Pakistan face tough Australia in do-or-die match today

Friday, Aug 05, 2022

From our correspondent

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan hockey team on Wednesday defeated Scotland 3-2 to keep alive in the Commonwealth Games men’s hockey competition here at the University of Birmingham hockey centre.

Pakistan now stretched their points to four.

The Green-shirts were scheduled to face Australia in their fourth and final group game late Thursday. The do-or-die game begins at 1m PST.

Pakistan will not only have to beat Australia but also have to score more goals. They will have the set target in front, as before their match on Thursday New Zealand and South Africa would have played their final league game.

In their third round fixture on Wednesday, Pakistan started in aggressive fashion and could have scored in the first few minutes but the front-line failed to capitalise on the opportunities. Instead, Scotland got onto the score-sheet in the ninth minute when Golden Cammy converted a penalty corner. And at the end of the first quarter Scotland were leading 1-0.

Pakistan levelled the score through Afraz’s field goal in the 22nd minute. In the 23rd minute Abdul Shahid found the net to enable Pakistan take a 2-1 lead.

In the third quarter, Scotland struck a field goal through a fine effort from Walker Struan to level the score 2-2.

Rooman, however, hit the decisive goal for Pakistan in the 55th minute to earn crucial three points for the Green-shirts.

Pakistan team manager and former Olympian Sameer Hussain said that they played an attacking game.

“We played attacking hockey against Scotland and earned the much-needed win,” Sameer told ‘The News’ here.

“We could have scored more goals but we squandered a few chances. The big issue is that our players are mostly inexperienced and will grow with the time,” said the Olympian.

Currently Australia lead Group A with nine points. New Zealand, South Africa and Pakistan follow with four points each and with the -2 goals difference each.

Two top teams from the group are to progress to the semi-finals. Australia have already made it to the last-four