Pakistan secured a spot in the semi-final of the Junior Hockey Asia Cup 2023 after defeating Japan with a score of 3-2. The match took place in Salalah, Oman.
Abdul Wahab scored two goals for Pakistan, while Arbaaz Ahmed contributed with one goal. Kompi Yoshida gave Japan an early lead with a penalty corner goal in the second minute.Arbaaz equalized for Pakistan in the 23rd minute with a penalty corner goal.
Abdul Wahab then scored a field goal in the 30th minute to give Pakistan the lead, but Hota Yamada from Japan equalized the match once again in the 38th minute. Pakistan will now face Malaysia in the semi-final on May 31.This victory also ensures Pakistan’s qualification for the Junior Hockey World Cup, which will be held in Malaysia later this year.
Pakistan only needed to avoid defeat in their final pool match against Japan to secure their place in the World Cup, as their previous match against India ended in a draw. It is important to note that Malaysia, as the host country, has already qualified for the World Cup.
The other three teams that make it to the semi-finals of the Junior Asia Cup will also gain entry into the World Cup. The FIH Junior Hockey Men’s World Cup 2023 will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from December 5-16, 2023.