LAHORE: After a thrilling encounter the second hockey match in between Pakistan juniors and the World XI ended in a 3-3 draw at National hockey stadium in Lahore on Sunday.
The visitors won the two-match series 1-0 as they had won the first match in Karachi 5-1.
The second match started at a fast pace and Pakistan juniors were aggressive from the beginning.
The Green-shirts forwards penetrated the rivals’ D area repeatedly but the experienced goalkeeper and defenders foiled all their goal-scoring attempts.
The World XI also made some fine moves, but failed to strike.
The poor finishing and missing of Pakistan forwards meant they missed a couple of big chances.
The World XI gained the lead when their captain Roderick Weusthof (of the Netherlands) scored in the 28th minute.
The World XI players kept up the pressure on the Green-shirts and doubled the lead when Nahuel Salis of Argentina struck in the 36th minute.
The Green-shirts launched some counter attacks and managed to get a penalty corner and drag flicker Rizwan Ali converted it in the 37th minute.
Pakistan applied further pressure and leveled the scores when forward Adeel Lateef scored on a good pass.
Roderick restored his team’s lead when he converted a PC.
Forward Naveed Alam proved the man of crisis when he dodged defenders and the goalkeeper to equalise once again.
Pakistan coach Kamran Ashraf said that his team played better than they had done in the first match. “It was very satisfying that our team did not lose heart after the first match. They bounced back brilliantly and drew the match against a much experienced side, which had players from seven strongest nations in the world,” he added.
He said that they had adopted a different strategy for the second match, keeping in mind the strength and experience of the rival team.
Kamran said they would have come out victorious if they had not missed some chances. “But overall it was a good performance as our junior boys were playing against those players who have collectively played more than 3000 matches,” the coach said.