LAHORE: Pakistan junior hockey team played a 3-3 drawn game against the visiting World XI in the second and last match of the series at the National Hockey Stadium here on Sunday. For the entertainment of a handful holiday crowd, the green shirts roared back with determination to first level 2-2 then finally wrapping up the match 3-3. It was a remarkable performance on part of Pakistan junior players who were beaten by 5-1 by the star-studded World XI, a mixture of sixteen top notch players from six countries. Federal Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) Riaz Hussain Pirzada was the chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony. Also present on the occasion were Pakistan Hockey Federation President Brig (r) Khalid Sajjad Khokhar, PHF Secretary General Shahbaz Ahmad Senior and a number of former hockey Olympians and sponsors of the series.Pakistan struck brilliance to deny win to the experienced World XI who mounted persistent pressure in the fourth quarter to restore edge and the home side foiled all such efforts with superb attacking skills and counter attacks. In the match, experience versus youth, the World XI took the lead with a 28th minute goal when Roderick Weusthof, who struck twice in the match, found the net with a calculated shot, two minutes before the half time. Pakistan wasted as many as four shorts corners, out of total eight of the play, in direct and indirect conversion drills. World XI forward line Roderick Weusthof, Nahuel Salis, John Escarre, Rob Reckersw and Diego Paz created a number of scoring sitter in the first half but the Pakistan defence denied them any goal. Pakistan keeper Adil Rao also stood under the bar and saved scoring sitters. The main weakness of Pakistan was lack of coordination and planning and poor finish inside the striking circle and they wasted ideal sitters in the first half by fumbling the ball besides failure to apply proper force on the ball and timely shooting in open goal scoring chances. On the other hand, Pakistani goalkeeper Adil Rao demonstrated agility and prowess under the bar and thwarted numerous scoring sitters of the world XI with greater anticipation. World XI tightened their grip on the match by adding their second goal, six minute into the second half when Nahuel Salis found the goalpost with an angular shot which left the goalkeeper guessing.Two goals down, Pakistan made their presence felt in the ground by converting their fifth penalty corner through Rizwan Ali, one minute after World XI made it 2-2. In the 42nd minute, in a lovely right side move, Adeel Latif attempted a goal with a forceful shot and the ball sailed into the post after a deflection of the goalkeeper. After being 2-2, the game turned into a battle with both sides using every tactics to re-establish supremacy. It was once again the World XI who took the lead. Off their second short corner of the play in the 52nd minute, Roderick Weusthof gave no time to Pakistan goalkeeper and a host of defenders to make any move with a superb push as the ball swiftly landed inside the post. Six minutes later, Naveed Alam stood firm and with resolute effort put the third goal in to lock the score at 3-3 amid applause from the crowd and the team members.IPC Minister says government taking all measures to hold international sports events: Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada said on Sunday the government was taking all measures for creating conducive atmosphere for holding international sports events in the country. “We are extending cooperation to the national sports federations for organising international sports competitions in various disciplines,” he told media after Pakistan and World XI hockey match at the National Hockey Stadium. The Minister said it was a good sign for country’s sports that foreign teams had started visiting Pakistan and the presence of the World XI widely speaks about the efforts of the federal government for creating peaceful atmosphere for elite sports event by defeating terrorism. “The visit of the World XI will give a positive message to the world that Pakistan is a peace loving country and its people are sports friendly,” he said. He expressed his gratitude to the law enforcement agencies and the federal and the Punjab governments for making the tour of World XI a success. Published in Daily Times, January 22nd 2018.