The Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 continued to captivate the hearts of fans on its second day, as teams battled fiercely for supremacy in Salalah, Oman. This historic tournament not only marks the first-ever Hockey5s championship at the Asian level but also serves as the qualifier for the prestigious FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024. With three qualification spots up for grabs, excluding the host, Oman, the stakes have never been higher in the world of Hockey5s.
Indonesia vs. Iran – Challenger Pool Clash
The opening match of Day 2 witnessed a clash in the Challenger Pool between Indonesia and Iran. Indonesia had already suffered two losses in previous matches, while Iran had emerged victorious in their opening encounter. Despite Indonesia’s early lead with goals from MUHAMAD Fadli and FATHUR Mochamad (x2), Iran staged a comeback with goals from MIRZAKHANI Amirmahdi (x2), SALEHIPOUR Mohammadali (x2), and TAHERIRAD Navid. Iran’s 5-3 victory solidified their position in the pool. Iran’s MIRZAKHANI Amirmahdi (Shirt 07) was named the Player of the Match, recognizing his pivotal role in the comeback.
Afghanistan vs. Kazakhstan – A Goal Fest
In the second match of the day, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan, both eager to establish their presence in the tournament, faced off in the Challenger Pool. However, it was Kazakhstan that dominated the game, scoring a staggering 19 goals against Afghanistan’s 3. Kazakhstan’s DUlSENGAZY Agymtay (Shirt 13) was awarded the Player of the Match for his stellar performance. While Afghanistan will look to rebound against Hong Kong China and Iran, Kazakhstan’s focus will be on Iran and Hong Kong China.
Bangladesh vs. Pakistan – Elite Pool Showdown
In the first Elite Pool match of the day, Bangladesh and Pakistan engaged in a fierce battle. Bangladesh put up a fight with goals from MOHAMMAD Uddin (x2), HOSSAIN Mohammad (x3), and SAROWAR Sawon. However, Pakistan emerged victorious, scoring 15 goals in total, with notable contributions from RANA Abdul (x4), LIAQAT Arshad (x3), ABDULLAH Muhammad (x3), ASLAM Ahtisham, MURTAZA Muhammad, HAYAT Zikriya, and Abdul REHMAN (x2). Pakistan’s LIAQAT Arshad (Shirt 05) received the Player of the Match award. Bangladesh’s upcoming matches are against Malaysia and Japan, while Pakistan will face India and Oman.
Malaysia vs. Japan – Malaysia Dominates
The second Elite Pool match of the day featured Malaysia against Japan. Malaysia displayed their dominance from the outset, scoring 18 goals against Japan’s 2. ANUAR Akhimullah (Shirt 10) was named the Player of the Match for his outstanding performance. Malaysia continued to assert their presence in the tournament, securing their second victory. Japan, on the other hand, faced their second defeat. Japan’s upcoming matches are against Oman and Bangladesh, while Malaysia will compete against Bangladesh and India.
India vs. Oman – Indian Dominance
The third Elite Pool match showcased India against the host nation, Oman. India demonstrated their formidable strength, securing a 12-2 victory. Despite Oman’s efforts, with goals from AL LAWATI Fahad and AL FAZARI Rashad, they were unable to halt India’s onslaught. India’s goals came from RAHEEL Mohammed (x3), SINGH Jugraj (x2), RAJBHAR Pawan (x3), SINGH Maninder (x3), and Sukhvinder. RAJBHAR Pawan (Shirt 52) was named the Player of the Match. India’s next opponents are Pakistan and Malaysia, while Oman will face Japan and Pakistan.
Kazakhstan vs. Iran – Battle of Unbeaten Teams
In a highly anticipated match, Kazakhstan and Iran, both undefeated, squared off for the second time in the day. This clash would determine the leaders in the pool standings. Iran maintained their advantage throughout the match, ultimately winning by a margin of two goals, with a final score of 12-8. Iran’s SALEHIPOUR Mohammadali (Shirt 20) was recognized as the Player of the Match. Iran secured both of their matches on Day 2, while Kazakhstan will seek victory in their next match.
Afghanistan vs. Hong Kong China – Hong Kong’s First Win
The final match in the Challenger Pool featured Afghanistan against Hong Kong China. Hong Kong China, having played their first match, secured their first victory with a 12-7 scoreline. Both teams demonstrated remarkable competitiveness, but Hong Kong China emerged victorious. IU Felix Chi Him (Shirt 01) was named the Player of the Match. Looking ahead, Afghanistan will face Iran, while Hong Kong China will meet Indonesia.
Bangladesh vs. Malaysia – Malaysia’s Third Victory
In the fourth match of the day in the Elite Pool, Bangladesh faced Malaysia. Malaysia continued their impressive performance, scoring ten goals to Bangladesh’s five. SAUPI Shahrul (GK, Shirt 16) received the Player of the Match award for his contributions. With three wins, Malaysia positioned themselves in second place in the standings. Bangladesh, with one win, will aim to improve their ranking in upcoming matches against Japan and Oman. Malaysia will compete against India and Pakistan.
Pakistan vs. India – Thrilling Contest
In a high-octane match, arch-rivals Pakistan and India clashed in the Elite Pool. Pakistan initially took a 3-0 lead, but India fought back, narrowing the gap. Ultimately, Pakistan secured a 5-4 victory, showcasing their resilience. KHAN Abdullah Ishtiaq (GK, Shirt 01) was awarded the Player of the Match, while MOR Mandeep (C, Shirt 44) of India received a Special Performance Award. Pakistan’s upcoming matches are against Oman and Malaysia, while India will face Malaysia and Japan.
Japan vs. Oman – Oman’s Dominance
In the final match of the day, Japan confronted the host nation, Oman, in the Elite Pool. Oman, seeking redemption after their previous loss, managed to establish a significant lead, winning the match 14-4. This victory propelled Oman into fourth place in the standings. Japan, still searching for their first win, remains at the bottom. Oman will compete against Pakistan and Bangladesh in their upcoming matches, while Japan will aim for victories against Bangladesh and India.
The second day of the Men’s Hockey5s Asia Cup 2023 witnessed a myriad of thrilling matches, showcasing the relentless pursuit of qualification for the FIH Hockey5s World Cup 2024. As the tournament unfolds, the intensity and drama continue to rise, promising fans more unforgettable moments. With each match, the teams are not only competing for victory but also for a place in hockey history, as they aim to represent Asia on the global stage. Stay tuned for more gripping action from Salalah, Oman, as the journey towards World Cup qualification unfolds.