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Pakistan face Netherlands in opener

KARACHI: Pakistan national hockey team will face the Netherlands in their opening game of the World Hockey League Semi-finals on Thursday in London.

Per head coach Khawaja Junaid, the team has worked diligently to rectify the mistakes made in the recent test series against Ireland.

“Many weak areas, both in attack and defence, were identified after the test series against Ireland and the team has been working hard on them,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “They boys have trained really well. We also hold a video session daily where we analyse the mistakes made during the previous day’s practice.”

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Pakistan, following their opener against the Dutch side, will face India on June 18, and Junaid is confident of his team’s chances in both those fixtures.

“We will take a match-by-match approach,” he said. “If we win the opening match that will really boost the boys’ confidence for the big one against the arch-rivals.”

While the Indo-Pak match is important, Junaid says their main aim is to secure World Cup qualification.

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“Although the match against India will be followed around the world, we have to keep our focus on qualifying for the World Cup,” he said. “We have to take each and every match seriously as last time our team failed to qualify for the World Cup.”

The World Hockey League Semi-finals features 20 teams, 10 of whom will qualify for the 2018 Hockey World Cup, which will be held in India later this year.

The post Pakistan face Netherlands in opener appeared first on The Express Tribune.

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