Hockey: Australia fall to late strike from Pakistan

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The Independent Online

Pakistan, playing for the first time since beating India to take the bronze medal in the Olympic Qualifier in Madrid in March, sprung a surprise yesterday when they beat in-form Australia 2-1 on the second day of the Tri-Nations Tournament in Cannock. The Australians on Saturday had a comprehensive 4-1 win over Great Britain. The hosts play Pakistan this afternoon, again in Cannock.

Pakistan, playing for the first time since beating India to take the bronze medal in the Olympic Qualifier in Madrid in March, sprung a surprise yesterday when they beat in-form Australia 2-1 on the second day of the Tri-Nations Tournament in Cannock. The Australians on Saturday had a comprehensive 4-1 win over Great Britain. The hosts play Pakistan this afternoon, again in Cannock.

After a tactical battle, the first half ended with Australia's Travis Brooks scoring with a reverse stick shot from the top of the circle. The game opened up after the interval with Sohail Abbas scoring the equaliser from Pakistan's only penalty corner of the game six minutes after the interval. Tariq Aziz scored from close range in the 60th minute for the winner.

In Saturday's opening game in the six match series, Britain paid the penalty for defensive lapses, handing Australia a two-goal lead with goals from Grant Schubert and Andrew Smith.

Britain came out fighting in the second half and after Danny Hall had slammed the ball into the side boards the Guildford striker latched on to a pass from Barry Middleton to draw the Australian goalkeeper, Stephen Mowlam, and score off the bottom of the post. Australia then raised the pace of their game with Michael Boyce and Mark Knowles adding late goals.

Britain's coach Jason Lee, while pleased with some aspects of their game, agreed that the scoreline was a fair reflection of the match. The real difference in the two sides was that Australia took their chances while Britain didn't.

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