LAHORE, Sept 20 (APP)- Pakistan U18 team pulverized Oman U18 in the fourth and last hockey test to win the series 3-0 here on Tuesday at national hockey stadium.
The series was vital for both the teams in many aspects as they are preparing for the Junior Asia Cup being played from September 24 at Dhaka.
The first test ended in a 2-2 draw and Pakistan team displayed a far excellence show in the remaining three matches registering wide margin victories.
Pak led the first half 3-0 with a rousing display of skillful hockey. They were on the offensive right from the outset. Two penalty corners were earned in the first four minutes.
All eyes were on Amjad Ali, the hat trick hero of the 3rd test but his efforts were not successful. He was also hampered by the slow injection of the ball due to the rain hit surface.
But in the very next minute, Ali Aziz ghosted in to beautifully deflect the ball into the net from a fine right side cross to open the account.
Pakistan’s incessant raids continued and they completely dominated the play with well orchestrated moves. Two more beautiful goals were witnessed in the first half of 35 minutes. Adeel Latif beat two opponents in a mesmeric run before finding the target with an excellent shot.
Then, he became the provider. Another jinking run saw him past three defenders and his diagonal hit from the right found Ali Aziz well positioned to easily put it in and it was 3-0 at the half time. Just before the hooter, two other Pakistani penalty corners had gone waste.
It was 4-0 in the very first minute after resumption. In a move which had goal written all over it, skipper Junaid Manzoor provided the finish. It seemed all over for Oman but the visitors fought back magnificently and made repeated raids in a spell of five minutes. In the 43rd minute, a high ball in the Pakistani circle confused the defenders and Rashad Hamed made them pay by scoring from close range.
Very next minute, it was 2-4. In what was probably, visitors’ best goal of the entire series, a sweeping move starting from right culminated in Adnan Abdulla scoring from near the left post with a small reverse shot.
Pakistan recovered quickly from this double set back and Oman were put to sword as the hosts added no less than four goals in a 10 minute period. All were results of excellent combined manouvres. Khairullah, Afraz, Abdulla Babar and Ahmed Nadeem put their names in the scoring sheet. 8-2 ahead, made them a bit complacent and Oman were able to add another goal in the 62nd minute when Rashad Hameed scored from a strong top of the circle shot.
Pakistani manager Kamran Ashraf appeared well satisfied, “My team’s coordination and understanding improved with every game. The side appears well prepared for the Boys
under 18 Asia Cup starting in Bangladesh in a few days’ time.”
Chief guest, Federal Minister of Inter Provincial Coordination,
Riaz Peerzada informed that the Prime Minister, who is also the patron-in- chief of the PHF, has sanctioned a grant of Rs 200 million for the uplift of the national game. He also distributed prizes among the players and officials of both the teams.