LAHORE: Having clinched the Asian Champions Trophy in the Qatar capital Doha on Thursday night, the Pakistan hockey team arrived here on Saturday.
The team were to be touching down here in the wee hours of Saturday, but heavy fog in Lahore had delayed all flights to the Punjab capital due to which the Asian Champions Trophy winning team landed in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, head coach Akhtar Rasool said the Pakistan team had strengthened their position in the Asian circuit by winning the Asian title in Doha.
“Having secured third position in the World Champions Trophy and now clinching the Asian Champions Trophy mean that the team have emerged well at the Asian level besides faring well in other international events,” argued the head coach.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan defeated India 5-4 in a gruelling final, winning the Asian title.
The head coach further said that the ratio of scoring goals through penalty-corners was increased remarkably due to which the team moved towards stability with winning more matches, adding that the team will be more focusing in the coming days on improving their defence.
Admitting that the national team had to work hard to beat European teams, Akhtar said: “Results in the world and Asian Champions trophies show positive signs with the boys having the talent to become a formidable side.”
It is important to note that national squad have improved under Akhtar’s seven-month coaching with the team finishing seventh in the London Games against eighth in the Beijing Olympics then winning a bronze in the Champions Trophy and now clinching the Asian Champions Trophy.
Also, the national selection committee was dissolved in the wake of London Games at the behest of the head coach which further empowered the team management.
Moreover, Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran appreciated all players and said back-to-back achievements would put the national hockey back on track.
The captain maintained that youngsters in the team were making efforts and had the potential to shape up well for the World Cup 2014.