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On this day in 1978: Pakistan ruled the hockey world

Green Shirts defeated Netherlands in an enthralling final

SAMAA | - Posted: Apr 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 10 months ago
Posted: Apr 2, 2021 | Last Updated: 10 months ago

Photo Courtesy: Azeem Siddiqui

Forty-three years ago on this day in 1978, Pakistan went on to secure a memorable triumph in the 4th Men’s Hockey World Cup where they defeated the Netherlands in an enthralling final with the score of 3-2 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The game started with Akhtar Rasool scoring the first for the eventual winners in the second minute but seven minutes later, the lead was cancelled by Ties Kruize.

The Green Shirts went behind when Paul Litjens scored in the 40th minute. However, two late goals from Islahuddin Siddiqui and Rana Ehsanullah turned the game on its head as Pakistan secured the ultimate glory.

The most impressive fact of that historic win was that Pakistan remained unbeaten in the competition and went on to win every single match where they scored 35 goals and conceded just four.

Talking about this memorable achievement, the captain of Pakistan’s victorious team Islahuddin recalled the ‘most special moments of his life in a video message.

“The victory that day was the most special moment of my life and it was possible because of the prayers of the nation,” he said. “It was my second World Cup triumph after having won the competition in 1971 as a player. But the victory was special because in Buenos Aires, I was the captain of the team.”

Talking about his former teammates from the side that lifted the trophy in 1978, Islahuddin praised his fellow members by calling them a ‘hero’.

“If we talk about the players of that team, every single individual was a hero,” he said. “It was their hard work along with the prayers of the nation which made us the World Champions.”

Recalling an interesting event during the competition, the 73-year-old revealed that locals watching the match between Argentina and Pakistan ended up cheering for the away team.

“During the tournament, the local crowd was really supportive,” he said. “But the match against Argentina was an interesting one. Obviously, they were supporting the home team but once we scored four goals, they started cheering for us. I have never seen that local crowd start supporting an away team like that.”

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One Comment

  1. Mike Wilson  April 3, 2021 1:17 am/ Reply

    Great read!

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