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‘Pakistan remain where they were four years ago’

Published Aug 07, 2012 08:02pm


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-Photo by AFP

KARACHI: The Green-shirts, who lacked spirit when playing against Australia, are still where they were four years ago, said Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui soon after the national team were thrashed 7-0 by the world champions in their final group match at the London Olympics.

“It was sad to watch these lifeless forms unable to even receive or pass the ball in the first half,” the former captain and coach reported to Dawn on line from London. “It looked like their legs had suddenly become very heavy when they couldn’t even take the ball anywhere near the Australian goalkeeper.

“If that wasn’t bad enough, in the second half they seemed in such a hurry that they just passed the ball here and there without any accuracy giving it to the Aussies whenever they got the ball.

“Meanwhile, Australia kept up their pace, which was obviously in contrast to ours. Amongst other things, it exposed the fitness level of our boys. Australia’s own fitness can be gauged from the fact that they scored their first goal in the initial five minutes, followed by the second a minute later in order to take a grip on the game.

“Hence the 4-0 margin at the end of the first half, was a huge one by Olympic standards,” he added.

“Pakistan got chances in second half but as usual our forwards Rizwan Sr and Abdul Haseem Khan missed out on them. And to think that goalkeeper Imran Shah made two to three saves, otherwise we would have lost by double figures instead of seven goals.

“From their body language, it looked as if the Green-shirts had accepted defeat even before they stepped on the field as Pakistan’s forwards couldn’t even take a single penalty-corner in the entire duration of the match. That way if they weren’t able to score themselves, they could have at least given their captain Sohail Abbas a chance at scoring.”

Islah also pointed out that Australia wasn’t an unbeatable team as Great Britain and Argentina drew against them.

“You just had to play well against them on this particular day, which you didn’t. Meanwhile they showed full skill in every department such as penalty-corner conversion, penalty-stroke conversion and field goals,” he said.

“Pakistan, after having played all their five group matches, have scored nine goals and conceded 16. That brings everything down to permutations and it is very likely that Pakistan will be vying for the seventh position.

“This brings the Green Shirts back to where they were four years ago in the Beijing Olympics.”

About the team’s only goalkeeper Imran Shah, Islah said: “Today Imran Shah conceded seven goals after conceding four goals twice in the earlier two matches. You can get an idea of his game from this performance, but the team management couldn’t even replace him after this as they never took a reserve goalkeeper with them.”

“And speaking of the team management,” Islah asked, “where was their game plan?

“Sadly the eighth-ranked Pakistan team only won two matches in their group, one to 11th-ranked Argentina and one to 12th-ranked South Africa. So after the team management’s recently declaring that they are aiming for the 2014 World Cup, I can only say that out of the 12 teams here, only one, Pakistan, played like they were in a festival while the remaining 11 came to compete at the Olympics,” he concluded.


