‘Pakistan should play aggressively against India in Asian Champions Trophy final’

Lahore: Former Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary and Olympian Khalid Mahmood, and ex-captain Zeeshan Ashraf have urged the national team to play an attacking game against India in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy.

“My prayers are with the Pakistan team to win the final to maintain its supremacy in Asia, and the best technique to beat India is to play aggressive hockey with a solid defence, too,” Zeeshan said.

Pakistan had drawn with archrivals India in their final group stage match in Ordos, China, and now both will clash against each other on Sunday for the trophy.

“It is a good news that Pakistan is in the final, and though the coach is in a better position to adopt a strategy for the final, the previous record shows an attacking game against India could lead Pakistan to win the final,” ex-Olympian Khalid Mahmood said.

Khalid said that the national team should avoid inconsistency, and must take each match seriously since every team is a threat at the international level.

“The defeat at hands of low-ranked Japan (in the ongoing event) and earlier losing to France (during the last tour of Europe) showed the team is having the problem of inconsistency, and with that kind of shortcoming, they can not be a real threat for the European teams,” he remarked.

Zeeshan urged the Asian Hockey Federation to introduce more tournaments in the region if it wants the Asian players to give tough time to European teams.

“The Europeans are having a good number of competitions, but in Asia, only the Azlan Shah Cup and now the newly-introduced Champions Trophy are the two major competitions, which are not enough to make the Asian teams stronger,” he argued.

Bureau Report

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