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Monday, May 9, 2011

Aussies give Pakistan a hiding in hockey cup

AUSTRALIA thrashed Pakistan 5-1 to stay on course for the final of hockey's Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
The defeat, Pakistan’s second in successive days after they lost 3-2 to Great Britain on Sunday, saw them overtaken in the standings by world champions Australia, who are on seven points having played a game less.
Pakistan, who have six points after four matches, suffered in the humid conditions and it was the Australians who took their chances, forcing errors from their opponents in a fast-paced open match.
Australian coach Ric Charlesworth said the win was a welcome relief after his side laboured to a draw against India, adding that his players were coming into better form.
"No doubt that this performance was an improvement form the previous day but we are still not there yet. The Pakistanis did play well but our attempts at goal was much better and paid off," he said.
The Australians looked dangerous from the start with Glenn Turner, Jason Wilson and Simon Orchard testing Pakistan's goalkeeper Imran Shah early in the first half.
Australia took the lead through a disputed penalty in the 23rd minute with Orchard finally finding a way beyond Shah to give Australia a 1-0 lead.
Pakistan drew level in the 28th minute when Sohail Abbas converted a penalty corner, but they were unable to find further momentum.
Poor defending by Pakistan allowed Jason Wilson to collect the ball at the top of the circle and send it crashing beyond Shah in the 34th minute to give Australia a 2-1 first half lead.
Australia continued to dominate in the second half, with goals from Orchard, Christopher Ciriello and Wilson handing them full points as the Asian champions continued to make mistakes.
Pakistan had their chances, with a couple of penalty corners offering a way back into the game, but they lacked ideas to convert opportunities into goals.
Meanwhile, Great Britain surged to the top of the table with a 3-1 win over New Zealand.
The British side have nine points from four matches and hold a two point advantage over second-placed Australia.

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