Pakistan men’s hockey team faced 2-3 defeat at the hands of New Zealand to finish fourth in the Olympic Hockey Qualifiers in Muscat, Oman. New Zealand have now joined Great Britain and Germany in qualifying for Paris 2024, set to take place in July and August of this year. This is the third consecutive occasion on which Pakistan have failed to qualify for the Olympics. Three-time Olympic gold medallists were unable to secure their spot in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 too.
In a tightly contested match, Pakistan scored a goal via a penalty corner, with Abu Mahmood finding the net in the 18th minute. Scott Boyde helped New Zealand level the score in the 24th minute, but shortly after the goal, the Men in Green regained the lead. Pakistan maintained their lead in the game until the 52nd minute when Inglis Hugo scored a goal for New Zealand. The Kiwis sustained pressure and secured their qualification in the Olympics by scoring a third goal in the 58th minute.
Yesterday, Germany thumped Pakistan 4-0 in the semi-final to secure qualification while Great Britain defeated New Zealand by 3-1. Remember, Pakistan played a 3-3 draw against Malaysia to earn a crucial point that was enough to take Pakistan to the semis. Pakistan secured their first win in the competition by defeating China 2-0 earlier this week. Pakistan had lost their first match against Great Britain on Monday by 6-1. From Pool matches, Pakistan finished second in Pool A, behind Great Britain (nine points). Pakistan have four points, China three and Malaysia finished with just one point.