Updated hockey rankings after Japan beat Pakistan in Azlan Shah Cup final

The final was decided on a penalty shootout after the game ended 2-2 in normal time

By Web Desk
May 12, 2024
Pakistan men’s hockey team players celebrate after scoring against Japan in the final. — Flash Sukan

Pakistan men’s hockey team fell further in the recently updated FIH rankings after losing to Japan in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final on Saturday.

Pakistan lost to Japan 4-1 on a penalty shootout after the match in normal time ended 2-2 as the Japanese goalkeeper made two excellent saves in the shootout which ended the Green Shirts’ hopes of lifting the title.

Pakistan were ranked 15th before the final while Japan were 16th. After Japan’s victory in the final, they improved their rank by one rank while the Men in Green fell one rank further and are now 16th with 1829 points.

Meanwhile, the Netherlands remained on top with 3161 points while Belgium and Australia are second and third with 2948 and 2906 points respectively.

FIH hockey rankings. — FIH

Remember, the final had to be decided on a shootout after both teams scored two goals apiece at the end of full time.

Japan took the lead in the shootout courtesy of Ryoma Ooka while his teammates continued the momentum, scoring the other three.

Meanwhile, Pakistan missed the first two whereas Ammad Butt netted the ball in the third stroke.

Japan staged a comeback to level the score 2-2 after Pakistan scored two goals in the third quarter. Kazumasa Matsumoto produced a second goal in the 47th minute.

In the third quarter, Pakistan came from behind as Ajaz Ahmed netted the goal in the 34th minute while Abdul Rehman scored in the 37th minute.

Seren Tanaka scored the first goal for Japan at the 12th-minute mark and gained a lead.

It is worth mentioning that Pakistan qualified for the final for the first time in 13 years.

The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 saw the conclusion of round matches on Friday with Japan and Pakistan finishing as the top two teams on the points table as both remained unbeaten throughout the round-robin matches.

Japan remained on the top with 13 points as they won four matches and drew only one while Pakistan stayed on the second position with 11 points.