LAHORE,In the first fixture of the three Match series between the probables for Pakistan’s national senior and the under 21 sides, the junior string surprised the national team by playing a 2-2 draw at the Hockey Stadium, Johar Town here on Saturday.
In the 60 minute match of four quarters. It were the seniors who struck first. Arsalan Qadir put them ahead in the 26th minute.The lead was soon doubled when Aleem Bilal converted a penalty corner after five minutes.
The juniors, who might have been under pressure, facing the national side players, recovered well and immediately reduced the margin also via a penalty corner in the 33rd minute. Mubashir Ali was the scorer.
A fiercely fought encounter ensued but no more goals arrived. When it seemed the senior boys would go home victorious, the under 21 side gained a penalty corner in the last minute.
Once again, Mubashar found the net with a strong high push and the thriller ended in a draw.It is pertinent to mention that these matches have been given the status of trials for both the squads.The management of the two sides is giving chance to all the probables.National Senior team would be participating in the Asian Champions Trophy, starting in Kuanton, Malaysia from October 21. While the under 21side travels to Johor Baru, also in Malaysia, for Sultan of Johor Cup (October 31-November 1).Tomorrow, Sunday, the two sides meet again in the second match of the series.