Pakistan hockey team has defeated World Champions Germany by 2-1 in the first quarter final of the FIH (Federation of International Hockey) Champions Trophy at the State Netball Hockey Centre in Melbourne, Australia, qualifying for Semi-Final of the grand event for the first time since 2004.
In the backdrop of three goals in as many outings and almost a dozen misses, Pakistan coaches worked all morning Tuesday to make players realize their mistakes. Both the goals by Pakistan were scored by centre forward Shakeel Abbasi.
Germany took the initial lead as German captain Mo Fuerste gives Germany the 1-0 lead nine minutes into action. Pakistan did not manage to put the ball into the nets during the first half until Abbasi strikes two back to back goals for Pakistan in the second half.
The Green-Shirts missed several chances, including three penalty corners, to better the scoreline but held on to beat the much higher placed opponents. This was Pakistan’s only second win in the tournament, after losing against Australia and Netherlands but won against Belgium to ensure a quarterfinal spot.
Earlier, Germany came from behind on Monday to upset India in the last Pool-A match. German coach Markus Weise was all praise for the Pakistan team when he talked to the reporters here at the State Netball Centre
The Champions Trophy Hockey is witnessing the quarter-final stage for the very first time. The format has been changed to keep teams’ interest alive. Besides a place in the semis, the victory over Germany has included Pakistan directly into next year’s Champions Trophy.
In another quarter-final on Thursday, Australia will be looking to beat England to keep themselves on the road for the record thirteenth Champions Trophy title. Pakistan will play winner either Netherland or New Zealand in the grand Final.