Pakistan edged closer to this year’s Junior Hockey World Cup after a 1-1 draw against India during the ongoing Asia Cup in Oman on Saturday.
The result meant that both Pakistan and India now have seven points from three matches with the former on top of the table in Pool A due to a better goal difference.
Japan are third on the table with six points after three matches.
Pakistan only needs to avoid defeat in their final pool match against Japan on May 29 in order to qualify for the World Cup.
It must be noted that Malaysia, as hosts, have already qualified for the World Cup. Since they have also qualified for the semi-finals of the Junior Asia Cup, this means that all the other three teams making it to the last four will gain entry into the World Cup as well.
India took the lead via a penalty corner in the second quarter after Sharad Nand Tiwari drag flicked the ball in the net.
However, Pakistan’s Ali Basharat netted from a close distance to make it 1-1 for Pakistan in the third quarter.
India will lock horns with Thailand in their final group clash on Sunday.
Pakistan’s Abdul Hanan Shahid, who was a constant threat for his opponents throughout the match, wad declared player of the match.
Earlier, Pakistan registered their second win of the Junior Hockey Asia Cup 2023 as Abdul Rehman’s five goals helped Green Shirts outclass Thailand by 9-0 in a one-sided encounter on Wednesday.
Pakistan had won their first match against Chinese Taipei 15-1 on Tuesday.
The event will conclude with the final on June 1.
Pakistan team’s consultant Roelant Oltmans had said that he wanted to see Pakistan making it to the semi-finals.
“I am here as the junior team consultant and my first challenge is to see Pakistan qualifying for the World Cup. If we succeed in making it to the semi-finals from Group A, we would be in a position to qualify for the World Cup,” he said.
The FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 will be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 5-16 2023.