When Pakistan men’s hockey team take on field against the Dutch men’s hockey team in Amsterdam in what is the final opportunity for teams to qualify for the Olympics, neutral fans can expect to be in for a good showing.
Given Pakistan hockey’s rich history, the fans of Pakistan in Netherlands and world over are excited.
Imran Farooqi, a shipping manager of a firm in the Netherlands and Ghufran Abbasi, a finance head in a branding firm also based in the Netherlands are “for sure” going to watch the Pakistan vs Netherlands matches that will be held in Amsterdam on October 26th and 27th 2019.
Yousef Hussaini, a CEO of a firm in the Netherlands, and his wife too are supporting the team because they belong to Pakistan.
Having said that, it’s no secret that the Pakistan hockey team are suffering a different fate since the last four to six years and Yousef admits that although he is supporting Pakistan, he knows that the Dutch “are the clear favourites” coming into the tournament.
The Pakistan men’s hockey team last featured at the 2018 Hockey World Cup in India where they registered one win, one draw and one loss in their pool stage match. They were knocked out after losing their cross-over match to Belgium.
The last time Pakistan beat the Netherlands men’s hockey team was in 2014 at the Hero Champions Trophy in India. Since then, they have met thrice, and all three times the Dutch have beaten Pakistan.
Despite the earthbound state of hockey, Pakistani hockey fans world across are pretty optimistic and are of the idea that Pakistan has a good chance of upstaging the Netherlands if it plays with a fearless approach.
As the draw was announced by the International Federation of Hockey (FIH), Netherlands Ambassador to Pakistan, Wouter Plomp took to twitter and posted : 
“I remember as a kid watching great hockey matches between the Netherlands and 3 times Olympics champion Pakistan, looking forward to the upcoming qualifiers on 26/27 October in Amsterdam.”

Pakistan Former-International Adnan Zakir who is currently based in UK also took to social media to comment : 
“Pakistan is lucky to enough to get a chance to qualify. Pakistan are an unpredictable side with unpredictable players, so finger crossed.”

Board member VVD Amsterdam, Marielle Paul too came out to support Pakistan.
“In all sports I root for the Netherlands, except hockey. Then I’m for Pakistan. Against my better judgement.”

The Pakistan men’s hockey team are currently undergoing a preparatory camp in Lahore. In order to further prepare better, the PHF has contacted the federations of Germany and Belgium to arrange matches with their teams ahead of the their 2020 Olympic Qualifiers.

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