FIH Nations Cup: Pakistan suffer defeat to New Zealand in semi-final

New Zealand will now play France in the final

By Web Desk
June 08, 2024
Pakistan hockey team reacts during match against Canada. - Facebook/PakistanHockeyTeam

Pakistan faced a 2-1 loss against New Zealand in the FIH Nations Cup semi-final in Gniezno, Poland, on Saturday.

The match commenced with an early breakthrough from the New Zealand side, as Kane Russell netted a goal just two minutes into the game, capitalising on a penalty corner opportunity. 

This early lead set the tone for an engaging battle between the two teams.

New Zealand extended their advantage further when Smith Jake scored a field goal in the 11th minute, putting Pakistan on the back foot with a 2-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

However, Pakistan showcased resilience in the subsequent quarters, tightening defense and thwarting New Zealand's attempts to increase their lead.

Despite concerted efforts from both sides, neither team managed to alter the scoreline in the second and third quarters, maintaining the 2-0 lead for New Zealand.

In a dramatic turn of events, Pakistan looked to launch comeback in the fourth quarter, with Rana Waheed finding the back of the net with a field goal in the 55th minute, igniting hopes of a potential equaliser.

Pakistan will play South Africa for third-place game tomorrow.

In another semi-final, France emerged triumphant with a narrow 2-1 victory over South Africa.

South Africa made an early statement with Ntuli Nqobile finding the back of the net in the 16th minute,

However, France refused to be deterred and mounted a spirited comeback in the last quarter. Baumgarten Gaspard leveled the score for France with a field goal in the 54th minute.

With the match hanging in the balance, France intensified their attacks and earned a crucial penalty corner opportunity in the closing minutes. Charlet Victor rose to the occasion, converting the penalty corner with precision in the 60th minute, propelling France into the lead and ultimately securing their victory.

France will now play New Zealand in the final tomorrow.