Japan welcomed the rain and ten minutes delayed start of the second half, while Pakistan were upset that they were not allowed to warm for the second half, where Japan came from two goals down to snatch a draw in the 29th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2022 International Men’s hockey tournament at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium, Ipoh, this evening.
Pakistan’s Dutch coach, Siegfried Aikman said that his team was clearly affected when the technical officials did not allow them to warm up for the second half after waiting in the cold for ten minutes.
“It is not an excuse but when we warm up well before a start of game, why were we not allowed sometime to warm up before the resumption of the second half which was delayed because of the heavy rain,” asked Aikman.
However Aikman quickly said that his team has to learn to cope with situations like this and as his team is a young team, it is a learning experience.
“It certainly affected our play as the players took time to raise their tempo for the second half as we played in the first half.”
Japan’s coach Akira Takashi had no complains about not being time to warm up for the second half after the delay, buy was happy they had the extra time minutes recuperate.
“We were fully prepared for the resumption of the second half and the ten minutes gave us extra time to recover from the fast pace first half,” said coach Takashi.
“And we did well to come back strongly to pull level with two field goals and had we had another five minutes more in the game, we would have won.”
Pakistan lead 2-0 at halftime with their first penalty corner of the game through Sufyan Muhammad Khan in the 17th minute before he to convert the second consecutive penalty in the 19th minute 2-0.
Japan on the other hand, came back into the game when they scored their first goal in the 43rd minute off a field goal through Kentaro Fujuda off before Kosei Kawabe leveled in the 55th minute off another field goal to earn his this valuable one point to stay in the hunt for a place in the final with a win, one draw and one loss.
Kawabe was awarded the Man-of-the-match award.
Japan play South Africa tomorrow.
Pakistan, on the other hand have one loss and two draws and play Korea tomorrow.