KARACHI: Nepal beat Afghanistan 4-0 in their last match to finish third in Hockey Series Open at the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore.
Since Nepal had a better goal difference, even a draw was enough for them to finish third. Both teams had lost their previous two matches.Nepal came out off the blocks quickly and went ahead within the three minutes. Their dangerous forward Roman Rana scored with a reverse flat push from the top of the circle.
The Nepalese remained the better side for most of the time and scored a goal in all the four quarters.The second and the third goals came off penalty corners.
Sagar Acharya flicked high into the net each time.Afghanistan had their best spell in the last quarter when they desperately searched for a goal.Three of their four penalty corners were earned during this period.
With Afghan players moving up in number, gaps appeared in the defence and Nepal took benefit by sending long balls into the circle one of which resulted in the fourth goal. Rajendra Karki, unmarked at the circle, received a good pass. He beat the advancing goalkeeper before pushing it in the empty goal.
The second fixture of the day was a friendly match between Pakistan President XI and Kazakhstan.The hosts began in a stormy fashion. The nimble footed forward Zaheer netted twice in the first seven minutes. Three goals were added in the first quarter. So they were 5-0 up after first 15 minutes.
However, in the later quarters, the President XI managed only three, one in each.Their team management gave chance to the reserves as well.Seven goals came via open play and one off a penalty corner. Kazakhstan managed one in the second quarter when Aman Yelubayev standing unmarked at the top of the circle caressed a long ball on to the board.
It was President XI’s third win in as many matches.Zaheer Hussain scored two goals, while Asif Hanif, Samiullah, Ali Raza, Abdul Mannan, Shahbaz, and Awaisur Rehman netted one each.