President, PM laud Pakistan Hockey Team’s performance

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday appreciated the “outstanding performance” of the Pakistan Hockey team in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024, won by Japan, ARY News reported.

Japan were crowned the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 champions as they secured a nerve-testing 4-1 victory over Pakistan in the penalty shoot-out.

Pakistan and Japan, both unbeaten in the tournament, went hard at each other in the final and turned out to be inseparable by the end of the full time as their scores remained tied at 2-2.

Japan displayed a dominating performance in the penalty shoot-out by converting all four penalties while Pakistan could score one, which came in the third attempt when Ammad Butt successfully buried the ball in the nets.

For the unversed, this was Pakistan’s first appearance in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final after a long 13-year hiatus.

The national men’s hockey team gave brilliant performances throughout the tournament defeating hosts Malaysia, South Korea and Canada while settling for a stalemate against New Zealand in the group stage.

Read More: Japan edge Pakistan on penalties to lift Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024

In a statement, President Zardari appreciated the ‘brilliant performance’ of the Pakistan National Hockey Team, observing that after a long time, the national team displayed excellent skills throughout the tournament and securing a berth in the final was a good sign of improvement.

The president also stressed upon promotion of the national game of hockey and expressed the optimism that the national team would demonstrate such outstanding performance in the future.

Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz Sharif appreciated the “outstanding performance” and said that winning or losing was part of the game.

“The national team has won the hearts of the entire nation,” the PM Media Office said in a press release quoting the prime minister.

He reiterated that the government was taking all steps to promote sports in the country, particularly hockey. He earlier congratulated the side for making it to the tournament final after 13 years.

Shehbaz said that renewed interest in hockey throughout Pakistan signalled a promising trend for the future.

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