Victory over Pakistan leaves GB Men fighting for bronze

GREAT BRITAIN

2

 (0)

-

1

(1) 

PAKISTAN

Barry Middleton 47 (F)

Abdul Haseem Khan 15 (F)

Ashley Jackson 66 (F)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


TRAILING at half time, Great Britain men battled back in style to secure a 2-1 victory over Pakistan in their final group match at the Sultan Azlan Shan Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Saturday.

Ashley Jackson against India - Olympic Test Event

The victory left Great Britain lying second in the group behind New Zealand, but knowing that Argentina could deny them a place in the final if they beat Malaysia in the day’s final match.

Level for much of that match, Argentina secured a one-nil victory in that match to leave GB fighting for bronze against India tomorrow.

Tactical changes were made for the second half which gave Great Britain the edge and saw them create more incisive attacking play which led to the crucial goals from Barry Middleton and Ashley Jackson.

Pakistan took the lead after 15 minutes when Abdul Haseem Khan made a good jinking run through, and he smashed a hard reverse-stick shot into the net, giving goalkeeper James Fair little chance.

But Great Britain were not too unsettled by going behind, and they came out for the second half with renewed confidence and different tactics which helped them dominate the second half after a poor first half.

Plenty of chances were created by GB, and while their finishing could’ve been a little better they patiently ground out the result, while restricting Pakistan to very few chances.

Fair had kept GB in the game shortly after they had gone one-nil behind, the Cannock man making a brilliant stick save at a penalty corner to deny Sohial Abbas mid-way through the first period.

The breakthrough came on 47 minutes as GB gradually took control, and it came as no surprise with the pressure having been building steadily.

A good move down the right side led to the ball being dragged back to the byline, where East Grinstead’s Barry Middleton scored for Great Britain with a slap shot that dribbled over the line into the side netting.

As game wore on Pakistan sat deeper and deeper, and with four minutes left on the clock Middleton’s team-mate at East Grinstead Ashley Jackson scored from two yards out, flicking home from two yards out after a goalmouth melee.

From then on the result was never in doubt, and GB could’ve been further ahead when they forced two penalty corners at the death - but they failed to extend their lead.

Team Manager Andy Halliday said afterwards: “After a disappointing first half the tactical changes created more circle opportunity and the resultant pressure gave us the win we deserved. Once again we adapted our game to deal with the conditions and the opposition.”

British sports fans have another opportunity to cheer on Great Britain next week as the GB women’s team host the Investec London Cup in Chiswick from 5-10 June. Tickets are still available by visiting www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk/investeclondoncup

For more details of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup please click here to go to our results and fixtures section