Ipoh, Malaysia: Pakistan thrashed Japan 7-0, while hosts Malaysia demolished debutant Chinese Taipei 10-2 in their respective Pool A matches of the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament, here on Saturday.
In the first Pool A encounter, Pakistan started on a bright note and raced to a 6-0 lead in the first half before the Japanese came up with a spirited effort in the second period to concede just one goal.
Surprisingly, the Japanese defence crumbled like a pack of cards in front of the ever-attacking Pakistanis in the first half with Mohammad Waqas (12th, 20th), Abdul Haseem Khan (22nd), Muhammad Tousiq (25th, 35th) and captain Muhammad Imran (33rd) handing a comfortable lead to their side at the lemon break.
But it was completely different scenario after the break as Pakistan found it extremely difficult to breach the Japanese defence, which seemed to have learnt from its mistakes.
After toiling hard for the entire second half, Pakistan managed to score another goal at the stroke of the hooter through their skipper Imran who converted a penalty corner.
Pakistan’s dominance can be gauged from the fact that they scored five of their goals from penalty corners while the other two came through field efforts.
Meanwhile, in the second Pool A match of the day which witnessed high-scoring encounters, Malaysia was in for a rude shock early in the game when Chinese Taipei took the lead against the run of the mill through Liu Ching Kun (5th minute).
Stunned by the early goal, the Malaysians regrouped themselves quickly and did not give any more easy inroads to Chinese Taipei. The home team scored goals at will thereafter to rule out the possibility of an upset.
Malaysia scored five goals in each through Faizal Sari (10th minute, 13th, 69th), Ashaari Muhammad Firhan (18th, 69th), Abdul Jalil Tengku Ahmad Tajudin (23rd), Mohd Jalil Muhammad Marhan (32nd), Ahmad Tajuddin Izwan Firdaus (39th), Mohd Noor Nabil Fiqri (45th) and Sari Mohd Fitri (62nd).
Chinese Taipei’s second goal came in the 46th minute from the stick of Tseng Hsien-Yi.
Malaysia will next play Pakistan tomorrow, while Chinese Taipei will be up against Japan.