Pakistan's Abdul Haseem Khan (3th L) celebrates scoring a goal against South Africa with teammates. -Photo by Reuters

KARACHI: Pakistan beat South Africa 5-4 in an exciting encounter on Sunday at the men's hockey tournament at the London Olympics. 

Two goals from Abdul Haseem Khan, one each from Shafqat Rasool and Waseem Ahmed plus a penalty corner from captain Sohail Abbas helped the Greenshirts bounce back  at the Riverbank Arena in London after the 4-1 thrashing at the hands of hosts Great Britain in their previous match.

South Africa opened the scoring early through Thornton McDade in the first minute after which Pakistan missed several chances to equalise but finally broke through the South African defense in the 19th minute as Khan netted the equaliser.

However, Justin Reid-Ross put South Africa ahead again in the 21st minute after scoring from a penalty corner. Pakistan did not have to wait long for another equaliser as Rasool scored in the 22nd minute. Just two minutes later, Pakistan were ahead after Khan scored his second goal but they could not hold on to the lead as Reid-Ross scored South Africa's third goal from a penalty corner just before half-time.

Wade Panton put South Africa ahead in the second half when he scored in the 37th minute but again Pakistan pulled level through a penalty corner in the 63rd minute as Abbas scored his 348th goal. Ahmed scored the winning goal for Pakistan in the 66th minute.

“If our strikers play well, we're in the game. The forwards seized the chances,” said Akhtar Rasool, chief coach of the Pakistan team.

Previously, Pakistan held Spain to a 1-1 draw in their opening match followed by a win against Argentina and a loss against Great Britain.

Australia leads the Olympic men's hockey pool A with 7 points. Britain is currently second with 7 points and Pakistan is third with 7 points after the most recent match.

Pakistan play their next match against Australia on Tuesday, August 7.

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Comments (59)

