BHUBANESWAR: The Pakistan field hockey team on Thursday stunned critics by beating Netherlands 4-2 in the quarterfinal of the Champions Trophy being played in India.

“I believe in my team, I believe in my coaches, all the boys played really well and we did a good job today,” captain Mohammad Imran said during the post-match presentation ceremony. “I would like to thank the Indian crowd for coming in and supporting Pakistan hockey team,” Imran said.

Netherlands, a strong side and number three in world ranking, were outclassed by the 11-ranked underdog Pakistani team. Mohammad Irfan scored two goals, while captain Mohammad Imran and Umar Bhutta directed the ball into the net one time each.

“Our tournament starts from today,” said an enthusiastic Shahnaz Sheikh, the national team’s coach. “I am thankful to the people of Pakistan back home who prayed for us.”

While talking to DawnNews, former Olympian Waseem Feroz said, “After losing to all major teams in pool games, this is really an inspiring performance. Now Pakistan should seek to get a place in the finals.”

“We last won the World Cup in 1994 and since then the state of hockey in the country is on decline … federation needs to focus on nurturing talent from grass root. We don’t see hockey being played in schools or colleges,” Feroz said, adding that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) should work on establishing a proper system for the game… see more