Pakistan celebrate hockey team's success in Asian Games

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Pakistan marched to the final of the men's hockey event in the Asian Games that sparked off a massive celebration in the country. Pakistan sporting events had been on a downfall in the most popular game Cricket, so this event victory had the nation dancing
in glory.
The last time Pakistan won the Asian Games was ages back, in 1990 in Beijing. Ever since, there had been a halt in the nation’s victories in any event. This victory in Guangzhou could help build the motivation required for the team and bring new hopes to
succeed in the times to come.
Pakistan stunned South Korea in a nerve-wrecking penalty-shootout to proceed into the finals after since 1990. Even the president of Pakistan Hockey Federation, Qasim Zia, described this victory as "a shot in the arm for the sport in the country". This could
be the beginning to the revival of the glory period of the sports as earlier times.
"Playing India in the final would have obviously brought extra pressure on the boys, and also, given the fact that they have beaten us thrice this year in major events. So, it is a good thing we played Malaysia in the final, but we couldn’t take them lightly
at all as they played superb hockey against the in-form Indians," Zia discussed.
Federal minister for sports, Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani, also appreciated the Asian games victory as a good omen for hockey, Pakistan's national sport.
"In a time as we are fighting so many problems in Pakistan, such a victory is indeed good news for the nation. Specially coming on the heels of the women's (cricket) team's gold medal in the Asian Games," Jakhrani said.
Pakistan hockey team and the federation itself had been under immense pressure keeping in view their inconsistent performances in prior times. In the World Cup held in India, Pakistan finished 12th in the ranking and again in the same city, 6th
in the Commonwealth Games. But after the victory, they were in a jubilant mood.
Keeping in view that Malaysia had already beaten India in the other semi-final, Pakistan’s spirited effort against the Koreans, often observed as a very tough rival, was visible. All the boys played with extreme motivation leading froth into the aim to the
The match was not an easy one. Koreans took the match to final bits, the penalty shoot-out.
Both teams were locked 1-1 in the 70 minutes of the game and even failed to break even after the 15 minutes extra time in the semi-final at the Aoti hockey Centre. In the 22nd minute, Pakistan were put ahead by Waqas Muhammad but Kang Moon-Kyu
of Korea levelled it just four minutes into the second half.
This led the game into the penalties but the first five were tied at 3-3 after which the sudden death rule was imposed producing even more drama to the match.
Sohail Abbas and Jang Jong-hyun had their shots saved by the goalies but Haseem Khan came into action next and put Pakistan into the lead with 4-3.
It was now up to Salman Akbar to restrict Jang Jong-ho from levelling the score and take the national team into the finals. He did just that, saving the feeble push of the Korean striker and steered the Pakistan squad into the Asian Games men's hockey final
after twenty years.
Zeeshan Ashraf's men had not bagged any major title since the World Cup triumph in Sydney in 1994, but this Asian games victory took the whole nation to a completely new level.



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