Pakistan and Korea were forced to abandon their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey match on Monday after a lengthy power cut, bringing a chaotic end to the tournament’s third day.
The stadium lights went out for 30 minutes with the score at 2-2, but both teams refused to play afterwards saying full power had not returned and there were shadows on the pitch. Tournament officials were meeting to decide when to replay the match. “Frankly the shadows in the ‘D’ areas were bad and we felt that the danger to the players was great and wanted to play only when full power was restored,” said Pakistan coach Islahuddin Siddique. “We will carry on with the match on Tuesday as scheduled but we are not sure when this match will be rescheduled. We leave that to the organizing committee.” However, after a meeting between team managers it was decided the match would be continued on Wednesday at 4.30pm. The managers said the game would be continued from the time that it was stopped Monday – after 27 minutes of play.
There was no explanation from the authorities on the blackout. An official with the organizing committee said it only affected the sports complex housing the stadium. Pakistan had twice gone ahead through Tariq Aziz and Imran Mohamed with South Korea’s goals coming from Kang Moon-Kweon and Jeong Yun-sang before the power cut after 27 minutes. Earlier Argentina continue their impressive run with a 3-2 win over China in Group A and need just a point from their last match against India to make the semi-finals.
India and Australia, who both have three points, are also very much in the hunt for the group’s two semi-final spots. Argentine skipper Rodrigo Villa scored twice before China’s Liu Xiantang pulled one back in the 26th minute and Song Yi equalized after half-time from a penalty corner. But the South Americans had enough in reserve to scare up the winner through Lucas Rossi in the 64th minute. Argentine coach Sergio Vigil was pleased with two wins out of two but said Wednesday’s match against India could be decisive.
“We are not in the semis yet at this moment. There is still one more match with India and that is the crucial one. We need to take a point from that match,” he said. Vigil also said that China had shown vast improvement since the World Cup qualifiers in Changzhou in April last year. “A very much improved side. This is our first meeting with them and we are happy to have such a fight from them. There is no doubt that they will get better,” he said. Both teams will take a break on Tuesday and wrap up their fixtures on Wednesday. China’s last match is against Australia.
Argentina – Australia 1-0
China – India 4-5
Argentina – China 3-2
Australia – India 1-0
Korea – Canada 1-0
Pakistan – Malaysia 2-2
Malaysia – Korea 1-0
Pakistan – Canada 2-0
Source: Azlan Shah Tournament
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