Pakistan defeat Japan to secure semi-final berth at Junior Hockey Asia Cup 2023

Faizan Lakhani
Pakistani players celebrate after scoring a goal against Japan. — Reporter
Pakistani players celebrate after scoring a goal against Japan. — Reporter

Pakistan on Monday booked a spot for the semi-final of the ongoing Junior Hockey Asia Cup 2023 after defeating Japan.

Pakistan defeated Japan 3-2 to secure a place in the semi-final of the tournament currently going on in Oman. 

For Pakistan, Abdul Wahab scored two goals and Arbaaz Ahmed scored one goal in the match played in Salalah.

However, for Japan in the second minute of the game, Kompi Yoshida gave his team the lead on a penalty corner.

Pakistan's Arbaaz equalised the match by scoring on a penalty corner in the 23rd minute. In the 30th minute, Abdul Wahab scored a field goal to give Pakistan the lead, but in the 38th minute, Japan's Hota Yamada equalised the match once again.

In the semi-final, Pakistan will face Malaysia on May 31. 

With the win, Pakistan also ensured that they have qualified for Junior Hockey World Cup that will be played in Malaysia this year.

Pakistan only needed to avoid defeat in their final pool match against Japan in order to qualify for the World Cup after their match against India ended with a draw. 

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 meant that all the other three teams making it to the last four will gain entry into the World Cup as well.

The FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 will be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 5-16 2023.