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Pakistan in Jr Asia Cup hockey semis
April 24, 2004 12:43 IST
Pakistan became the first team to reach the semi-finals in the fifth Junior Asia Cup hockey tournament after registering a comfortable 7-1 win over Japan in their league encounter in Karachi on Friday.
Pakistan, who top Group A with nine points, are tipped to meet either reigning world junior champions India or Malaysia in the last four. They have won all their games and have only defending champions Korea to play.
Mahmood Ali struck twice for the hosts in 11th and 70th minutes while Imran Warsi, Akhtar Ali, Adnan Zakir, Yasir Islam and Tariq Aziz scored a goal each.
Japan, surprise bronze-medallist in the 1996 edition at Singapore's Delta Stadium, scored their solitary goal through Ito Takashi, who notched his second goal of the tournament.
Pakistan had earlier defeated Singapore 9-0 and Chinese Taipei 17-1.
In the day's other matches, Chinese Taipei beat Singapore 1-0, Malaysia overcame tough resistance from China to come through 5-2 winners while Bangladesh edged out Sri Lanka 3-1.
Malaysia had to ward off a 2-2 first half stalemate to score three goals in the second half and remain in contention for a second semi-final place from Group B, from where India seemes favourite to reach the last four.
India, who beat China 10-0 and Sri Lanka 17-1, plays Bangladesh tomorrow. India's penalty-corner ace Sandeep Singh leads the goal scorers' list with ten goals to his credit.