ASHLEY Jackson struck a brace as a pumped up Great Britain ripped apart Pakistan 4-1 in their crucial Group ‘A’ match at the Riverbank Arena here on Friday.
The defeat dampened Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-finals with matches against South Africa, and world champions and group leaders Australia to come. After the Pakistan match, Britain stayed second, level on points with Australia who lead on goal difference following their 2-2 draw against Argentina in the fixture held earlier on Friday.
In front of boisterous crowd favouring the hosts, Britain attacked from the outset as Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah had a torrid evening in the cage.
The Brits took the lead in the fourth minute when the inspirational Jackson sent a pass to James Tindall in the circle and he wasted no time in slotting the ball past Imran.
Britain had a chance to double their lead in the very next minute when Jackson’s shot from a penalty-corner was deflected out by Rashid Mahmood.
Britain kept up the pressure as Pakistan were reduced to nine men when captain Sohail Abbas and Waqas Sharif were shown green cards in the 19th.
Britain doubled their lead with a classic goal in the 26th when Jackson’s pass found Tindall who passed to the unmarked Jonty Clarke for the finish.
Pakistan finally got their first penalty-corner in the 36th but Sohail could not convert. They got two more penalty corners in quick succession but Sohail was found wanting on both occasions as he preferred to scoop the ball rather than placing it with a low shot.
Rehan Butt then wasted another chance to put Pakistan back in the game when he shot wide with only British goalkeeper James Fair to beat.
From thereon, it was all Jackson show.
He scored his first goal of the game in the 50th on a penalty corner with a low drive before scoring an identical goal from the same position in the 67th, his fourth goal of the tournament.
Sohail got on the score-sheet in the last minute of the game but it was little more than a consolation for Pakistan who next face South Africa on Sunday.
“Collectively and tactically they were better than us, so we have to work on that,” Sohail told reporters after the match. “We would like the game to have been a bad dream.”
Earlier, Argentina overcame a 2-0 half-time deficit to earn a well-deserved draw with Australia, and record their first points.
Argentina captain Matias Vila scored his side's first goal just after half-time from open play and defender Gonzalo Peillat levelled the match from a penalty corner in the final minutes after goals from Matthew Butturini and Jamie Dwyer had given Australia a 2-0 lead.
In Group ‘B’, the Netherlands continued their winning streak when they toppled New Zealand 5-1 with a Billy Bakker double while Germany thrashed India 5-2.