Azlan Shah Hockey Cup: Pakistan to lock horns with Japan in final match today

Both teams have remained unbeaten throughout tournament and will face each other in final at Ipoh, Malaysia

By
Sports Desk
Players of Pakistan and Japan seen during an Azlan Shah Hockey Cup match. — Facebook/FlashSukan/File
  • Pakistan and Japan are ranked first, second on points table.
  • Both teams have remained unbeaten throughout the tournament.
  • Match will commence at 5:30 pm in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Pakistan are set to face Japan in the all-important final of the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 in Ipoh, Malaysia today.

Both Pakistan and Japan have remained unbeaten throughout the tournament with the latter securing the top spot on the points table with 13 points by winning four matches and drawing one.

Whereas, the national side is ranked second with 11 points with three wins and two draws, including the one against New Zealand on Friday.

The match, set to kick off at 5:30 pm, will see both teams eyeing to secure the trophy of the coveted title. It will be broadcast live on Geo Super.

Azlan Shah Cup's points table. — FIH website

Shedding light on Pakistan’s opponents in the final, forward Abdul Hannan Shahid said that Japan’s defensive line is extremely solid. Japan have only conceded four goals, the fewest in the tournament so far, in as many matches.

"Japan are defensively very solid and they don’t give many openings to their opponents,” he said.

"As far as the attack is concerned, they might not be as creative as some of the other teams but they are quite effective in taking advantage of their opponents’ mistakes on the field."

"Pakistan have scored a high number of goals but at the same time, we are conceding at the other end as well. However, we will try to rectify our defensive flaws in the remaining matches," he added.

The national side's performance in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup should be a morale booster for the team especially because the team has to feature in the FIH Nations Cup in Gniezno, Poland, from May 31 to June 9 as well.

The Nations Cup is important because the winning team will have the opportunity to play in the FIH Hockey Pro League for the 2024-25 season.

Prime Minister Youth Programme Chairman Rana Mashhood Ahmad khan, confirmed on Friday that PM Shehbaz Sharif will reward the players if they win the tournament.

"The promotion of sports in Pakistan is among the prime minister's priorities," Mashhood added.

Additionally, Canada will face Korea in the 5th/6th place match today at 1:00 pm. Meanwhile, Malaysia will lock horns with New Zealand for the 3rd/4th position at 3:15 pm.