Pakistan men’s hockey team has failed to secure Olympics berth after a crushing 1-6 defeat to the Netherlands in their second FIH qualifier on Sunday in Amstelveen. After holding the Netherlands to a fighting 4-4 draw in the first qualifying match, the two-time Olympic gold medallists dished out a listless show with Rizwan Ali’s solitary strike in the fourth quarter coming in as a consolation.
The Dutch had already secured a big 4-0 lead at the half-time through goals from Mink van der Weerden (twice), Bjorn Kellerman and Mirco Pruijser. After the play recommenced, Terrance Pieters and Jip Janssen struck to make it 6-0 to all but seal their team’s passage for the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
“It is a bad day, we have missed out on the Olympics. We couldn’t make it [happen] in the second game. The Dutch team defended very well in the game today and we didn’t start very well, we made a lot of mistakes. In the first half they took advantage of that. We couldn’t match their pace in the first half,” FIH quoted Pakistan’s Rashid Mehmood as saying.
Mink van der Weerden of Netherlands said, “I think the tempo we played today was a lot better, and I think that made the difference. Our tempo on the ball was a lot better, there was a lot more energy and that is a big difference. It means a lot [to qualify for the Olympics]. It is the event that we all play for. Winning really means a lot.”