ISLAMABAD: Former hockey greats on Thursday hailed the national team's win against world number one Germany in the quarter final of the FIH Champions Trophy in Melbourne, Australia and said that Pakistan had started fighting like a unit after a long time.
“The kind of game they displayed and the attitude they showed is a very good sign for the future of hockey in Pakistan,” Olympian Tahir Zaman told APP.
He said the team was in a good flow and the boys looked physically and mentally strong which was necessary to win big matches.
“The best thing to have happened was that Pakistan never got bogged down. There was no inferiority complex. From the start to the end they showed amazing temperament,” he added.
He said the win against the Olympic champions was necessary as it would boost the team's morale and give them much needed confidence.
Another positive change about the team, he said was that the boys did not keep the ball with themselves now, but made quick passes.
“Their quick passing puzzles other teams. Now they should also keep in mind that others will plan against them accordingly,” he said.
Zaman also lauded goalkeeper Imran Butt and said the way he thwarted some of the moves of the opponents was great.
“In their pool match against Australia and now in the quarterfinal, Pakistan conceded one goal each and the credit for that goes to Imran Butt,” he said.
Olympian Hassan Sardar was also full of praise for the national team.
“It's a tremendous achievement. We needed the win badly. The credit goes to the entire team.”
He said in the semifinal Pakistan could face a stiffer challenge, therefore, the players should have a do-or-die attitude.
“Pakistan can make it to the final but for that should display the same pace and never give up,” he said.
He was optimistic of Pakistan's chances to clinch the title saying, “The boys are settling and performing well as one unit. If they continue playing like that they can finish at the top of the podium.”
Olympian Shehnaz Sheikh while commenting upon the team's win said, “We have not seen such a performance by Pakistan in recent past. Our boys were good in defence as well as while attacking,” he said.
However, he expressed concern at the team's failure to score goals on penalty corners.
“Pakistan could have bettered their scoreline against Germany, but they missed three penalty corners. This can cost dearly if we fail to convert penalty coroners in the semi final,” he added.