Pakistan showed their credentials as one of dark horses at the Azlan Shah Cup by defeating a strong South Korean side on Friday.
In their second match of the tournament, Pakistan came back from a goal down to register a 4-2 win over their Asian Games semi-final rivals.
South Korea dominated the opening moments of the match, as Jang Jong Hyun sent a defence-splitting pass but Kim Young Jin failed to convert it. The move was enough to awaken Pakistan, who started to string together passes into the Korean half.
Pakistan had their first chance in the sixth minute, but Muhammad Zubair’s cross to Muhammad Umar Bhutta did not achieve the desired outcome.
Korea earned their first penalty corner in the 12th minute but failed to score. However, their second corner, which came a minute later, was met with success as Hyun Hya-sung converted to give his side a 1-0 lead.
Pakistan were unable to hold back the Korean attack following the goal, as they made several basic errors in their tactics.
The first penalty corner for the green shirts came in the 18th minute, which was followed by another a minute later but both remained unsuccessful as captain Muhammad Imran failed to score.
Veteran striker Rehan Butt brought Pakistan their first goal in the 21st minute from open play to make the score 1-1, which remained unchanged until half-time.
Ten minutes into the second half, South Korea earned two penalty corners in the space of a minute, the second of which was converted by Sung for his second goal of the match.
With ten minutes to go until full time, Pakistan launched a series of attacks in the Korean half but were unable to get a clear shot on goal. It was left up to penalty corner maestro Sohail Abbas to bring his side level as he convert in the 61st minute.
Two minutes later, Abdul Haseem Khan slotted home to give Pakistan a 3-2 lead and a chance of scoring yet another win over their Asian rivals. Pakistan’s attack remained relentless in the dying moments of the match and a goal from Waqas Akbar from the team’s fourth penalty corner sealed the win for the Asian Games champions in the last minute.
Pakistan will play Great Britain in their third match on Sunday.