performance, congratulations team Pakistan. With a bit of luck we could even win it. All the goal keeper needed was to squeeze his legs to eliminate the last 9 inch distance between his two feet.
sajjad syed Jul 30, 2012 10:29pm
well don pakistan
Ali Jul 31, 2012 02:58am
if you qualify, I will sponsor you
Tanveer Aftab Jul 31, 2012 04:35am
We are mostly dependent upon Inshallah, mashallah, God help those who really try. Look at Hshim Amla of South Africa , who scored triple century in style against England in England. He never shown in cheap attitude on the field as our cricketer do, even if they score 50 runs, Even commentators cannot stop laughing. Most of so called brotherly muslim countries hates us because of the attitude which we shows in the name of religion.
jahangir gani Jul 31, 2012 05:38am
Naveed Jul 31, 2012 05:42am
Pakistan is competing in Women Swimming. Why don't you give it a try yourself? You seem to be a very "Talented" person.
Naveed Jul 31, 2012 05:47am
@ Samrat: You are gloating about your 1 bronze medal. I thought the blue billion would that tries to rival China in Population will also try to compete with them in Olympic achievement.
Naveed Jul 31, 2012 05:51am
Sorry Nadeem, my reply was to Mr. Tahir and I accidently clicked the wrong button.
khan Jul 31, 2012 08:11am
if there was a game in Olympics hiding behind the computer screen and typing all they can and feeling strong about it,then bendia will be No 1.