Paris Olympics Qualifiers: Pakistan hockey team face Germany in semis

Despite a big gap in rankings the Green Shirts are capable of giving World No 6 team tough time

January 20, 2024
Pakistan hockey team. - FIH

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan hockey team head coach Shahnaz Shaikh was upbeat ahead of the Olympic Qualifying round semi-final against Germany on Saturday.

He said that despite a big gap in rankings the Green Shirts are capable of giving World No 6 team tough time.

Talking to The News from Muscat (Oman), Shahnaz said that the team trained on Friday with an eye on the German style of play.

“I have to admit that there are some gaps in the midfield that are required to be filled. We give too much space to the opposition to move in the center. That gap we have to plug in order to restrict Germany from repeated attacks.”

Shahnaz added that you never know in modern hockey what would be in store.

“You cannot write off Pakistan altogether. If we succeed in playing our best hockey hopefully we would be in a position to make a match out of it. Our team is in rhythm now and I am hopeful that things could go our way provided we play the best game for which we are capable of.”

Pakistan played 3-3 draw against Malaysia the other day to earn a crucial point that was enough to take Pakistan to the semis and a step closer to qualifying for the Paris Olympics. An unlikely victory against Germany today (Saturday) would put Pakistan in the final and more importantly give them a berth for the Paris Olympics.

In case of defeat, Pakistan will be having another chance and that will be to win the third position play-off and qualify for the mega event.

From Pool matches, Pakistan finished second in Pool A, behind Great Britain (nine points). Pakistan have four points, China three and Malaysia finished with just one point. Besides Germany, New Zealand also qualified for the semis from Group B.