BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan Men’s Hockey team avoided an opening defeat at the Commonwealth Games 2022 as Afraz Hakeem’s late strike bolstered the side to hang on for a draw against South Africa.
Pakistan’s forward Afraz scored the match-saving goal for the Green Shirts, which helped the side to take a point and avoided an opening defeat to their Commonwealth Games campaign.
Earlier, South Africa pulled ahead in the first quarter as Connor Beauchamp struck for the Proteas from the short corner.
South Africa’s lead, however, remained brief as Rizwan Ali scored the first goal for the Green Shirts after 11 minutes to keep the match evenly poised.
The two teams walked out at half-time with the scores level at 1-1. The two teams then fought their hearts out in the third quarter but the scoreboard remained unmoved as both goalkeepers did well to neutralize the threat.
The Proteas then again led the proceedings as Matt Guise-Brown struck in the fourth quarter, only for Afraz to net a late score and prevented the Green Shirts from an opening defeat.
The national hockey team will now take on New Zealand on July 31 in their second match of the Commonwealth Games 2022.