Pakistan go down vs SA

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 7.03.10
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New Delhi: Pakistani prestige in the hockey World Cup took a huge hit on Saturday with a 3-4 defeat to lowly South Africa in a sensational match at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

The defeat also ended whatever little chances Pakistan had of entering the semi-finals. Of the four matches they have played so far, Pakistan have lost three, the solitary win coming against Spain.

In the day’s first match, favourites Australia defeated Olympic silver medallists Spain 2-0 to take their points tally to nine in Pool B and stay firmly in the race for a place in the semi-finals.

Leading by a Rehan Butt goal at half time, Pakistan conceded four goals in a span of 16 minutes for one of their worst defeats in decades.

In the first match, the Aussies opened the scoring from the first penalty corner, which they earned in the 20th minute. Luke Doerner slammed a grounder that hit the board like a bullet.

Spanish ’keeper Francisco Cortes perhaps could have saved the second goal, scored by Glenn Turner in the 65th minute. Turner, who struck twice against India, was near Cortes when he received the ball from the left. Surprisingly, Cortes did not close the gap and allowed Turner to turn it goalwards.

The win takes Australia to nine points from four matches while Spain are stuck on six.

Interestingly, Australia coach Ric Charlesworth was not at the bench and it was left to Graham Reid to manage the show.

“He was looking to have a different view from a different angle,” said midfielder Robert Hammond.

SUNDAY’S MATCHES

Pool A: South Korea vs Canada (4.35pm); New Zealand vs Argentina (6.35pm); Germany vs The Netherlands (8.35pm)