Pakistan women’s hockey team makes history

KARACHI: 

The Pakistani women hockey team, for the first time in their history, have qualified for the semi-finals of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Cup with a 1-1 draw against Singapore in their last pool fixture at the Thailand National Hockey Training Centre in Bangkok yesterday.

The women in green went into the match knowing a draw would be good enough to book a place in the final four.

With progression at stake, the players looked a bit nervous and struggled to impose themselves on their opponents early on. They finally calmed down though and took the lead two minutes before the half-time break, thanks to a field goal by Afshan Noureen.

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The match turned in the 59th minute when a well-coordinated Singaporean attack from the right found an unmarked Chan Ivy, who finished the move with a superb angular finish to level the tie at 1-1.

The remaining 11 minutes saw a continuous barrage of Singaporean attacks, and had it not been for Pakistani goalkeeper Rizwana Yasmin’s spree of incredible saves, the match would have slipped out of their hands.

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The Secretary PHF women wing, Tanzeela Cheema told The Express Tribune that the girls have achieved a great feat for which they should be awarded.

“We will surely be giving incentives to the girls for reaching the semi-finals,” Pakistan Hockey Federation women wing secretary Tanzeela Cheema told The Express Tribune before adding that the player should keep their feet on the ground as the job isn’t done yet. “They have been performing well but in the semi-final tomorrow they will face a tough team in the form of Chinese Taipei, so they have to keep their focus.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2016.