China knocked tournament favorite Pakistan out of the men’s Asian Games tournament after scoring the golden goal in the first semifinal in Doha, Qatar. While Pakistan was leading 1-0 until 13 seconds before the final whistle, China scored the equalizer and moved on to the final when Fenghui Lu scored out of a penalty corner in overtime (2-1).
China will meet Korea in the final. The Korean team defeated Japan 2-0 and could celebrate Olympic Qualification, as the medalists at the Asian Games will earn a ticket to the Beijing Olympics.
The elimination of Pakistan was another major upset by China at the Asian Games. The Chinese team was responsible of knocking hockey giant out of the Final Four and continued its ‘road of upsets ‘ in the semifinal.
During 69 minutes, Pakistan was in control of the match. A goal of captain Butt Rehan put Pakistan in the lead halfway the first half. The Pakistani had many opportunities to make the gap even bigger, but none of the 17 shots at the Chinese goal were really effective.
When Pakistan was already thinking of playing the gold medal match, and the qualification for the 2008 Olympic Games, China leveled the match with only 13 seconds to play. Yang Yu scored out of a penalty corners and forced Pakistan into overtime. After nine minutes in the extra time, Fenghui Lu scored the golden goal for China and secured a place in the final.
China will face Korea in the final. The BDO World Cup semifinalist played an effective match against Japan. The Japanese formation was able to keep favorite Korea at 0-0 until the 55th minute of the match when the ‘Jong Hyun Jang show’ started. The Korean striker scored two goals in eight minutes and secured the 2-0 victory. With this victory, Korea is the first team after host China to be sure of playing at the 2008 Olympic Games.
For Pakistan, the disappointment was extremely huge. The Pakistani have to win the bronze medal match to grab a ticket to the Beijing Olympic Games. The major question will be if the Pakistani will be able to overcome the negative emotions of the semifinal thriller.
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