Hockey Junior World Cup Rizwan steers Pakistan to 3-1 victory over Egypt in Bhubaneswar

Author: Special Correspondent
Pakistan and Egypt players in action during their Men’s Junior World Cup group match in India’s Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

LAHORE: Rizwan Ali scored all three goals in Pakistan’s 3-1 win over Egypt in their Men’s Junior World Cup group match held in India’s Bhubaneswar on Saturday. According to a statement from the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), the game got off to a quick start with both teams launching attacking at each other’s goalposts.Drag-flicker Ali took advantage of penalty corners in the 19th, 32nd and 53rd minutes of the game while Awad Husein scored a field goal for Egypt in the 22nd minute.”Pakistan juniors played better and attacked the Egyptian goal post several times,” the PHF noted while also praising Egypt’s goalkeeper Mahmoud Saleem. Pakistan’s vice-captain Moin Shakeel was declared the man of the match.Speaking after the match, Shakeel said the team followed their coach’s plan and capitalised on penalty corners. The 16-nation World Cup event is being staged at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar from Nov 24 to Dec 5. Pakistan are placed in Pool ‘D’ alongside Argentina, Egypt and Germany. Pakistan had lost 5-2 to Germany in their first group match on November 24. They will play their last group match with Argentina at 4:30pm on Sunday (today). Prior to the squad’s departure from Lahore to Sialkot to fly for India, head coach Danish Kaleem had said the boys were in high spirits to give their best. “Despite the problems that emerged due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the boys have worked hard for this event,” the coach had said.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup is being held in Odisha. The Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar is hosting all the matches of the quadrennial event and is being held behind closed doors owing to the prevailing COVID-19 conditions.It is to be noted that Odisha Sports is the primary sponsor for the Indian hockey teams and the state had earlier hosted the senior World Cup in 2018, the FIH World League in 2017 and the Champions Trophy in 2014 as well.As many as 16 teams are fighting for the coveted trophy at the prestigious hockey tournament. However, few of the top teams have opted out of the World Cups owing COVID-19 related international travel restrictions. Australia, New Zealand and England teams have withdrawn from the event, meanwhile, the United States, Canada and Poland came in as a replacements for the showpiece event.

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