Ali Vaqar Awan
August 5, 2012 12:27 pm
Great win by Pakistan. Still work is not yet finished as Pakistan has to play Australia in its must win match. Good to see attacking sprit of Pakistan coming back. However, our team needs to improve in defending and goal keeping. Any let downs in Australia match can't be afforded as single error, the Aussies gona get us. Against them our team needs to play best game. Well done Pakistan. Go for victory against Australia, score more goals and let our flag fly high!!!
August 5, 2012 3:11 pm
May Allah bless us with Victory...AMEEN
Shehzad Ghani
August 5, 2012 1:01 pm
August 5, 2012 3:15 pm
great win...buck upppp
August 5, 2012 11:51 am
Alhumdulilah , i was shocked to see first goal at 2nd minute
August 5, 2012 12:49 pm
Good to know that Pakistan recovered from deficit and eventually manage to win this astonishing match.
August 5, 2012 12:53 pm
It was touch-and-go for a while. Both teams put up a good show. Congratulations Pakistan! Well Played S.Africa!
August 5, 2012 3:27 pm
Keep up Pakistan Team
August 5, 2012 2:43 pm
Well done.
August 5, 2012 12:01 pm
what a win Mashallah
August 5, 2012 1:14 pm
good news
Nasser Ali-Khan
August 5, 2012 1:07 pm
Poor quality of reporting; there is no mention of the lack of quality of play by Pakistan against a 12th ranked country. Worst was our so called star performer Sohail Abbas' continuous poor performance with penalty corners causing huge loss against Britain and a close call against a more energetic and aggressive team
August 5, 2012 1:05 pm
awful win we are having trouble with SOUTTH aFRICA i mean where are the glory days men. They now have to win from australia , but any how our duas are with team PAK how bad the team may be they still represent our counrty. So inshAllah there will be a suprice comming when pak meet the aussies
Asif Khan
August 5, 2012 1:04 pm
Hearty congratulations, well done our hockey heros. Keep focus on Gold Madal and remain disciplined Insha'Allah you will be garlanded on arrival in Pakistan.
August 5, 2012 2:33 pm
Best hockey match so far. Nail biting finish.Good job Pakistan.You have now got the rhythm.Hope you get into the semi finals.Good job bringing S. Abas to the team.Look forward to glory.
August 5, 2012 3:53 pm
Kia baat hai...zabardast..Keep it up GREEN shirts. Where there is will there's a way.
vijay singh
August 5, 2012 4:31 pm
try your best
August 5, 2012 5:05 pm
great game ,congrates to all, but i think very important for our team is to control their nerves ,they eassily become nervous and showing sign od agitation. If they want to win aus they must have to calm dont be panic and Inshallah allah will help .
August 5, 2012 5:19 pm
Excellent win by Pakistan. Remember this is the same South African side that held the hosts Britain to a 2-2 draw. I feel that Pakistan can go on and win against the Aussies. Best of luck!
August 5, 2012 5:43 pm
I saw them play agains GB and they were not aggressive enough. With Autralia loosing today they will be hungry and bring their A+ game as they are known to do so. Pakistan will need to play flawless and they will have to play beyound their potential. Next game will be their Medal game.
August 5, 2012 5:59 pm
"Pakistan edge past South Africa in thriller" well I guess that says it all.
August 5, 2012 6:14 pm
Way to go Pakistan. Ab phook mey mat aana. Your next match is going to be tough. Concentrate on not making mistakes.
August 5, 2012 6:57 pm
if Pakistan can win the next 3 matches they will get a gold medal
Saad (DXB)
August 5, 2012 6:58 pm
Hey don't worry.. RSA will not be the 12th ranked country any more.. Haven't you heard the latest news? India is the first team in this Olympics which are failed to grab a single point from its 5 games. I am sure RSA will at least move to #11 in the world after these games.
August 6, 2012 1:57 pm
say something about hockey if u have to.If you want to compare compare with a country of Billions ie China then u will be ashamed of your Billion's achievement
Moosa Pervez
August 5, 2012 7:08 pm
I did not know South Africa also play hockey !!!!!!
August 5, 2012 7:11 pm
the aussies thrashed the South Africans 6-0 and Pakistan barely managed 2 beat em 5-4...cant really see Pakistan defeating the Aussies... Congratulations 2 Pakistan anyway...afterall a win is a win, no matter what the scoreline...
Adil Jadoon
August 5, 2012 7:34 pm
They better get their act together. South Africa are not a top tear team.
August 5, 2012 7:47 pm
exciting thriller , Game with aussies will b crucial for green shirts on the road to semi-final.....
Tennessee usa
August 5, 2012 8:07 pm
great job Guys
August 5, 2012 9:04 pm
Follow GB and Australia draw, Pakistan's final match is a do or die match. A win against Australia is highly unlikely but I believe that our team can still do an upset by beating in form Aussies.
Sameen l
August 5, 2012 10:00 pm
Pakistan Beat Argentina 2-0 and Argentina drew with Aussies 2-2. Its not the team, its how they play on a particular day. The word "Team" only reflects their potential but it all depends on the ground reality.
August 5, 2012 10:36 pm
And pak will be the most populated country not to win any medal....We already have 3 medals and will grab another 3-4 by the end of the olympics for sure. 3 boxers are just one win away from a medal. 5 wrestlers including a beijing bronze medalist are yet to stop bloating....even with this win...u r not making it to a chill...and enjoy....look at yourself first before commenting on us
August 5, 2012 10:44 pm
Great game. Keep on working hard and you will be rewarded.
Aaila Arshad
August 5, 2012 10:49 pm
Well done Pakistan. You are our only hope for a medal in Olympics and to raise our flag in the olympics village. Keep up the good work and go all out to defeat Australia in the last group match our prayers are with you guys :]
