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Sultan Azlan Shah Cup: Pakistan hold Japan for draw to stay unbeaten

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IPOH: Pakistan held Japan for a 1-1 stalemate and continued their unbeaten run in the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 here on Tuesday.

Pakistan and Japan went hard at each other from the word go but neither of the sides could manage to get the upper hand and played out the first two quarters goalless.

Japan then got the reward for their precision in the third quarter when Ken Nagayoshi converted a penalty corner in the 33rd minute.

Japan’s narrow lead persisted for the conclusion of the third quarter while the fourth quarter was also nearing its end, indicating at the possibility of Pakistan’s first defeat in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

But Rana Waheed Ashraf turned the tide for Pakistan and lifted them to level the thrilling match after a perfectly crafted penalty corner in the last minute.

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Earlier this week, Pakistan crushed South Korea 4-0 to register their second consecutive victory in the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Hannan Shahid gave Pakistan an early lead against South Korea, courtesy of a field goal in the third minute before Arshad Liaqat doubled the lead in the 20th minute.

Pakistan’s third goal also came as a field goal, scored by Ghazanfar Ali in the 27th minute while Sufyan Khan converted a penalty corner in the 50th minute to seal a 4-0 victory.

It is worth mentioning that Pakistan had a flying start to their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup campaign with a nerve-testing 5-4 victory over Malaysia on Saturday. They will next face Japan on May 7.

Pakistan squad for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup

Goalkeepers: Abdullah, Muneebur Rehman.

Defenders: Usama Bashir, Ehtisham Aslam, Mohammad Abdullah, Sufiyan, Abu Bakar (vice-captain), Ammad Butt (captain).

Midfielders: Salman Razzaq, Arshad Liaquat, Moin Shakeel, Zakria Hayat, Murtaza Yaqoob, Ghazanfar Ali.

Forwards: Abdul Rehman (Sr), Abdul Hanan, Rana Waheed, Ejaz Ahmad.

Standbys: Akmal Hussain, Aqeel Ahmad, Arbaz, Hammad Anjum, Abdul Rehman (Jr), Abdul Manan, Rooman.

READ: Babar Azam vows “best possible planning” to counter Virat Kohli threat

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