BIRMINGHAM: The captain of Pakistan Men’s Hockey Team Umar Bhutta backed the Green Shirts’ performance in their opening match of the Commonwealth Games against South Africa.
Bhutta, while talking to this reporter here backed Pakistan’s 2-2 draw against South Africa and stated that the national team did well as they did not lose points, while also claiming that the team will go with full strength in their match against New Zealand.
“The national hockey team played well against South Africa. The match ended in a draw so we did not lose points,” Bhutta said.
“We will go all-out in the second match against New Zealand and win the match to make it to the semi-finals,” he maintained.
National Hockey team’s head coach Siegfried Aikman, on the other hand, remained hopeful to overcome the mistakes made in the first match and take on New Zealand with lifted spirits.
“We will work on the mistakes made in the first match and give our best in the next game. Our dribbling is good but we couldn’t get the penalty corner so we need to work on that,” Aikman stated.
“Pakistani players have the hunger to score goals and they are a really good side,” he concluded.
It is pertinent to mention here that Afraz Hakeem’s late strike in the closing moments of the game, allowed the Green Shirts to secure a 2-2 draw against South Africa. Rizwan Ali was the other scorer, who struck in the first quarter.