Bhubaneswar, June 7: Poland dominated Uzbekistan 4-0 in the Pool A of the FIH Men’s Series Finals Bhubaneswar Odisha 2019 on Thursday.
It was a tough start for Uzbekistan, the lowest ranked team of the tournament (FIH World Rankings:43). Indeed, Poland took the lead already in the 5th minute with a drag-flick from captain Pawel Bratkowski following a penalty corner.
To add to Uzbekistan’s challenging start, they lost Karimov Ruslan through injury a few seconds later. Then, Maciej Janiszewski had a great chance to double his team’s advantage but his shot went wide of the goalpost.
However, the Asian side gradually gained confidence and was not far from equalising thanks to an individual attack from Shavkatbek Mirzakarimov, brilliantly saved by Poland’s goalkeeper Maciej Pacanowski.
The second quarter was mostly dominated by the European side and Mateusz Hulboj scored the second goal for his team after a penalty corner. But the Uzbeks were not willing to give up. Using their speed in counter-attacks, they remained very dangerous, as Oybek Nazarov’s attempt, once again saved by Poland’s goalkeeper, showed.
The second half confirmed Poland’s domination. Pawel Bratkowski added another goal to his tally in what was very much a replica of his previous goal. He was soon to be followed onto the scoresheet by his teammate Mateusz Hulboj who scored with an amazing shot from distance, millimeters under the crossbar. (UNI)