Kuala Lumpur: Pakistan have qualified for the quarter-finals of the ongoing Junior Hockey World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after levelling their third game by 1-1 against Belgium.
The Boys in Green came from behind after Belgium scored a goal in the first quarter. Arbaz Ahmad scored from the penalty corner in the third quarter to put Pakistan back in the game. Pakistan will now play Spain in the quarter-final.
Remember, Pakistan registered a 3-3 draw against the Netherlands in their opening match.
The Green Shirts were down 2-0 in the first half but Arshad Liaqat, Sufian Khan, and Arbaz Ahmed scored crucial goals to bring Pakistan back into the game.
The Dutch team managed to secure field goals in the 21st and 30th minute, leaving Pakistan two down at the end of the first half.
However, Pakistan fought back valiantly in the third quarter, with midfielder Arshad Liaqat scoring a field goal, narrowing the deficit.
The turning point came in the 36th minute of the third quarter when Pakistan earned a penalty corner. Sufian Khan exhibited exceptional skills, slamming a drag-flick into the goalpost, levelling the score to 2-2.
The Netherlands responded with a field goal in the 47th minute, once again taking the lead. However, Pakistan’s Arbaz Ahmed swiftly equalized with a penalty corner, bringing the score to 3-3.
In the second match, Arshad Liaqat scored a hat-trick to beat New Zealand 4-0. Liaqat scored in the 19th, 30th and 54th minute of the match to put the Green Shirts in a commanding position.
Pakistan squad: Ali Raza (Goalkeeper), Arbaz Ahmad, Sufyan Khan, Ghazanfar, Murtaza Yaqoob, Zikriya Hayat, Arshad Liaqat, Abdul Rehman, Hanan Shahid (Captain), Abuzar, Arbaz Ayaz, Abdul Rafay (Goalkeeper), Abdul Manan, M Ammad, Ahtisham, Basharat Ali, Aqeel Ahmed, Ali Murtaza, Umer Mustafa, and Abdul Qayyum.