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Australia edge past brave Pakistan


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hockey, pakistan hockey, champions trophy hockey, champions trophy
Joel Carroll of Australia (L) leaps in the air as Haseem Abdul Khan of Pakistan (R) plays a shot at goal. -Photo by AFP

MELBOURNE: Pakistan put up a fighting performance but eventually lost 1-0 to Australia at the Champions Trophy in Melbourne on Tuesday.

Australia scored in the second-half after Kieran Govers slotted home a penalty corner. The result means that Australia finish behind Netherlands in Pool B on goal difference followed by Pakistan who will play Germany in the quarterfinals.

The first half remained scoreless as Pakistan kept Australia at bay with some great defending and by keeping the ball. Both teams missed several chances throughout the match but Australia finally broke the deadlock twenty minutes before time.

Australian defender Mark Knowles said there was still room for improvement.

“We haven't played that well yet and know we can get better. We need to improve, we now play England, they are young and it's a quarter-final at a Champions Trophy so it will be big for everyone,” he said.

In the day’s other matches, India finished top of Pool A despite going down 3-2 in their pool game to Olympic champions Germany.

India will now face win-less Belgium, who finished fourth in Pool B, in a quarter-final on Thursday.

Elsewhere, England blew their chance to finish on top of Pool A after being held to a 1-1 draw against New Zealand, while the Netherlands had a scare against Belgium, but hung on to win 5-4.

A win will put India into the semi-finals and a chance for their first Champions Trophy medal since their bronze at Amstelveen in 1982.

Striker S.K. Uthappa said his team still took confidence going forward despite the loss to the Germans.

“Team morale is very high because we knew that it wouldn't be an easy game to play against the Olympic gold medallists, so we were prepared for a good fight and that's what happened,” he said.

“It was most important that we finished on top and that is what we did.”

German captain Moritz Fuerste said his team would reassess now they were at the quarter-final stage.

“The first three games weren't that important, but we are definitely happy to avoid Australia or Holland,” Fuerste said.

Germany have to await the outcome of the match between Australia and Pakistan later on Tuesday to see who their quarter-final opponents.

India made the best possible start with Gurwinder Chandi finding space in the circle to deliver a powerful shot for the opening goal.

Germany worked themselves back in the game minutes later, with Oliver Korn following up his first shot which hit the post to fire home the rebound and level the game.

The match continued at a frantic pace, with India producing several shots on goal which were all stopped by German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi.

India continued on with their form after half-time, with a deflection from Nithin Thimmaiah from a penalty corner retrieving the lead.

India continued to play attacking hockey in search for another goal, however the disciplined German defence held firm.

This eventually paid dividends with a lapse in concentration from India allowing Germany back in the game.

Tobias Matania levelled with 13 minutes remaining and scored again two minutes later to seal the win.

The Netherlands improved their claims of finishing on top of Pool B despite a close call against Belgium 5-4.

While they came away with the win, they were pushed by the Belgians, who fought back from a 3-0 half-time deficit.

Dutch captain Klaas Vermeulen said despite the close call they would take the positives heading into the quarter-finals.

“The tournament is starting now (with the quarter finals). We have to forget the second half and remember the first and stay focused,” he said.

Earlier, England let slip a chance to finish on top of Pool A when they were held to a 1-1 draw with New Zealand.

They scored the first goal of the game through Mark Gleghorne, however the Kiwis controlled the second half with veteran Phillip Burrows levelling the score.

New Zealand will next play whoever finishes on top of pool B in the quarter-finals, with captain Dean Cousins saying his team has more scope for improvement.

“We are pleased (today), but need to keep getting better as it is going to get tougher as we go on (throughout the tournament),” he said.

Comments (9) Closed

sana Dec 04, 2012 06:13pm
i m impresses that dawn news called Pakistan a Brave Pakistan
Mandeep Dec 04, 2012 03:14pm
I think both India and Pakistan played well against their respective opponents as seen in a very narrow defeat margins. After a long time it was pleasant to see India playing very attacking game against mighty Germans. Best of luck to both teams.
Mohsin Dec 05, 2012 06:53am
Pakistan played well, good luck for quaterfinal. keep the momentum on
s m mustafa Dec 04, 2012 04:17pm
congrats to akhter rasool and the team for fine display despite the loosing side. half and defence played briliantly and well done the keeper. after very long time pakistans defence and goal keeper played exceptionaly well. only minus point with this team is a good striker who can score. the team is missing rehan butt very much. if pakistan want to do better against the germans then they have to sort out the scoring problem. best of luck for the querter final.
Abdullah Hussain Dec 05, 2012 06:43am
Brave Pakistani Players? May be after so many losses the players have gathered enough courage to further loose bravely.
Seriously! Dec 05, 2012 07:59am
Practice..Work on Fitness...Good Diet......
hamid Shafiq Dec 05, 2012 10:42am
well play by pakistani team no matter its loss or victory
Huma Dec 04, 2012 04:05pm
sad. but better than 7-0. good luck for the quarters.
Alley Dec 04, 2012 08:26pm
practice practice practice..........