By Ijaz Chaudhry, Mar 18, 2017: Down by two goals against New Zealand after eight minutes in the second half, Pakistan rallied back well to make it level within the next six minutes.
In the second test at the Wellington’s National Hockey Stadium in New Zealand, Pakistan played a 2-2 draw against the hosts. They trail 0-1 in the 5 test series.
Unlike yesterday, the green shirts appeared a settled side from the beginning, They applied early pressure and earned a penalty corner in the 3rd minute. Aleem Bilal’s push was well taken by the goal keeper who also cleared the rebound.
After seeing off Pakistan’s offensive in the first seven minutes, the black sticks recovered and soon had an excellent chance. A good cut back from the goal line was misfired by a well placed forward in Pakistani circle.
An even contest ensued. Pakistan were employing some good aerial balls.
In the 23rd minute New Zealand were a goal up off their first penalty corner. Sam Lane’s forceful push thundered on the left side of the board..
In the dying minutes of the first half, Pakistan had two back to back penalty corners. But couldn’t benefit due to poor trapping at circle’s top.
Half Time: 0-1
Pakistan were again out of the blocks quickly and garnered two PCs in the initial four minutes. First, Aleem Bilal’s high flick was well palmed away by the custodian. Then the indirect variation failed.
Now, the hosts made a few raids. A blunder by a Pakistan defender handed the ball to an opponent who passed to Mac Wilcox. He beautifully side stepped a player before unleashing an angular top of the circle carpet shot.
So Pakistan were two down after 38 minutes.
It was all even after just five minutes. On their 4th PC, instead of Aleem Bilal, debutant Abu Bakr was given the chance. He didnt disappoint with a superb low flick left of the net miner. Second goal was scored by captain Haseem Khan who capped in a wonderful right side move with a first time touch. Pakistan were sending some long and accurate passes into the circle.
Having let go a two goal lead, New Zealand began the last quarter exerting great pressure. They entered the circle a few times in the first seven minutes but the Pakistani defence held out. The last few minutes saw a good up and down stuff without any shot on the goal.
Final Score: 2-2
New Zealand: Sam Lane (PC) & Mac Wilcox
Pakistan: Abubakr (PC) & Haseem Khan
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