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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

South Africa edged out Pakistan 4-1 via shootout after the 9th-12th place match of the FIH Odisha Hockey Men’s Junior World Cup ended in a 3-3 draw within the stipulated time at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

The keenly contested encounter went down the wire with both teams giving a tough challenge to each other throughout the match.

Abzur (5th), Abdul Shahid (25th) and Abdul Rehman (37th) scored one goal each for Pakistan. Senzweshihle Ngubane (32nd), skipper Guy Morgan (37th) and Idrees Abdulla (38th) found the net once each for South Africa.

In the ensuing shootout, Pakistan players succumbed to the huge pressure and could score only once out of their four chances.

However, South Africa players controlled their nerves well and struck four times to script an exciting victory.

South Africa coach Sihle Ntuli gave credit to all his players for maintaining their composure during the crucial moment to come out with flying colours.

“Our players had worked a lot for this crucial moment.  So, they didn’t panic and penetrated the net in an effective manner,” said Ntuli.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Abdul Rana blamed his players for not converting a number of penalty corners as the main reason for their defeat.

“Our players also got over excited during the shootout and, as a result, pressure grew on us gradually after missing the first few ones,” said Rana.

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