Pakistan made sure their 7-0 thrashing of Japan wasn’t just a flash in the pan as they defeated hosts Malaysia 4-1 on the second day of the Asia Cup.
Muhammad Imran’s men, who are up against the wall and must win the title to earn a berth in next year’s World Cup, produced a scintillating performance to down an opponent who have a tendency of raising their game when they play at home.
The two sides started in tentative fashion after their first day fireworks, albeit against much lesser opponents, but it was Pakistan who came close to scoring in the early skirmishes. Three missed opportunities later, however, Malaysia drew first blood through Muhammad Abdul Razie’s penalty corner in the 26th minute of the game.
Buoyed by the effort, the home side came close to scoring yet again in the 30th minute, however, that passage of play finally put Pakistan in their stride and Shakeel Abbasi’s run down the left flank was neatly finished off by Muhammad Zubair in the 33rd minute.
Pakistan came out even stronger in the second half and it paid immediate dividends. Shafqat Rasool’s brilliant stick work left the Malaysian defence in their tracks as the young striker set up an easy goal for Muhammad Dilber, who tapped in the attempt in the 45th to give his side the lead.
Goals from Muhammad Waqas (61st) and Shafqat (67th) shut the hosts out of the match and gave Pakistan the top position in Group A with all 6 points from two matches.
Pakistan next play Chinese Taipei on Tuesday, while Malaysia will be up against Japan on the same day.