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Anne Photograp News 2024

Pakistan and Japan qualify for the final of the Azlan Shah Hockey Cup 2024 – Sports
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Pakistan and Japan qualify for the final of the Azlan Shah Hockey Cup 2024 – Sports

Pakistan and Japan have qualified for the final of the 30th Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup 2024 in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Both sides won their respective matches on Wednesday to book their places in the final. Pakistan defeated Canada 5-4 in a thrilling match, while Japan defeated hosts Malaysia 2-1.

Pakistan, three-time former Sultan Azlan Shah Cup champions, showed a commendable performance during the tournament and remained undefeated with three wins (against South Korea, Malaysia and Canada) and a draw against Japan. Following Pakistan’s performance, Japan also registered the same number of wins plus a draw. They are second in the points table.

Malaysia and New Zealand are third and fourth respectively in the points table, with six points each. South Korea is in fifth place with three points, while Canada is at the bottom with no wins in the six-team invitational tournament.

The final will be played on Saturday at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia. The match will start at 5:30 PM (Pakistani Standard Time).

Meanwhile, Pakistan will play their final round match against New Zealand on May 10 (tomorrow) at the same venue.

Path to the final

In the crucial match against Canada, Pakistan recovered from an early setback to record a 5-4 win on Wednesday.

Canada started the match aggressively and continued to attack Pakistan’s goal post from the start. They managed to take a 2-0 lead in the 17th minute of the match.

Pakistan were on the back foot in the first two halves, but made a resounding comeback and ended the match with a decisive 5-4 lead.

Abu Bakr Mahmood scored two quick goals in the third quarter to bring Pakistan back into the match. Arshad Liaqat, Rana Waheed Ashraf and Ghazanfar Ali also scored one goal each for Pakistan.

Sean Davis scored a brace for Canada, while Harbir Sindhu and Avjot Buttar scored one each.

As both sides prepare for the final, the stakes couldn’t be higher. This will be the first time in 13 years that Pakistan will qualify for the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final. They last played the final of the 2011 edition, where they suffered a 3-3 defeat against Australia.