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Comments (38) Closed

mianshoukat Aug 08, 2012 09:09am
This defeat ,shows that top bosses of hockey don't have knowledge to groom the team. this is special job , &our bosses are not qualified to handle the job of coaching &team management.In modern &scientific era prim requirement is to acquire the people those who are professionals in doing the job of selection ,coaching ,management, &training.this isvery very rude idea that a Olympian can handles the whole affairs of modern hockey. IF wecan pay to these opportunist Olympians why not have the right people for right job.
Sid Aug 08, 2012 11:39am
When will Hockey in subcontinent revive.....How long we will tell stories of 1930-1970 to our coming generations !!!!!
Nishan Antaal Aug 08, 2012 01:04pm
To revive hockey in the continent India and Pakistan have to work and support each other morally, technically and by starting friendly series which should not be judged by name of the country who wins or loses. Hockey is our game we need to bring it back to glory in both countries.
ahmed jan Aug 08, 2012 04:07am Thats why Pakistan lost. Pakistan won a tri nation tournament in November 2011 beating Australia under the same coach who was sacked by PHF.
Sam Aug 08, 2012 04:09am
We can only blame and curse western countries like US and Australia.We dont like (we hate) USA, Australia and western countries but when it comes to taking up challenges,hard work and victory Pakistanis are always loosers.
Krish Aug 08, 2012 04:17am
Sad story of what is the National Game for both Pakistan and India. Some joint action is called for to revive the old glory, with systematic planning and game formats, and latest of international turfs. Corporate sponsorship is to be encouraged by the government too. There's been too much importance given to cricket over the past few years.
ahmet abdulaziz Aug 08, 2012 04:29am
ah that was a real disaster
Wasit Aug 08, 2012 04:45am
A shame!
Salman Aug 08, 2012 04:45am
Maybe its time for Pakistan Hockey Federation to take things seriously and stop blaming the team. What do u expect from a team who's coach left them few months ago, the players are not bad the team is bad meaning they need to learn how to play as a team, individual player performance is great but the game is all about coordination and how well u click with other players in the ground which is a must needed thing in any team. PHF takes no blame on itself as usual and blame all the players, their administration need to be stronger and stable before they can produce a stable and strong team.
Love blogging Aug 08, 2012 04:55am
Pakistan performed much above expectation. No way pak team can win a medal in Olympics.
Malik Khalfan Aug 08, 2012 04:57am
I could not agree with Islah more. Right on the dot! we are where we were 4 years back.
Rao Aug 08, 2012 05:16am
The result has made me sad, but I was not expecting any miracles out of this tournament. Slowly and slowly they need to start giving tough time to strong teams. 7-0 is far from satisfactory result. I could take 3-2 or even 4-2 as honorable defeat.
Ashar Aug 08, 2012 05:18am
Pakistani team faild to leard new techniques which is required to cope up with the fast pace of the game. Looks like they need a very good firiegn coach, who should train them latest techniques. Pakistani team should rely more on techniques and team work then luck
@dodgy_helmet Aug 08, 2012 05:34am
Sohail Abbas's T-Shirt tells the story of how serious we take our sports.
Rajesh Aug 08, 2012 05:35am
It's sad but not disaster . If you call pakistan as disaster , what do you call India's performance.
@RageSpill Aug 08, 2012 05:44am
Umer Aug 08, 2012 07:46am
They lost...because they did not conquer their fears......It was just a bad day for pak hockey team!!!
Jamil Aug 08, 2012 09:55am
in recent days, hockey has become more technical than skill oriented game of the 70s & 80s. Our boys lack proper education to learn the techniques. Pakistan has a large population of young people, but the problem is we don't have a large population of enough "educated" young people. Therefore in all sphere of life's we are unable to make a competitive headway. Move Hockey from villages to main cities and introduce it as a compulsory game in good private schools.
Qulik Aug 08, 2012 11:20am
They tried their best,just not on form good luck in Rio.
Karachi Wala Aug 08, 2012 04:24pm
SAMAR Aug 08, 2012 12:53pm
Keep aside our differences bring back our glory let us play more matches and more frequently To see gold medal in subcontinent will be wonderful.
Karachi Wala Aug 08, 2012 12:55pm
“This brings the Green Shirts back to where they were four years ago in the Beijing Olympics.” This is called going backward instead moving forward.
Akram Aug 08, 2012 01:46pm
Pakistan and India have lost domination in hockey because of the introduction of AstroTurf as the playing surface. Its expensive to install and maintain. on grass the whole population could find grass to play on, its hard to find money to install AstroTurf everywhere. however if domestic hockey was strong and used AstroTurf then we could spread this surface much more and eventually one day look to attain the dominance we once had.
