Nothing good to write about the Australia match as it was the worst ever defeat for Pakistan in the Olympics. From the very first minute, Australia did exactly what was expected from them and what they are famous for.

Pakistan, however, did not do what was expected of them and started the game sans any planning with their body language quite negative while they made repeated mistakes to lose the initiative.

Lacking courage, Pakistan tried to start off defensively but that did not work out too well as the Aussies were leading 2-0 just six minutes into the game.

Pakistan didn’t create a single penalty corner and the Australian goalkeeper did not touch the ball in the 70-minute game. It was a shock to see seasoned Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi on the bench before the match started. To my horror, the coaching staff failed to recognise the importance of the match and fielded a weak starting eleven against the world champions.

The 4-0 scoreline at half-time clearly showed Pakistan’s ill-preparedness in all departments of the game. Goalkeeper Imran Shah made a few simple saves but mostly he defended like a beginner who stood helplessly under the bar which raises a lot of questions on his competence level. Why was he the only goalkeeper in the squad of 16? More importantly, what kind of training had been given to him by the goalkeeping trainer who has been with the team for so many years?

There was no connection in the team and the defensive errors were shocking. Strikers displayed individual game that cost Pakistan their worst defeat ever in the Games.

Now the Greenshirts are only left to play the game against Korea for the seventh-eighth place which is disappointing indeed. The Aussie drubbing is most likely to haunt them in Thursday’s contest but Pakistan need to shrug it off to make the most of this match and at least take the seventh spot.

Korea, famous for their fitness and agility, are ranked sixth in the world. They love to play full speed hockey and boast a lot of skilful players including some solid defenders like Seo Jongho, Hyo Sik You, Lee Nam Yong and Nam Hyun Woo are their force. They build up with very high ball speed and do not play many long balls.

Korea’s midfield generates the attack and joins it with the strikers who are very speedy, especially Seo and You.

Their penalty corner attack is good too, and they use variations with good straight drag flicks.

Pakistan should take this classification match seriously which will decide the seventh and eighth position to finish their campaign.

Our management should make use of all their experienced players in this match and work as a unit in all the departments. Imran Shah should finish the show by giving a good performance in at least one match of the mega event.

Pakistan’s defence should be very active right from the first minute or else the Koreans will run away with the game.

We should do maximum overlaps to increase the number of players in the attack. The Korean goalkeeper loves to go out of the goal every time so the strikers should use it smartly and try to give one extra pass in the circle to get an open goal in front of them.

It could be a close game in the end and might go in extra time for a golden goal and maybe a shootout to determine the winner.

If that happens then I pray and hope that the coaches have prepared the team well for the shootout.

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