Muscat (Agencies): Pakistan opened their bid for a third Asian Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy title by beating South Korea in Muscat today.
Goals from Ajaz Ahmad, Umar Bhutta and captain Muhammad Rizwan Sr. gave Pakistan a 3-1 win at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex
A defensive lapse allowed South Korea to pull a goal back late in the last quarter, through Kim Hyeong-jin, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation.
Pakistan team’s manager Hasan Sardar said his side could have scored at least two more goals today.
"We wasted a few chances in field play and also failed to convert both our penalty corners," he added.
"I am not too concerned about the penalty corners as we were trying to score field goals."
Pakistan can now look ahead to Saturday’s mouth-watering encounter with arch-rivals India, who beat them in the 2016 final.
It will be the first encounter between the two teams since India defeated Pakistan in the bronze medal match at the recent Asian Games in Indonesia.
"It is nice to start with three points," Rizwan, who was named player of the match today, said.
"Winning this match was important before we go into the game against India."