Pakistan emerged victorious over Malaysia with a final score of 3-2, securing their place in the semi-finals of the Sultan of Johor Cup.
Pakistan U21 team's journey in the tournament saw them finish second in Group B, narrowly trailing behind arch-rivals India on goal difference.
The high-stakes match kicked off with an exciting first quarter, where Abuzar exhibited exceptional skill, scoring a field goal in the 13th minute to give Pakistan an early 1-0 lead. Pakistan's relentless offensive efforts continued into the second quarter, with goals from Ahmad Arbaz in the 21st minute and Khan Muhammad in the 24th minute, both achieved through well-executed penalty corners. With a 3-0 lead at halftime, Pakistan seemed well-positioned for victory.
The third quarter remained goalless, but Malaysia staged a remarkable comeback in the final quarter. Shahmie Irfan Suhaimi and Shafiq Ikhmal Daniel scored through penalty corners in the 47th and 51st minutes, respectively, increasing the pressure on Pakistan. However, the Pakistan team managed to hold their ground, ultimately clinching a hard-fought 3-2 victory in this thrilling encounter.
Pakistan previously defeated New Zealand 3-2 while their game against India ended 3-3 after a thrilling encounter.
The semi-finals, slated for November 3, will feature India taking on Germany and Pakistan facing Australia. With the final match set for November 4, the excitement in the Sultan of Johor Cup continues to build as these top teams vie for the trophy.