After losing their quarterfinal match against Korea, Pakistan slumped to another defeat, this time at the hands of hosts Malaysia and in the process were also ousted from the race for a fifth place finish in the World Hockey League (WHL) in Johor Bahru.
The 3-1 loss meant that Pakistan would now take on South Africa for the 7-8 playoff game while hosts Malaysia will battle Japan in the 5-6 placement match.
Pakistan, who have always been guilty of being inconsistent, had been surprisingly solid in the WHL but the quarterfinal loss to Korea seemed to have taken the wind out of their sails and it was quite evident against Malaysia today.
They never looked in control of the match and conceded a goal in the 14th minute off a Muhammad Razie Adbul Rahim drag-flick. Even though the Greenshirts hit back just two minutes later through a stunning buildup and finish by Shafqat Rasool, they were chasing the game once again after an own-goal from goalkeeper Imran Butt in the 19th minute.
Tengku Ahmad Tajudin extended the lead for Malaysia just three minutes into the second half and effectively shut the door for Pakistan.
It was once again a case of lackadaisical defending and poor finishing for Muhammad Imran’s men who now face the daunting task of winning the upcoming Asia Cup to qualify for the World Cup.