Hero Asia Cup: Japan hold Pakistan 2-2

Hero Asia Cup: Japan hold Pakistan 2-2

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Dhaka – Japan forced three-time champions Pakistan to share points as they played 2-2 draw in their Pool A second match of the eight-team Hero 10th Men’s Asia Cup Hockey at Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium on Friday.After an aggressive but fruitless 1st quarter, Muhammad Arslan Qadir scored a penalty corner goal in the 16th minute to put Pakistan ahead. Captain Muhammad Irfan flicked the ball fiercely towards Qadir who deflected the ball towards the goal for the lead, 1-0.Japan staged a comeback into the match producing two successive field goals to take a 2-1 lead going into half-time as Kenta Tanaka and Heita Yoshihara scored one goal each in the 22nd and 29th minutes.The 3rd quarter was barren with Japan showing good defensive skills to keep out the Pakistanis efforts to equalise the score-line.With 10 minutes remaining of the match, Pakistan’s Qadir picked up the ball and dribbled past the Japanese defenders parallel to the baseline and passed the ball in front of the goal which was tapped in by Muhammad Umar Bhutta in the 50th minute to equalise the score-line at 2-2.With the day’s result, Pakistan collected unbeaten four points from two games while Japan one point from two outings.Pakistan started the tournament campaign with a big 7-0 win against hosts Bangladesh while Japan with a 1-5 loss against India in the tournament opener at the same venue on Wednesday (October 11).UNB news agency

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