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Pakistan draw with Belgium to qualify for Junior World Cup quarter-final

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakistan hockey team registered a comeback draw against Belgium at Malaysia National Hockey Stadium to qualify for the quarter-final match of the ongoing Junior World Cup.

Belgium gained an early advantage with the first goal in the third minute to put the Pakistan team under pressure.

However, the Pakistan team made a resounding comeback in the third quarter with Arbaz Ahmad scoring from the penalty corner to level the scores.

Both teams battled hard to get the lead, but could not succeed as the scoreboard read 1-1 until the final whistle.

Pakistan will play their Junior Hockey World Cup quarter-final match against Spain.

The Pakistan hockey team kicked off their Junior World Cup campaign with an impressive draw against the Netherlands 3-3 on December 06.

The Netherlands started the game on high with two field goals in the 21st and 30th minutes to end the first half with a massive advantage over Pakistan.

Pakistan then decreased the deficit by one goal in the third quarter courtesy of midfielder Arshad Liaqat’s field goal to bring the scores down to 2-1.

The Green Shirts then earned a penalty in the 36th minute of the third quarter, which was successfully converted by Sufian Khan to level the scores.

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However, the Netherlands did not slow down and took the lead again in the 47th minute with a field goal by Olivier Hortensius.

Their lead did not last long as Pakistan’s Arbaz Ahmed helped his side level the scores with an equalizing penalty corner.

Pakistan team followed the first match draw with a thumping 4-0 victory over New Zealand courtesy of Arshad Liaqat’s hat-trick in the next match.

Pakistan started the game on high and earned an early advantage with a 19th-minute goal by Liaqat, who extended the lead further in the 30th minute.

Pakistan captain Abdul Hanan Shahid then scored their third goal two minutes later with a goal from a penalty corner.

Liaqat got on the scoresheet and completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute to keep the Green shirts in a commanding position until the final whistle.

Pakistan won the inaugural Junior World Cup in 1979 and then claimed bronze medals in the next three editions before getting a silver in the 1993 edition.

They have not been able to win any medal in the Junior World Cup since 1993 and finished at their lowest 11th position in the 2021 edition in Bhubaneswar, India.

READ: Alyssa Healy appointed Australia women’s team full-time captain

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