Bhubaneswar, 7 December 2014: England produced a block-busting first half performance to lay the base for their second win in Pool A of the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, beating Pakistan 8-2.
Mark Gleghorne’s close range touch to Alastair Brogdon’s cross got them started before Nick Catlin’s powerful hit made it 2-0 in the 17th minute. David Condon applied a delightful touch to Tim Whiteman’s cross for the third goal which came as soon as in the 19th minute, followed by Barry Middleton and Ashley Jackson converting in the 24th and 26th minute respectively and taking the lead to 5-0. The third quarter was more circumspect but Sam Ward bagged his third goal of the weekend with a lovely finish to Adam Dixon’s excellent approach work for number six in the 46th minute.
In the 48th minute, Brogdon added the seventh with a diving first time sweep before Muhammad Arslan Qadir got a consolation goal with three minutes left with a close range finish and finally opening the scorecard for Pakistan. Chris Griffiths compounded the result with number eight before Muhammad Irfan netted on the final hooter. It proved England’s biggest ever win over Pakistan in Champions Trophy history; the previous best a 2-0 win in 1999.
Speaking post the match, Coach Sheikh Shahnaz, Pakistan said “The first quarter was good but we finally conceded in the last minute of the quarter which proved to be the turning point. We gave too much of space and the goalkeeper also could not save from goals being scored . Tomorrowis a off day and we will watch the videos and work on the gaps”.
Speaking on the match Pakistan Goalkeeper Imran Butt said “Ups and downs are a part of the game. Yes it is very disappointing to have lost the match by such a huge margin. We tried different strategies during the game but England undoubtedly played a really good game and created much more opportunities than us. This is a team game, as the goalkeeper relies on the defence line-up to support him, similarly defence seeks support from the mid-field and so on, hence no individual is to be blamed for the loss. We have a a few young players in the team and getting them the exposure on international platform like the Champions Trophy, will help us prepare and better ourselves for the World League which could be our path to the Rio Olympics.”
Speaking on the win, Ashley Jackson, England said, “We are growing all the time. Hopefully, we can be part of something very special if we keep improving. We need to make that next step in those semi-final games instead of those couple of results where we lost but played just about as well as we could have. We’re hoping to make that next step very soon and come back with some good medals.”