SA hockey men lose to Pakistan

2009-12-12 00:00

THE South African men’s hockey team’s chances of reaching the semi-finals at the Champions Challenge in Salta, Argentina were dealt a crushing blow on Thursday night (SA time) when they were beaten 4-1 by world number sevens Pakistan after the score was deadlocked 1-1 at the break.

Pakistan’s Umar Butta had an early opportunity, but his strong shot was brilliantly saved by SA goalkeeper Brendon Botes.

South Africa were reduced to 10 men after a yellow card to Jonty Robinson, and at their third penalty corner Pakistan’s Sohail Abbas netted the opening goal.

Back to full strength, SA had to score to keep their semi-final chances alive and pushed forward with intent. A penalty corner went awry before sharp striker Lloyd Norris-Jones sent his side into raptures just before half-time with an effort from the top of the circle that beat Pakistan goalkeeper Salman Akbar all ends up.

After the interval, SA’s option of pressing high cut out the Pakistani midfield, forcing the Asians to look for speculative, long balls to the ever-dangerous Shakeel Abbasi.

As the tension heightened, both teams were dished out yellow card sin-bins by the umpires and 14 minutes after half-time Abbasi nosed Pakistan in front with a fine field goal. Soon after, Haseem Khan gave Pakistan a two-goal cushion before goal number four from Akhtar Ali put the match beyond South Africa’s grasp.

Had world 15th-ranked SA won at the Popeye Club, they would have been down to meet India in today’s late semi-final. Instead, they will now meet Belgium in today’s non-medal round match in the fifth to eighth place playoffs, with the final classification matches in this eight country tournament tomorrow.

In their earlier Pool B matches, SA were beaten 6-2 by world number 10s Argentina and beat 11th-ranked Canada 4-1.

Pakistan will take on ninth-ranked India and Argentina meet eighth-ranked New Zealand in today’s last-four clashes.

The tournament features countries ranked outside the world top six, and victory means qualification for the following year’s elite (world top six) Champions Trophy.

In the other matches on Thursday, Canada beat Argentina 3-2, India outlasted Belgium 4-2 and China held New Zealand’s Black Sticks 2-2.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.