Pakistan continued their winless streak in the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy and drew 3-3 against Japan in an epic six-goal stunner in Chennai, India, on Sunday.
The thrilling encounter was about to end in the favour of Japan but Pakistan — showing their never giving up spirit — equalized in the last minutes.
Abdul Rana gave Pakistan a bright start by scoring in the 9th minute but their lead did not last long as the Japanese equalized when Seren Tanaka sent the ball into the goal.
Pakistan once again got the lead in the second quarter with Mohammad Sufyan Khan sending the ball to the back of the net through the Japanese keeper’s legs.
The first half ended with Pakistan leading 2-1.
However, in the third quarter, Japan once again equalized with a brilliant counter-attack as Takuma Niwa ran through the ground and passed it to Kato who had the simple job of just putting the ball into the net.
Japan scored one more just before the conclusion of the third quarter with Masaki Ohashi scoring from the rebound.
It looked all over for Pakistan but Sufyan Khan equalized for Pakistan with just five minutes left to play making it 3-3.
Earlier, Pakistan drew 1-1 against Korea and lost 3-1 to Malaysia.
Pakistan and India have won the Asian Champions Trophy thrice each, which makes them the most successful teams in the event.
Korea won the title in 2021 after beating Japan on penalties in the final in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
All six teams will each play five matches in the round-robin stage with the top four set to qualify for the semi-finals. The last four matches will be held on August 11, with the final on the next day.
Muhammad Umar Bhatta (c), Akmal Hussain, Abdullah Ishtiaq Khan, Muhammad Abdullah, Muhammad Sufyan Khan, Ehtsham Aslam, Osama Bashir, Aqeel Ahmed, Arshad Liaquat, Muhammad Imad, Abdul Hanan Shahid, Zakaria Hayat, Rana Abdul Waheed Ashraf (Vice Captain), Roman, Muhammad Murtaza Yaqoob, Muhammad Shahzaib Khan, Afraz, Abdul Rahman, while the standby includes Ali Raza, Muhammad Baqir, Muhammad Nadeem Khan, Abdul Wahab, Waqar Ali, Muhammad Arsalan and Abdul Qayyum.
Pakistan’s remaining matches schedule
August 7 – vs China
August 9 – vs India
More to follow…