How Many Hockey World Cup Pakistan Won? [Ultimate Guide!]

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The Pakistan men’s hockey team has had a busy few months, competing in four tournaments across two continents. In this post, we’ll take a quick trip down memory lane to examine their remarkable journey so far.

The Journey So Far

It all started in November 2016, when Pakistan played their first game of the year against South Africa. The hosts took the opportunity to beat Pakistan 5-3 despite the visitors scoring twice in the last 12 minutes of the game. The defeat caused a shockwave throughout Pakistan, with many questioning the team’s ability to compete at the top level. However, the following month saw Pakistan regain their composure, winning five consecutive games to sit in second place in the table. An early exit from the 2018 Asian Games followed, as Pakistan lost three of their four pool games, including the bronze medal match versus China. This was followed by a tough group stage at the 2018 Hockey World Cup in London, where they could only qualify for the knock-out stages as one of the two best runners-up. The final day of the tournament saw Pakistan beat Hong Kong 4-2 to earn their first world cup win in 35 years.

Pakistani Hockey’s Biggest Night

The historic 2018 Hockey World Cup was held in London over the last week of October. The English city is synonymous with Englishmen and women playing hockey, and it was a fitting venue for the marquee event in Pakistan’s sporting history. The highlight of the tournament was unquestionably the Grand Finale, where Pakistan defeated long-time arch-rival India 4-2 in front of a packed Wembley Stadium.

The two teams have been competing for the title of India’s arch-rival ever since the former’s first triumph in the 1971 Asian Games. The two teams have met five times in total, with India leading the way with three wins to Pakistan’s lone triumph in the 2018 Hockey World Cup. The rivalry is legendary, with players and fans from both sides eager to see which team will emerge victorious next time around.

A Grand Tour Of Europe

While some might be keen to rest after such a hectic few months, Pakistan were given a stern test in November, when they travelled to Europe for a trio of friendlies. The team lost their first game in Ireland before bouncing back to beat the Netherlands and Poland at home to earn a 2-2 draw with Germany in their final match. The results were not enough to prevent a European tour as a whole, as the team lost 1-0 to Denmark and 3-0 to Sweden. The defeats were compounded by another, this time in the form of a loss by a penalty shoot-out at the hands of the Europeans. The team finished the year on a high note, however, winning their final game against Scotland to earn the countrymen some well-deserved Scottish whisky.

New Stars And Old Friends

The 2019 season began with a bang for Pakistan, who hosted a two-match series against India in January. The hosts won the first game 2-0 despite losing both penalty shootouts, and also came back from a goal down to beat India 4-3 in the return fixture. This was the first time in over 20 years that Pakistan had won back-to-back games against India, with many hailing the team’s performance as the best in decades. This was followed by a friendly against England in Dubai, where they lost 1-0 despite dominating for long periods.

This was soon followed by the team’s first and only appearance at the Tokyo International Women’s Hockey Tournament, where they fell just short of a major tournament title, finishing second to the United States. The year also saw the return of Kamran Ashraf, who had enjoyed a well-deserved break since the 2014 World Cup, when Pakistan finished last in their group. The former captain returned for the team’s first game of the season, a 6-2 thrashing of Hong Kong at the Gaddafi Stadium.

A Terrific Tour Of Africa

While some might be keen to rest after such a hectic couple of years, Pakistan were given a major boost in March, when they left for Africa on a five-game tour. The team finished top of their group at the 2019 African Women’s Championships, beating hosts Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. They also defeated Tunisia, who were the only other team in this group. A 4-2 win over Ivory Coast in the semi-finals saw Pakistan qualify for the grand final, where they met Nigeria, winners of the group C tournament. With the trophy alight, the entire stadium erupted into jubilation as Pakistan became the 2019 African Women’s Champions.

The following month also saw the return of the wildly successful Qatari national team, whose players were instrumental in taking the team to third place at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. Despite losing 1-0 to Singapore in the opener, the team won their next five games, including the final against Indonesia, which ended in a 1-1 draw. In this tournament, Pakistan beat Indonesia for the first and only time in the competition’s history.

An Important Win In Australia

The year 2020 began with a crucial test for Pakistan, as they headed Down Under for a four-game series against Australia. The hosts won the first game in a high-scoring affair, which ended in a 4-4 draw. However, it was not all good news for the visitors, as they lost the next three games, resulting in a 1-1 draw with the series tied at 1-1. The year also saw a change of manager, with Mika Salo replacing the long-time Jens Lehmann as Germany’s new Assistant Coach. The series against Australia was followed by a four-game home series against India in April, where Pakistan swept the series with three wins to close the year. This was a remarkable turnaround, with the team having lost all of their previous seven games against India. The victories also helped the team win the 2020 Hockey World Cup Qualifier, with four points out of a possible six available. Pakistan made the final cut for the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, being one of the eight best runners-up in the world. The team started with a bang, thrashing Spain 6-1 in their opening game to earn their first-ever win at the Olympics.

More Wins In North America

Pakistan’s unbeaten run came to an end in May, as they fell 0-1 to Canada in their opening game of the North America Cup. The setback was short-lived, however, as the team beat Mexico 4-2 in their next game to move top of the table. They then proceeded to beat both Canada and the United States, resulting in a 3-1 victory over the latter and a 5-1 win against the former for their first series win in North America.

This was followed by a clash with arch-rivals India at the Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur. Despite having won seven of the past eight tournaments, this was arguably the most significant meeting of the two sides in recent history. The game ended in a goalless draw, with each side claiming a point for themselves. The game was also notable for the mass brawl that ensued in the dying minutes of regulation time, with players and fans tossing punches and even a few exchanging goads. The rivalry is intense, with the two sides meeting on an annual basis for the SAARC Cup, where they have traditionally done battle since its inception in 2009.

Back-To-Back Wins In Asia

While some might be keen to take a break after such a hectic year, Pakistan were given another major shot in the arm in June, when they travelled to Asia for a two-game series. They opened the tournament with a 4-2 win over Chinese Taipei, with both goals coming from Shaheen Ghori. In his second game, Ghori continued his scoring form, this time with a hat-trick, helping the team to a 3-0 shutout and series win. The Englishman’s exploits earned him the Man of the Match award and also saw him make the shortlist for the Puskas Award, given to the best player at the 2024 European Championships. This was soon followed by a trip to China to take on arch-rivals India in the finals of the 21st Sultan of Johor Cup. Despite winning the opening game 2-1, Pakistan’s campaign ended in disappointment, when they lost the return fixture 1-0. The two sides were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time, with both having scored the single goal during extra time. This was followed by a tense penalty shoot-out, where the Chinese side prevailed, resulting in a 2-1 shootout win for the visitors.

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