Pak hockey team eager to reverse Jakarta result against Japan: Captain Rizwan


LAHORE, Oct 23 (APP):Pakistan’s hockey team will be aiming to reverse the result of the last encounter against Japan that cost them a place in the final of the Asian Games in Jakarta last month.
“We’ve been waiting for a chance to play Japan and reverse the result of our encounter in the Asian Games,” said Pakistan captain Muhammad
Rizwan on the eve of Wednesday’s encounter against Japan in the Asian Champions Trophy in Muscat.
Japan shocked Pakistan in the semi-finals of the Asian Games and went on to win their first gold medal with another upset victory over Malaysia in September in the finale of the Asian Games. “We lost to Japan in the Asian Games semi-finals where we took them lightly. Our players now have a lot to prove,” said Rizwan.
Pakistan got into their rhythm ahead of the Japan match with a 8-1 victory over hosts Oman last night, taking their points tally to six from three outings. In the previous fixture, Pakistan were beaten 3-1 by India, a game in which Rizwan said his team could have done much better.
“We could have played a lot better than we did against India. When we reviewed the match on video, I could not believe we lost in that manner because we had opportunities to score,” he said . “I want to play India again in this tournament. We want to give them a tougher game,” said Rizwan, aware that the format of the six-nation Asian Champions Trophy Muscat 2018 could pit them against India again in the knock-out rounds.
Top four teams in the preliminary league will advance to the semi-finals. India and Malaysia have already secured their spots in the semi-finals with three successive wins, while Pakistan have one foot in the semi-finals after posting an imposing victory over Oman.
Rizwan said this tournament is important for the teams bound for next month’s World Cup — Pakistan, India and Malaysia. “In view of the World Cup coming up next month, a good show here will lift the team’s
morale,” he said.
Pakistan team’s manger, Hasan Sardar said his players understand the significance of this tournament. “This tournament is like a pre-World Cup competition, which is providing us valuable match practice. I’m glad to
see our forwards get into their rhythm,” said Sardar.
“Our penalty corners are also working well,” he said after five penalty corner conversions featured in Pakistan’s massive win over Oman.