Hockey: Australians will face neighbours in final

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The Independent Online

Australia, the defending champions, will play New Zealand, in the Commonwealth Games final tomorrow following their 3-1 victory over South Africa, a repeat of the Montreal Olympic final.

New Zealand claimed their place with a sensational 7-1 win against Pakistan, who had been the firm favourites to reach the final.

Pakistan never recovered from two open-play goals from the Kiwis in the opening three minutes. First Umesh Parag put the ball into the roof of the net from close range and then Bevan Hari did much the same.

As New Zealand continued to dominate, goals came at regular intervals, with Phillip Burrows scoring four times.

England's men finished in fifth place with a 6-3 win against Canada – leading goalscorer Danny Hall scoring four times.

After a disastrous start – which saw their captain Craig Parnham miss a penalty stroke in the second minute, Ken Periera score for Canada directly from the restart, and England fail to score from a couple of penalty corners – it was a relief for the host nation when Hall scored the first of his goals following up at another penalty corner.

The rest of the first half saw missed chances by both sides but, in the 26th minute, Hall scored his second – again by following up at a penalty corner – to give England a 2-1 lead at the interval. It was not until the teams had reached 3-3 that England eventually took control of the game, scoring three times in the last 10 minutes.

Hall said: "I am pleased with four goals, but disappointed they came a few days late."

Wales finished seventh by beating Barbados 7-0, with Cannock's Simon Organ scoring three times.

After their excellent semi-final victory against the world and Olympic champions Australia on Thursday, England's women spent some time with the team psychiatrist yesterday to ensure they were brought down to earth before today's final against India.

Lucilla Wright, who has been in hospital with an infection from a grazed shoulder, has been ruled out, but otherwise there are no injury worries.

England's assistant coach Ian Jennings said yesterday: "India are a quality, quick side, who pose some threat. But it is not about what India do on the pitch, it's about what England do. The side remain very focused."

India drew 1-1 with England in their pool game, but have yet to beat them in 13 encounters.