APP06-22 LAHORE: December 22 - Players of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan teams struggling to get score during the final day of Haier Hockey Series Open 2018. Uzbekistan Hockey Team won the match by 5-2 at National Hockey Stadium. APP photo by Chaudhry Ansar

LAHORE, Dec 22 (APP):Favourites Uzbekistan lived up to the expectations and won the FIH Haier Hockey series outplaying Kazakhstan with a firm 6-2 victory here on Saturday at the National Hockey Stadium.

In the last match of the 4-nation single league, the winners
proved good for their opponents and outclassed them in all
departments of the game on a cold day with an easy win to
their credit.
Both the teams had won their matches against the other
two sides, Nepal and Afghanistan, in the competition.
So this match was a virtual final. As Uzbekistan had a
better goal difference, they only required a draw to lift
the trophy.
Uzbekistan were easily the better side in the first quarter
when they did everything other than scoring.
A number of open play chances were squandered. In the early phase of the
second quarter, surprisingly Kazakhstan went ahead.
They earned two penalty corners and went ahead via the second through Nurbol Kozhym in
the 18th minute, the Uzbeks equalised through the same route as Khakimov converted a penalty corner.
Three minutes, before the change of the sides, Uzbekistan’s brilliant forward Karimov Ruslan made
it 2-1 finishing a good combined move.Uzbekistan led 2-1 at the half time.
In the 36th minute, Ruslan scored one of the finest goals of this event. In a remarkable dribbling run,
he eliminated three players before slotting it in. Within two minutes, it was 4-1 as on a beautiful Ruslan pass, Khaytboev applied a good finish.
Kazakhstan immediately reduced the margin. Their captain Daulet Urmanov in an exhilarating run covered
almost half the pitch, going past a number of defenders. Well inside the opponent’s circle he sent a parallel ball
which was put in by diving Tilek Uzbek. Irresistible Ruslan created another goal. After a double 1-2 with Ruslan, Nazarov sent it past the Kazakh goal-keeper.
Kazakhstan had the best opportunity to make it 3-5 just before the end of the third quarter but
Yermik Tashkeyev wasted the penalty stroke.
In the last quarter, off a penalty corner variation, Nazarov had his second and Uzbekistan’s sixth goal.
Uzbekistan: Karimove Ruslan 2, Oybek Nazarof 2, Khaytboev & Khakimov
Kazakhstan: Nurbol Kozhym & Tilek Uzbek
Tayyab Ikram, CEO of Asian Hockey Federation who was the chief guest on the occasion put gold
medals around the necks of the members of the winning Uzbekistan team. Also present were former President, Pakistan Hockey Federation, Akhtar Rasool and Secretary PHF, Shahbaz Ahmad.
Standing of the teams, 1. Uzbekistan
2. Kazakhstan
4 Afghanistan.Fair Play trophy was awarded to Afghanistan.
Individual awards: Player of Tournament: Golib Kalandarov (Uzbekistan) Best Goal Keeper: Yerassyl
Ashkatov (Kazakhstan) Top Scorer: Karimov Roslan (Uzbekistan)
Final’s Man of Match: Karimov Roslan (Uzbekistan)
Earlier, Pakistan President XI, the ‘Guest Team’ won its last friendly match defeating Afghanistan 11-0 .The
hosts comprising young upcoming players easily won all the matches against the four visiting team.