Pakistan's European tour performance unsatisfactory, says Bajwa
20 June, 2012
LAHORE: Terming Pakistan hockey team's performance during the tour of Europe as 'unsatisfactory', Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary general Mohammad Asif Bajwa has called for working on defence to stop conceding goals on penalty corners.
“It was not a satisfactory performance during the tour of Europe where we conceded a dozen of goals off the short corners. This is an alarming sign and we must address to this issue if we want to achieve some good results in the London Olympics,” he told newsmen here on Tuesday after his return from Europe where he watched all the matches of the team. Pakistan lost to Belgium 6-1 in the opener and beat Germany 4-3 in the second match. The green shirts were beaten 2-0 by Germany in the third match and managed a 3-3 draw against Holland in the last match of the tour.
Bajwa said the Pakistan team conceded as many as a dozen of goals in four matches off short corners that was due to errors on part of the entire defence line. Belgium scored four goals off the short corners, Germany struck five goals in two matches and Holland hammered three goals to highlight flaws in the poor planning of the defenders and goalkeeper Imran Shah. “We need one hundred percent penalty corner conversion in the London Olympics if we want to reach the podium,” said the PHF official. He said Pakistan needed to re-structure its entire defence while defending a penalty corner and special drills were needed to stop conceding that high number of goals off the short corners.
Bajwa urged the team management to look into this aspect and must come up with a solution to make defence better and deny space to the opponents during penalty corner drills. He said the team were in the final phase of their training for the Olympics and must lift the level of their performance before participation in the Olympics. Bajwa praised the hard work and spirit of the players, especially junior players in the team and said they have the will and commitment to surge ahead which was a plus point. Bajwa said the final trials for the selection of the team for the Olympics would be held in first week of July and a 16-member squad and two reserve players will be named.