Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tournament turns into a farce after truth revealed

The Robi Asian Games Hockey Qualifiers suddenly turned out to be a farce after it was revealed that six of the seven teams will advance to the finals of the upcoming Asian Games.
Meanwhile, three matches of the qualifying round were held on Thursday. Bangladesh drew 3-3 with Sri Lanka, Oman defeated Thailand 4-2 and Hong Kong held Chinese Taipei to a 1-1 draw.
Amid mounting confusion whether two teams or six teams will move into the Asian Games proper, S Yashudhasan, the Malaysian tournament director, dispelled the doubts. ‘The top six teams from this tournament will qualify and will join Asia’s top six – Korea, Pakistan, China, Malaysia, India and Japan – in the hockey finals at the 16th Guangzhou Asian Games, to held from November 12 to 27 this year,’ said Yashudhasan.
He, however, said it was not known to him that a confusion regarding the qualification had existed.
In the first match of the day, Bangladesh continued their woeful run in a 3-3 draw against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh took the lead three times but failed to keep up their supremacy against the confident Sri Lankans who fought until the end.
Maksud Alam Habul put Bangladesh ahead in the 10th minute deflecting a Rana cross from the right edge of the box. Bangladesh maintained the lead for 35 minutes before Sri Lanka’s midfielder Hetiarachchi converted a penalty stroke to restore parity. Mamunur Rahman Chayan, the drag-and-flick specialist, gave Bangladesh the lead again converting a penalty stroke won by him. His fierce push from a penalty corner hit the legs of a Sri Lankan defender on the goal-line that resulted in the penalty.
Sri Lankan midfielder Pandhitaratne made the scoreline level again in the 55th minute hitting the board with a fierce drive from a penalty corner. Bangladesh piled up the pressure and succeeded in scoring the third through Pushkor Khisha Mimo in the 58th minute. Mimo was in the right position to flick in a powerful cross from Rana from the left flank
However, Bangladesh conceded the third four minutes from time from a penalty stroke converted Hetiarachchi.
The players instead of playing a controlled game to keep up the lead in the dying minutes were disorganised and paid the price.
Samir scored a brace in the 46th and 66th minutes while Waleed and Baseem netted one goal apiece on 14 and 19 minutes respectively in Oman’s 4-2 win over Thailand. Surasat and Thewarit Maiprasoet reduced the margin in the 2nd and 24th minutes respectively.
Hong Kong forward Arif Ali put his team in front in the 37th minute but Chen Yi, the Taipei skipper, hit the equaliser on 63 minutes.
Taipei lead the table with 11 points from five matches. Bangladesh and Hong Kong are level on six points from the same number of matches.

Courtesy of NewAge

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