Javed Butt Aug 08, 2012 01:47pm
Key element exposed fitness. Aussi exposed all. It was awafull to watch such a latheargic performance.Hope they will make changes.
mohammad Aug 08, 2012 02:20pm
they need to work not worry
Jack Aug 08, 2012 06:01pm
i thought Australia is to the east not west of Pakistan?? South east...
elect2012 Aug 08, 2012 06:38pm
Amazing how far down we have come on this. The picture above says it all. Look at Sohail Abbas with his back towards the camera. His name is misspelled as Soahil. They should have asked it to be corrected before stepping on the field. With the "Chaley Ga" attitude they show, it was let go. The team needs to start showing some backbone and start acting tougher on and off the field to get some respect. On the field Australians were man handling this team and were not getting any hits back. They mentally dominated the team before they physically dominated them and the result was a lopsided loss.
Al Moosa Athar Aug 08, 2012 08:24pm
Pakistan should disband its undisciplined losing hockey team and concentrate more on individual competitions such as boxing, wrestling, track and field, shooting etc.
Talha Aug 09, 2012 02:30am
Jimmy Butt Aug 09, 2012 03:08pm
Its about time for the powers to be to think seriously about investing in sports over and above their personal gains and ambitions. The speed and tactics of the game have changed significantly since Astroturf was introduced to this sport. The raw and natural talent is often wasted and not exploited to its fullest due to lack of modern training facilities in Pakistan. Take a leaf out of Great Britain’s book. Following team GB’s dismissal performance at Atlanta Olympics, the GB government devised a strategic vision to improve the overall training of the athletes. The government managed to secure funding from various organisations and invested in training and research. This has paid off since. Pakistan with its 180 million population and the Olympic contingent returning home with no medal is an outcry at all levels. Sports ministry do something about this or simply pack your bags and disappear in the void.
Sohail Aug 09, 2012 04:58pm
Hockey is technical and physical. I suggest we keep it anywhere it is played, but include physical aspect to it. Build up physique. Today's hockey player need to have skills of hockey, strength and physique of a rugby player, and stamina of a marathon runner.
g.a shirazi Aug 09, 2012 06:53pm
Average Pakistani lacks the diet which is needed for players to build stamina. Football and Hockey requires good food not chicken curry. Also, some recognition by the media will help boost their morals.
naveed Aug 09, 2012 08:14pm
agree with you..
Ahmad Nadeem Aug 09, 2012 10:13pm
Nothing left to cheer - Pak team added another dismal performance.
Syeda Arifa Hussain Aug 10, 2012 02:39am
Maybe this time to think a little out of the box. Even Islah blamed players. Sure they have their responsibility. What about systems. Like a number of people pointed out: there should be a level of fitness for the players but beyond that what about tactics. I see very few tactics in field hockey. On the other hand ice hockey is all about tactics. Teams come with game plans and execute them. Maybe some ice hockey videos would help our coaches. Sure not having astro turf hurts but surely there is more to it than that. I think the Australians, Brits and the Dutch got professional about hockey, we didnt. That more than anything is the difference.
Nadeem Aug 10, 2012 05:23am
is it SOHAIL or SOAHIL???
Sameen Bawla Aug 10, 2012 09:25am
Within 2 days of Pakistan losing 7-0 to Australia, things have changed. Pakistan beat Korea to clinch 7h place and Great Britain lose to Netherlands 9-2; which is the same as losing 7-0. Should we advise Great Britain to change its Hockey Federation's Management?. In my opinion, the fact is that Hoceky with its new rules has become very fast. The main purpose of the new rules is to have more goals scored to make it interesting for the viewers and hence gaining popularity for the game as a whole. The top 8 teams are more or less equal (Same as Cricket). The team that wins is the team that plays better on a given day. Yes every team has its weaknesses and strengths. The only thing we need is consistency and more exposure to International Hockey. Champions Trophy is an example to support my opinion where the top 6 or 8 teams compete against each other.
Sahmad Aug 10, 2012 11:09am
Agree with Islah, but to be fair with Pakistan, the blue turf is fairly new and the players are not used to it. Pakistan hockey is more of stick work and drilling which is difficult on the blue turf where the ball rolls faster. The seniors should now retire to allow 2 years of solid grooming for the worldcup. Shanaz Shaikh or Hanif to be the coach.