Pakistan prove too strong for England

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The Independent Online

England never recovered from a third-minute penalty-corner goal from Pakistan's Sohail Abbas, going down 4-3 to the Asian champions in their fourth game in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup here last night.

England won an early penalty corner, but Tom Bertram's powerful shot was ruled too high. However, Danny Hall won a second penalty-corner, and he was on hand to deflect Craig Parnham's drag shot into the net for the equaliser.

Bertram again found the net later in the first half, only for the umpire to rule that the ball had not been stopped. At the other end, a careless tackle in midfield allowed in Kasif Jawwad for a reverse stick shot that somehow flashed in between Simon Mason and the post.

The interval came with Bertram receiving a temporary suspension for a crude tackle. Eight minutes into the second half Mason was again beaten from a narrow angle after Muhammad Sawar had outstripped the English defence down the left.

In the 59th minute, Abbas opened up a three-goal margin from another penalty corner. With Michael Johnson and Guy Fordham galvanising the midfield, Hall's persistence pulled a goal back and, with just four minutes remaining, Bertram scored England's third.

England face India and Germany in their last group games.