A Pakistani team defeats Belgium to reach the quarterfinals

5 min read

On Saturday, Pakistan made history with its first entry into the Junior World Cup Hockey quarterfinals in 14 years, when this nation drew 1-1 with Belgium in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

To reach the last eight of the competition, the green shirts needed a draw while Belgium was looking for a win to progress. The result of the match turned out to be a draw and a place for Pakistan in the quarter-finals at the expense of Belgium from Pool D; earlier in the day, Holland had defeated New Zealand 3-1 to top the Pool with Pakistan finishing second.

Belgium made a good start in what turned out to be a very nerve-wracking final Pool D match by controlling the game from the start, which enabled them to establish a strong lead. It was through a penalty corner in the third minute of the match that they were able to score the opening goal of the match.

There was a protest by Pakistan against the goal that the defenders claimed to have committed a foul before the ball crossed the line, but the goal was upheld.

During the first two-quarters of the game, Belgium made some more inroads into Pakistan’s defense. In the end, the winner of the match was Jack Vloeberghs. He scored from an indirect shot that slowly crossed the goal line to score for Belgium.

There was, however, a resurgence of Pakistani aggression in the second half, as they regrouped and began playing with more aggression.

In comparison with what the green shirts had shown in the first half, the ball possession was more accurate in the second half. The Pakistani team wasted a few good opportunities to score an equalizer, which came only in the 42nd minute when Arbaz Ahmad dodged the Belgian goalkeeper on his left in an attempt to equalize the score. The force of the push was so strong that before the goalkeeper was able to react, the ball hit the net.

The Pakistani side made some further inroads with Arshad Liaquat missing a sitter when only one defender was available to him at the time.

Belgium desperately tried to score a winner in order to secure a place in the quarter-finals of the competition. Aside from pulling out their goalkeeper, the European champions added another striker to their strike force. An attempt was made by Belgium to earn a late penalty corner, but the ball was missed.

In the Junior World Cup for the first time in a long time, we have reached the quarter-finals after a long time. Zakaria Hayat, who looks after the half line for the team, said: “We put in a great effort in the second half and played better hockey to keep the European champions away. This earned us a point and the right to play in the last eight,” he said.

The quarter-final match between Pakistan and Spain has been set for Tuesday at 3 pm local time (PST) and the Indian team is scheduled to face the Netherlands on the same day.

In the other two quarter-finals, Australia will face France, while the defending champions Argentina will face Germany in the last four.

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