APP

ISLAMABAD/Incheon

Lacklustre Pakistan made it to the final of the Asian Games men's hockey, after edging resilient Malaysians 6-5 on sudden death plenty shoot out, in the second semifinal played at Seonhak Hockey Stadium, Incheon, Korea Tuesday. Pakistan will now clash against archrivals India on Thursday (October 2), who in the first semifinal beat hosts Korea 1-0. India, seeking their first Asiad title since 1998, played a spirited game to outlast hosts South Korea, with Akashdeep Singh scoring the winner in the 44th minute from a narrow angle.

Once again poor finishing in front of the goal denied green shirts from scoring at least half a dozen goals. Pakistan team enjoyed supreme possession of the ball in all four quarters of the match but strikers failed to take advantage of the lime share of possession.

Pakistan started the match on a very confident note and came close of taking lead in the first quarter of the match poor finishing deprived them from scoring. Malaysians also came close to score in the dying moments of the first quarter as they were awarded a penalty corner but Pakistani defense was alert and denied them from taking any sort of advantage. Pakistan again missed a golden chance of scoring at the other end in the dying moments of the first quarter but M Dilber failed to convert the ball into the net when only goalkeeper was left to beat and first quarter ended with both sides locked at 0-0. Pakistan again missed many scoring opportunities in next quarter too as poor finishing continues to haunt Pakistan.

It needed eight attempts from each side to break the deadlock, with Rashid Mehmood beating Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam for the winner after Tengku Abdul Jalil's shot had been saved by Pakistan's Imran Butt. The final will be played on Thursday with the winner securing a direct entry to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

The Pakistanis, who had failed to qualify for this year's World Cup, were in tears after the match as they hugged coach Shahnaz Sheikh and other team members on the bench. "God is great," said Sheikh. "This was an important win for us, although I thought the boys were under some pressure during the whole game. It should be a very good final against India. We will be ready for them."

While talking from Korea, Pakistan Hockey team head coach Shahnaz Sheikh said he was quite depressed the way forwards missed the open chances. “I can't believe, we fail to score even a single goal in the entire match. I had trained boys for hours and hours during the four-month long training camp. Anyhow the win is very important as it was a highly pressure match. In the round match, we have beat Indians, who had played a lot of international matches in the last one-year, but we managed to beat them and now by the grace of Allah almighty we will beat the again in the final. “

Meanwhile, sharing his views Olympian Rehan Butt described Pakistan team victory against Malaysia as historic one. “It was a highly pressure game and nobody wants to enter the match and win with narrowest margins. Team played well and they deserved victory, which they dully achieved.” He said final would be the highly pressure game and would be a battle of nerves as no planning or strategy would work and only the team which manage to control emotions would come out victorious.

Hong Kong rout Pakistan 72-0 Rugby: Hong Kong humiliated minnows Pakistan by whooping margin of 72-0 in their opening group match in XVII Asian Games Rugby here at the Namdong Asiad Rugby Field Tuesday. Pakistan players lacked required technique, tactics and power and were annihilated by Hong Kong team in the both the halves.

Hong Kong led 25-0 at the breather and added 47 more goals in the second to make hapless Pakistan players struggle. For winning team Alifie Jack Capon, John Max Woodward, Rowan Varty, William Thomas scored ten goals apiece. However, Shing Kam Yiu was hero of his team's massive triumph as he blasted as many 15 goals to outplay Pakistan in all areas of the game. Pakistan will meet Philippines in their second league match on Wednesday.

Pakistan went down 23-11 against India in Kabbadi: Pakistan grapplers despite a narrow win in the second half went down 23-11 against old adversary and defending champion India in their third and final league encounter of XVII Asian Games Kabbadi at Songodo Gymnasium court on Tuesday. Indians, who had been dominating the sport since it was launched in 1990 Beijing Asiad, dominated in the first period thanks to a brilliant tactical and technical game and spectacular show from Jasbir Singh. Brilliant play in in the first half saw Indian securing four bonus points and two lona points to gain a healthy 17-4 lead. Though Pakistan team demonstrated great fight back in the second half. But despite winning second 7-6 it was a gigantic task to overhaul India’s massive 11 points lead. Jasmir Singh performed outstandingly for the winners. Captain Nasir Ali led his team from the front with seven points while Ibrar Hussain scored five points. "Indians got very high standard in Kabbadi and they are getting regular international exposure which made the difference," Nasir said after the match. Pakistan will be facing Guangzhou Asian Game’s silver medalist Iran in Thursday's semifinals while gold medal fight will be contested the following day. "Though it will be tough battle for us against Iran. But we are eagerly looking it and give our best," modest Nasir Ali concluded.

KOREAN ENDS SANAULLAH’S RUN IN 91KG BOXING: Namhyeong Park of South Korea defeated Pakistan’s Sanaullah in Men's Heavy (91kg) Quarterfinal Boxing event. Korean boxer over got a unanimous 3-0 decision over Pakistani to earn a right to play semi-final with victory by points. All the boxers from host Korea Tuesday got biased decisions in their favour from the judges which caused a great uproar and protests from other participating nations and situation got uglier as the day passé by.

SHOOTERS REMAIN OFF THE TARGET: In Skeet Men's Qualification, both Pakistan shooters once again failed to impress as Usman Chand finished with 115 points by missing 10 targets in his five attempts. Khurram Inam finished at 23rd place by missing 13 targets with 112 points.

ANOTHER DEFEAT IN TABLE TENNIS: In Men's Doubles 1/32 Elimination Table Tennis match, Japanese pair of Jun Mizutani and Seiya Kishikawa blanked Pakistani pair M Asim Qureshi and Syed Saleem Abbas Kazmi 3-0 in just 11 minutes. Japanese pair registered a comfortable 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 victory over Pakistani pair t advance to last 16.

MORE DISAPPOINTMENT IN VOLLEYBALL: Pakistan’s volleyball team’s woes continues as they lost another match in straight games to Chinese Taipei in the men's semifinal Round for 9th-12th place, that means Pakistan will finish now either on 11th or 12th place as they will play Soudia Arabia today. Chinese Taipei won the game 25-19, 26-24, 25-19. Chin Feng Huang was the star player for the winners with 19 points while Pakistan’s Aimal Khan mustered 24 points.

Medals Tally - Asian Games 2014

Country    gold    silver    bronze    total

China    126    80    62    268

Republic of Korea    54    55    61    170

Japan    37    54    55    146

Kazakhstan    15    16    25    56

Iran    14    11    10    35

North Korea    8    10    11    29

Chinese-taipei    8    8    14    30

Thailand    8    6    21    35

Qatar    8    0    3    11

India    6    8    32    46

Hong Kong    6    8    22    36

Uzbekistan    6    7    14    27

Malaysia    4    14    10    28

Singapore    4    6    11    21

Mongolia    4    4    11    19

Indonesia    3    5    8    16

Bahrain    3    5    1    9

Kuwait    2    4    2    8

Saudi Arabia    2    1    0    3

Myanmar    2    1    0    3

Vietnam    1    9    22    32

Tajikistan    1    1    0    2

Pakistan    1    0    1    2

UAE    1    0    1    2

Macau    0    3    0    3

Philippines    0    2    4    6

Kyrgyzstan    0    2    3    5

Turkmenistan    0    1    3    4

Laos    0    1    1    2

Bangladesh    0    1    0    1

Lebanon    0    1    0    1

Iraq    0    0    2    2

Sri Lanka    0    0    1    1