Japan beat Pakistan in closely contested Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final

KUALA LUMPUR: Japan clinched victory over Pakistan in the final of Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2024 in Malaysia through a gripping penalty shootout, following a thrilling 2-2 draw at the conclusion of regular play on Saturday.

The Japanese team, known as the Samurais, triumphed over the green shirts with a scoreline of 4-2 in the penalty shootout.

Earlier, the green shirts held New Zealand to a thrilling 1-1 draw in their last league match on Friday to remain unbeaten in the tournament.

Pakistan remained unbeaten during the round-robin stage of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup with three wins and two draws in five matches. They only dropped points in matches against Japan and New Zealand.

Pakistan’s performance in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup should be a morale booster for the team especially because the team has to feature in the FIH Nations Cup in Gniezno, Poland, from May 31 to June 9 as well. The Nations Cup is important because the winning team will have the opportunity to play in the FIH Hockey Pro League for the 2024-25 season.

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