Hockey: Sohail double leads one-way traffic as Pakistan beat India

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The Independent Online

There have been many classic encounters between the Asian giants Pakistan and India, but yesterday's match in the Rabobank Trophy in Amstelveen was not one of them.

There have been many classic encounters between the Asian giants Pakistan and India, but yesterday's match in the Rabobank Trophy in Amstelveen was not one of them.

After Rehan Butt, with a fine run down the right flank, had provided the cross for Abbasi Shakeel to open the scoring for Pakistan in the seventh minute, India were seldom in the hunt.

Sohail Abbas, with the first of his two penalty corner goals, put Pakistan further ahead before India pulled a goal back through Deepak Sonkhla just before the interval. But there was still time for Hussain Shabbir to restore Pakistan's two-goal cushion.

As hard as the veteran Dhanraj Pillay, the surprise choice in the Indian squad, tried to get his forwards going, the second-half traffic was almost entirely towards the Indian goal. Sohail collected his second with Jawad Kashif and the captain, Muhammad Nadeem, completing the scoring for a splendid 6-1 victory which suggests that Pakistan could well finish among the medals in Athens.

In Sohail they probably have the best drag flicker in the world, along with a squad who all work for each other. Pakistan's only bigger win over their neighbours was 7-1 in the final of the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.

Earlier, in the women's tournament, Korea moved to the top after coming from behind to beat a depleted Germany 4-2. Two brilliant penalty corner strikes from Yun Mi Kim just after the interval put the Koreans in complete control.

Rabobank Trophy (Amstelveen): Men: Pakistan 6 India 1. Women: Germany 2 South Korea 4.

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