LAHORE - Dar Hockey Academy (HA)’s U-16 outclassed U-18 Den Bosch 3-1 in their third match of the tour on Thursday.

The Pakistani youngsters made a number of forays in the first 10 minutes and ball remained in the opponents’ half. Two back-to-back penalty corners were earned. The low push was good but the diving goalkeeper saved it.

After a brief phase of Den Bosch’s mid-field ascendancy, the Dar HA boys were back in their elements with fast-paced combined moves. In the 29th minute, an unnecessary stick check by Gul Sher gifted a penalty corner to Den Bosch. They employed an indirect drill which culminated in a shot over the bar. Last five minutes of the first half again witnessed effective build ups by the Lahore-based academy but poor play in the circle. They did everything but scoring.

In the initial minutes of the second half, Dar HA’s captain Umair twice had acres of space in turn overs which saw two attackers on one defender. But the handsome forward failed to avail the ideal situations. The goal which had been coming ever since the match started eventually arrived. Off the second penalty corner, Usman Senior’s missile of a flick put the visitors ahead in the 39th minute.

A few minutes later, a Den Bosch hit found Mobasher’s foot inside the circle. But the low push on the resulting penalty corner went wide. Soon after, Zulqarnain’s darting run from the left initiated a fine move but Umair couldn’t send the final pass correctly. Again it was a penalty corner, in the 50th minute, and again it was a superb execution by Usman Senior that enabled the Dar HA to double the lead.

Den Bosch was trying hard to get inroads but the Pakistani academy’s defence, well supported by the forwards who repeatedly fell backwards, held firm. A penalty corner did arrive for the hosts in the 61st minute but the flat push again missed the target.

A couple of minutes later, Usman Junior after brilliantly intercepting a pass in the Den Bosch half had an unchallenged run of about 30 metres. He rounded the goalkeeper beautifully before calmly putting the ball in the cage to join his namesake on the scorer’s list. In the 69th minute, Saqib received an excellent defence splitting pass by Asif. He only had the goal keeper to beat but misfired. The hosts eventually got a consolation goal in the very last minute when some casual defending let Rutger Platt find the target.

It was an excellent display by the Dar HA and the score line didn’t do justice to their overall domination.