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Green-shirts beat World No 2 The Netherlands to enter Champions Trophy semis

Karachi: Although immensely being criticized for their below par showings in pool matches, the green-shirts has made a strong comeback in the Champions Trophy, underway in Bhubaneswar in India, beating World No 2 The Netherlands 4-2 in quarterfinals on Thursday.

Ending at bottom-rock fourth place in Pool A, World No 11 Pakistan hockey team has surprised everyone with this win as they stunned Pool B top ranked team The Netherlands. It is Pakistan’s first win against The Netherlands in the Champions Trophy in 12 attempts, a run dating back to 1998.

The Netherlands started the match well with Jeroen Hertzberger scoring from mid-circle in the fifth minute.

However, the green-shirts bounced Muhammad Waqas created the equalizer with his right wing work unlocking the door for Muhammand Tousiq to scramble home early in the second quarter to level the arrears 1-1.

Before the end of the second quarter, skipper Mohammad Imran fired low past the Dutch goalkeeper to make it 2-1.

The Netherlands took the control after the big break and produced the equalize in 38th minute when Rogier Hofman’s driven cross from the right flank picked out Constantijn Jonker for a smart finish.

However, the green-shirts were something else on their mind then giving a way for the favorites to ride into the semifinal. In the 51st minute, Muhammad Irfan flick high into the net from a cleverly taken penalty corner and took the lead.

The Netherlanders went out of wits and fluffed a corner of their own, and the green-shirts countered to win another set piece which Mohammad Irfan applied the killer touch to take the green-shirts into semifinals with a convincing 4-2 win.

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