SA score historic victory over Pakistan

2010-03-08 00:00

FOUR stunning goals in the second half earned South Africa an historic first win over Pakistan and did much to restore the country’s faith in the national team.

World number 13 South Africa’s 4-2 Hockey World Cup win over seventh-ranked Pakistan in Delhi, India on Saturday came in the wake of a humiliating World Cup record 12-0 defeat to favourites Australia just 48 hours earlier and illustrated the character and spirit that permeates captain Austin Smith and head coach Gregg Clark’s team.

Although out of the running for a semi-final berth, as well as the top six due to three consecutive defeats, SA are still in the running for seventh place, depending on the outcome of two key matches in Pool B today.

Although SA were competing in the first half, there was no obvious indication of how things would turn out in the second after striker Rehan Butt had given Pakistan a 1-0 lead at half-time.

But three dazzling goals in six minutes after the break through a Gareth Carr drag-flick ripper from a penalty corner, Ian Haley’s snap-volley into the net and Taine Paton’s stunning reverse-stick deflection from Carr’s pinpoint, diagonal power-cross into the circle from the right channel saw SA suddenly go 3-1 up. With 20 minutes left, Pakistan’s Waseem Ahmed was sin-binned and a superb run by Shanyl Balwanth culminated in Marvin Harper smashing a first-time shot into the net.

Two Pakistan PC goals through Muhammad Imran and Ahmed in the dying minutes restored respectability to the scoreline, but it was too little too late for the four-time World Cup champions.

 

Monday’s Pool B fixtures: Spain vs England; Australia vs Pakistan; India vs SA (live on SS7 from 5 pm, repeat on SS7 at 9 pm).

Log – Pool B: all played 4 (goal difference, points): 1. England (+7 GD, 12 pts); 2. Australia (+16 GD, 9 pts); 3. Spain (+2 GD, 6 pts); 4. India (-4 GD, 3 pts); 5. Pakistan (-6 GD, 3 pts); 6. South Africa (-15GD, 3 pts). Pool A: 1. Netherlands (+11 GD, 10 pts); 2. Germany (+7 GD, 8 pts); 3. South Korea (+7 GD, 7 pts); 4. New Zealand (-1 GD, 6 pts); 5. Argentina (-4 GD, 3 pts); 6. Canada (-20 GD, 0 pts).

 

Weekend results: Saturday – Pool B: Australia 2 Spain 0; South Africa (0) 4 (Gareth Carr, Ian Haley, Taine Paton, Marvin Harper) Pakistan (1) 3 (Rehan Butt, Imran Muhammad, Waseem Ahmed); England (1) 3 India (0) 2.

Sunday – Pool A: South Korea 9 Canada 2; Argentina 1 New Zealand 0; Germany 2 Netherlands 2.

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