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AC M 2017: Japan does a near Chennai to Pakistan (10/13/2017)
--s2h team
Fighting Japan gave thrice gold medallist Pakistan a scare before an exciting draw, even as it came close to repeating a Chennai do to Pakistan. Ten years ago, Japan surprised previous finalists Pakistan for an unexpected 3-1. Pakistan never recovered from the shock. It finished fifth in the end, not being on the victory podium only once to date. However, in Dhaka today, experienced forward in the Pakistan side Md Bhutta came out with a 50th minute goal that helped his side equalize in time for a 2-2 draw 2-2 in its second outing. Till then Japan was leading 2-1 with goals from Kenta Tanaka (22 m) and Heita Yoshihara (29m).

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Arslan Qadir struck the first goal for Pakistan in the 19th minute before Japanese brace came in.

Yesterday, India outplayed Japan 5-1.

The draw may lead to Pak much discomfort in the days to come. The draw actually put Pakistan in dire straits. It is now under more pressure to beat India to make it to good positioning in the super 4s.

Pakistan captain Irfan Md was expectedly not happy on the outcome. He said: “We are not satisfied with our performance. Though we got a good start, we did not do well in certain areas. Our right penetration on part of the forward-line was not up to the mark today and I also feel there is lack of team work and communication amongst our players. Going into our next match, these are the areas we need to rectify. I believe we need to leave this match behind us and not continue to be disappointed but ensure we comeback strongly in the tournament.”

Japanese National Coach, Siegfried Aikman, too was not happy: “This was a match we should have won. The injury to our defender was a big blow. Pakistan used that situation well. There was a bit of a gap from our side at this juncture. Though I am happy with how the team played, I am not happy with the result.

Aikman now pins his hope on India-Pak match.

"Now it comes down to the match between Indian and Pakistan. If Pakistan loses then we would still stand a chance to make the Super 4s.”

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