Pakistan failed to secure a berth for next year's Olympic Games in the men's hockey event after a crushing 1-6 defeat against Netherlands in the second qualifier. The Dutch, who were held to a surprise 4-4 draw on Saturday, produced a devastating display on Sunday to win 10-5 on aggregate.
Since winning the gold medal in 1960, 1968, and 1984 editions of the Olympics, the performance levels in the Pakistan hockey setup has deteriorated immensely. They clinched the bronze in 1992, but come 2019, the team does not have a place in the top 10 ranking spots in men’s hockey. Sunday’s thumping defeat at the hands of the Netherlands, and consequently a failure to qualify for the Olympics, is further proof of the matter.
"It is a bad day, we have missed out on the Olympics," Pakistan's Rashid Mehmood was quoted as saying by The Dawn.
"We couldn't make it (happen) in the second game. The Dutch team defended very well in the game today and we didn't start very well, we made a lot of mistakes. In the first half, they took advantage of that. We couldn't match their pace in the first half," Mehmood added.
The Dutch raced to a 4-0 lead by half time with a brace from Mink van der Weerden, and a glorious backhand effort each from Bjorn Kellerman and Mirco Pruijser. Then, in the third quarter, Terrance Pieters and Jip Janssen scored in the space of four minutes, before Rizwan Ali scored a consolatory goal for Pakistan in the 53rd minute.