Pakistan’s Green Shirts Hold Nerve to Draw Against Kiwis, Eye Grand Victory in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 Final

Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024

In an electrifying showdown at the 30th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 in Ipoh, Malaysia, Pakistan’s Green Shirts showcased their resilience by securing a nerve-wracking draw against the Kiwis, keeping the nation on the edge of their seats. Abu Bakar Mahmood emerged as the hero, single-handedly leveling the score 1-1 with a crucial goal, ensuring Pakistan’s unbeaten streak in the tournament remains intact.

Having already sealed their spot in the final after a commanding victory over Canada earlier in the week, Pakistan now gears up to face Japan in the ultimate showdown tomorrow (Saturday).

The match witnessed a deadlock in the first half, with both teams failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities. However, New Zealand managed to break the silence with Luke Holmes striking a field goal in the 35th minute. Yet, Pakistan swiftly retaliated, with Abu Bakar Mahmood netting the equalizer just eight minutes later from a penalty corner.

Throughout the round-robin stage of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Pakistan displayed remarkable consistency, clinching three wins and two draws in five matches. Their only stumbling blocks came against formidable opponents Japan and New Zealand.

This stellar performance serves as a significant morale boost for the team, especially as they gear up for the FIH Nations Cup in Gniezno, Poland, slated from May 31 to June 9. The Nations Cup holds pivotal importance as the victor secures a coveted spot in the FIH Hockey Pro League for the upcoming 2024-25 season.


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Looking ahead to the final clash against Japan, forward Abdul Hannan Shahid emphasized the formidable defensive prowess of their opponents. Japan, having conceded the fewest goals in the tournament thus far, pose a formidable challenge with their solid defensive strategy.

“Japan’s defensive line is rock-solid, offering minimal openings to their adversaries,” Shahid remarked. “While they may not boast the same level of creativity in their attack, they capitalize effectively on their opponents’ errors.”

Despite Pakistan’s impressive goal-scoring record, Shahid acknowledged the need to shore up their defensive line. With the final on the horizon, the team remains focused on rectifying any defensive vulnerabilities.

Meanwhile, in the remaining fixtures, Japan is set to square off against Canada, while hosts Malaysia will clash with Korea in what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

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