Mohammed Yahya USA
August 5, 2012 11:40 pm
I bet lots of us did not even need a nail cutter, excellent job
August 5, 2012 11:48 pm
Very nice. I liked it.
B Ali
August 6, 2012 12:21 am
No doubt SA is lower ranking team but after watching the fighting spirit of our forward line in this game I have a feeling that Pak forward line is the one which could win the Gold, they just have to be offensive (instead of defensive) and try their best, and defence line has to be very offensive, Inshallah victory will be ours. God bless Pak team.
fdarooq shaikh
August 6, 2012 12:24 am
Pakistan zindabaad.Nothing succeeds like success.Well done Hockey team. Farooq Shaikh Hong Kong
Ghinva Raza
August 6, 2012 7:11 am
Go Greensss!!!
August 6, 2012 1:38 am
The green shirts must play an agressive game but keep their anger under control. SHOULD NOT ARGUE WITH THE RFEREEES FOR GOD"S SAKE. It coul just cause more trouble.
August 6, 2012 3:42 am
Here is little mathematics (logic) to answer the question can Pakistan beat Australia to qualify for sure to play semi finals. Pakistan beat Argentina by 2-0, whereas Argentina draw levels with Australia 2 - 2. Australia vs. South Africa (SA) 6-0, whereas Pakistan defeated SA by 5-4 and SA draw level with GB 2-2 However defeated Pakistan by 4-1. Based on these outcomes one can conclude that teams are very close to each other in terms of ability and competitiveness it all depends how they react to opportunities available to them at a given point of time during the game. Having said that Pakistan needs to improve on Penalty corner conversion rate.
Rizwan Hamid
August 6, 2012 4:00 am
Congratulations, Pakistan. Your team is getting almost good enough to even give a hard time to some of the top WOMEN'S teams in the world. What a sorry and sad day that the people in Pakistan are getting excited that it was a close thriller against world #12. As i said yesterday , Pakistan is in a race to be the last. Now that is a race, I guarantee we will win the gold!!
Rizwan Hamid
August 6, 2012 4:05 am
Aamir, pathetic dreamers like you is the reason for the abject failure of your society and the level of hockey in Pakistan. Bury your head in the sand a little deeper It will help not to notice a few more kicks to the hind side by even more lowly ranked teams
ahmet abdulaziz
August 6, 2012 4:32 am
I would like to know if Abdul Haseem Khan is a nephew of the chief selector Hanif Khan? I had heard that Hanif Khan did not select his own son in the team, who on the other hand is a very promising hockey forward. Can somebody throw some light on this issue.
August 6, 2012 4:32 am
poor performance by Abbasi and sohail abbas, this way pak is not going to make a chance for semi finals. Lot of home work need to be done.
August 6, 2012 4:49 am
population of almost 1.22 billion...and happy only in 3 medals....haha!!! if u r so strong then compete with china!
August 6, 2012 4:51 am
Lucky to have scored twice in the last 2 minutes. Its would be a miracle if we beat Aussies in the last game with this kind of defence and the poor goal keeper that we have!!!
August 6, 2012 5:54 am
August 6, 2012 6:07 am
This is the same RSA team which held Great Britain to a draw so no shame in winning with this margin against RSA.
August 6, 2012 6:24 am
Pakistan Hockey Team will get a drubbing of a lift time from Australia. I don't know wny we are cheering this win. Do we want to bracketed with the likes of SA, Argen, Belarus. What a shame.
sane voice
August 6, 2012 6:27 am
What a sopilt sport. You guys need to grow up. Pakistan is not the only country to have won no medals but india is surely a country to end up with zero points from all the five matches. I wish that your hockey continue like this. All the very best.
August 6, 2012 7:31 am
How can Pakistan be in the race to last, when they are one win away from qualifying for the semis? After four games, England and Australia are at eight points and Pakistan and Spain are at seven. The same world #12 (RSA) by the way, drew with England, and would have won if not for the last minute controversial goal. There are serious issues with the team - chiefly the inconsistent goal keeping and lack of intent when attacking in the penalty area where the team appears to be content by winning a penalty corner, rather than scoring a goal. Having said that, this has been a good tournament for Pakistan, except for one game, and they can reach the semis by winning their last group game. Go Pakistan!!
August 6, 2012 7:33 am
South Africa drew with England 2-2. England saved a defeat by a last minute goal, that would have been overruled, if South Africans had a referral left. Does that also say it all?
Ali Hamid
August 6, 2012 7:54 am
It was a thriller, no doubt about it. Pakistan has played four hockey matches so far, won 2, lost 1 and draw 1. It's not too bad performance until now. Good luck for next endeavor. Put your maximum efforts and you will reap the excellent results.
August 6, 2012 7:57 am
The green shirts only survived with their best effort displayed toward the end. The Aussies are a highly physically fit and mentally fit site and from past experience have whipped the Pakistanis in every dept of the game. The Pakistani team will have to work as a cohesive unit and strike like lightening just as Hasan Sardar did back in the glory days. And most importantly the need to put in their best and then expect help from upstairs. All the Best!
A. Khan
August 6, 2012 10:02 am
Shameful that a country of 180 million can only hope for a single medal, if that, in the Olympics.
M. Ahmed
August 6, 2012 8:39 am
nice dreaming
August 7, 2012 7:44 am
Go get the gold
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