Pakistan lost 3-2 to Malaysia in their opening Super Four stage fixture of the 2017 Hockey Asia Cup at Dhaka’s Maulana Bhashani Stadium in Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Pakistan opened the scoring in the first minute of the game as Umar Bhutta scored via a field goal.
But their lead didn’t last long as Malaysia’s Razi Rahim converted a penalty corner a minute before the end of the first quarter to level the tie at 1-1.
Four minutes into the second quarter, the Greenshirts again took the lead, this time the goal coming off the stick of Azfar Yaqoob.
In the 25th minute, the match was again level at 2-2 as Malaysia’s Shahril Saabah netted via a field goal.
The Malaysian side upped the tempo in the second half and their efforts were duly rewarded when Fitri Saari successfully converted a penalty corner in the 34th minute of the match.
Trailing for the first time in the match, Pakistan made several attempts to get back on level terms but couldn’t find a way past the Malaysian defence in either of the final two quarters as the match ended 3-2.
“We had a good start to the game,” captain Muhammad Irfan told The Express Tribune. “We twice took the lead and generally played well but our defenders gave their attackers too much space to come in and win penalty corners.”