NEW DELHI: Australia on Saturday beat Pakistan by 1-0 in the men’s hockey and booked their place in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games hockey tournament. According to a private television channel, Coach Ric Charlesworth stressed before the game that Pakistan were a threat to his side, and that proved to be the case with the team ranked ninth in the world causing plenty of problems for the world champions in an entertaining encounter at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
The pace of the impressive Shakeel Abbasi was a constant thorn in Australia’s side, and Pakistan could have been in front at halftime, only to be denied by three fine saves from goalkeeper Nathan Burgers.
However, Australians broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime when defender Chris Ciriello blasted home a penalty corner.
The second half started in a similar manner to the first putting Australia on the back foot with some enterprising play. Australians dominated the latter stages of the second half, with Jamie Dwyer, Fergus Kavanagh and Des Abbott carving out great opportunities, only to shoot wide.
Luke Doerner looked to have added a second goal four minutes from time with a penalty corner that looked destined for the net, only for Imran Shah to dive to his left and produce a fabulous one-handed save. Pakistan had a great opportunity to snatch a point with the last play of the game, but Muhammad Imran blasted his penalty corner over the bar. Pakistan Hockey team would have to win the match against India to reach semi-final.-SANA