By Hamad Hussain
KARACHI, October 27, 2019 (SNN247.com) – Pakistan thrashed by Netherlands in second leg match of Olympics qualifiers decider by 6-1 as they miss out the Olympics for the second consecutive time. Pakistan hockey team was failed to qualify in 2016 Olympics and now out of Tokyo Olympics 2020 as well.
This is another sad day in the history of Pakistan hockey as the country which dominated the sport for many years have now facing embarrassment every year. It is time that Patron in Chief of Pakistan Hockey Federation, the Prime Minister of Pakistan should take concrete and long-term steps to make Pakistan hockey team competitive again. The political appointees whether it is President PHF or General Secretary, Pakistan hockey need complete overhaul and operation cleanup.
It was very frustrating to see that players selected in the team don’t know how to finish the pass and missed open nets. It was pretty much simple tactics by Netherlands as they only need to control Pakistan penalty corner as Pakistan forwards don’t know how to score field goals and they were successful in their tactics. Pakistan forwards at least missed three field goals in last five minutes of fourth quarter which clearly showed their inability to finish the game.
Pakistan hockey team scored five goals against Netherlands and those were all in penalty corners while Dutch scored 10 goals against Pakistan and five of them were field goals. Apart from forwards, the defenders also played their part in helping Netherlands to score goals. In today’s match, at least 4 out of 6 goals were the result of simple common errors by Pakistani defenders which can easily be contained.
The federation and decision makers need to take strict action and take solid steps. Either they banned hockey in Pakistan which of course not possible, then they need to hire specialist from foreign countries to lift the standard of Pakistan hockey team. Pakistan team need more international exposure, international matches, leagues, series, competitions, change culture & lethargic approach and long season to build a competitive team.
You can’t expect World number 17 to do the miracles on biggest stage by beating World number 3 who is far more superior than you but at least they need to take advantage of the pressure built in yesterday’s match but they were complacent as they leaked four goals in first half.
On the other hand, as expected Netherlands were proactive as they concede only one goal in five penalty corners earned by Pakistan hockey team. This is only the fourth international game for Pakistan hockey team this season which clearly showed the intent and mindset of the people in charge at PHF.
If we had played good numbers of international matches in last 18 months or at least last one year, we could have improved our rankings and may had face lesser competitive opponent just like India who is playing Olympic qualifier against Russia, a country which never known for their hockey. This is terrible approach with the national game and we don’t know where this embarrassment will end for national game that once brought medals for Pakistan in Olympics.