LAHORE, Sept 19 (APP):- Pakistan, rode on a hat trick of Amjad Ali, showed consistency and defeated Oman 3-0 in the third under 18 test here on Monday at National Hockey Stadium.
After a resounding 6-1 win in the second test, before the opener ended in a 2-2 draw , the green shirt now lead the four match series with two victories advantage.
In todays match Pakistan team management played not only their reserves over long periods of time but also gave chance to a couple of standbys in order the test the potential of every player. The team even had a new captain for the match in full back Rizwan Ali as Pakistan led 2-0 at break.
The new look side looked unsettled early on and the first 10 minutes witnessed mainly mid field game. Pakistan gradually gained rhythm and the first real chance came in the 12th minute but Zain Ijaz failed to trap the ball in the circle. The hosts had their first penalty corner in the 17th minute, Amjad Ali’s high flick to the top left corner gave the rival custodian no chance. It was also Pakistani’s first penalty corner goal of the series.
Pakistan did not take the foot off the gas and a spate of penalty corners ensued. Poor stoppage was the main reason for the wastage.
Finally off the fifth penalty corner in the 24th minute, Amjad Ali again found the target, this time through a strong push on goal keeper’s left side.
When the the sixth penalty corner arrived, Pakistan opted for an indirect drill as Amjad was on the bench but the Omani defence cleared the ball.
Oman’s best chance of the first half came in the last minute, a sweeping move resulted in a fine opportunity but Rashad Hameed faltered.
Pakistan remained in control throughout the last 25 minutes.
On resumption, Pakistan were off the blocks quickly. In the 37th minute, a chance fell to Waqar via Ahmad Nadeem’s spade work but he shot wide and high. Immediately afterwards, Nadeem sent a beautiful minus to the top of the circle but it wasn’t availed.
Suddenly, Oman looked ominous. They thrice penetrated into the scoring zone in quick succession but the Pakistani defence stood firm. Intense battle for possession was seen and Pakistan’s Waqas was given marching orders for five minutes. The visitors had their first penalty corner in the 11th minute. The indirect drill was well executed barring the final touch.
After sustaining pressure for almost 10 minutes, Pakistanis regrouped and began raiding the Omani goal. They ran the opponents’ defence ragged, and a couple of more Omani players followed each other to the sin bin.
As in the first half, a number of penalty corners came Pakistan’s way.
They couldn’t convert four of them. However, the 11th (their last of the evening), was transformed into the goal by Amjad Ali through a very strong high flick which went to Omani goal keeper’s right side. Thus the Bannu boy completed his hat trick in the 67th minute.
Despite being three goals down and with very little time left, the doughty Oman boys desperately looked for a consolation goal. They earned no less than three penalty corners in the last two minutes but were denied by Pakistan’s deep defence led by the net minder Adeel Rao.
Pakistan’s coach Mudassar Ali Khan expressed his satisfaction on the performance of the team.
“We gave chances to our reserve players and also experimented with new tactics. Purpose is to provide good match practice and confidence to the players before the Boys Asia Cup in Bangladesh starting in a few days,” he said.
Last test will be played tomorrow, Tuesday at 4 pm.