Pakistan hockey team kept hopes alive of the Paris Olympics qualification by beating China by a score of 2 goals to 0 in their latest match played in Muscat Oman.
Green shirts have failed to qualify for the Olympics in the previous two editions.
The first half of the match was played defensively by both teams, trying not to concede any goals. Both teams defended deep in their halves and moved the ball within their defensive lines for most of the time.
But in the third quarter of the important match, the green shirts showed signs of some attacking hockey and created a couple of goal-scoring opportunities. The shift of gears brought Pakistan success with their first goals in the third quarter, the drag-flicker Abu Bakr scored the first goal for Pakistan.
In the last and fourth quarters of the match, Green Shirts kept on attacking the Chinese circle and entered Chinese D with purposeful runs and moves, which resulted in winning a few penalty corners. Eventually, Abdul Rehman secured the win with his goal. Rehman scored a rebound from a penalty corner.
In the last minutes of the fourth quarter Chinese team attacked the Pakistani goal and won a couple of penalty corners but they failed to convert any of them into a goal.
Pakistan was coming into this match on the back of a heavy defeat of 6-1 against England. Pakistan will play their last pool match against Malaysia, a win in this match can bring Pakistan a place in the semi-finals.
The top three teams in the qualification round will qualify for the Paris Olympics. Pakistan needs to at least gain the third position to qualify for the Olympics.
Pakistani team has won gold medals in hockey in Olympic history three times. In 1960, 1968, and 1984. Pakistan is also the record World Cup winner with 4 World Cups. Pakistan won their last World Cup back in 1994.