Pakistan finish last in Hockey World Cup

Updated: 11 March 2010 12:46 IST

Pakistan registered their worst-ever performance in the hockey World Cup as a resilient Canada pushed the Asian team to last place in the megaevent with a golde

Pakistan finish last in Hockey World Cup

New Delhi:

Pakistan registered their worst-ever performance in the hockey World Cup as a resilient Canada pushed the Asian team to last place in the megaevent with a golden goal victory here on Thursday.

Scott Tupper converted a penalty corner in the 83rd minute to hand the Pan American side a 3-2 win in the extra time and an 11th place finish in the 12-team tournament.

This is the first time that Pakistan have finished in the last position in a World Cup. Their worst-ever performance before on Thursday was the 11th spot finish in the 1986 edition of the tournament in London.

Canada, meanwhile, finished 11th for the third time after 1978 and 1990.

Connor Grimes (12th minute), Mark Pearson (58th) and Tupper (83rd) contributed in Canada's cause with a goal each while Rehan Butt (4th) and Akhtar Ali (46th) sounded the board for Pakistan.

The 11-12th classification match between Pakistan and Canada was fought keenly with both the sides finishing the regulation 70 minutes locked at 2-2.

There was hardly any difference between the two sides and even the additional time of 15 minutes (7.30 min in each half) failed to decide the winner, which dragged the encounter into tie-break.

Pakistan scored the first goal of the match as early as in the fourth minute of the game when Butt deflected home a powerful reverse stick shot by Shakeel Abbasi.

Shocked by the early goal, the Canadians went hard for the equaliser and got two scoring chances within seven minutes.

But on first occasion Sukhwinder Gabbar Singh's powerful shot clashed against the left post of Pakistan goal and Connor Grimes' reverse stick shot from narrow angle was easily kept away by custodian Salman Akbar.

However, Canada's persistent pressure resulted in the equaliser in the 12th minute when Grimes deflected the ball into the bottom right corner of Pakistan goal after receiving a hard cross from Rob Short.

After levelling the scoreline, Canada continued to attack the Pakistan goal and earned two penalty corners in the last 11 minutes of the match but failed to convert any to go into the breather 1-1.

After the change of ends, Pakistan came all out all guns blazing and managed to secure back-to-back short corners but Sohail Abbas disappointed on both the occasion.

Scott Tupper got a golden opportunity to put Canada ahead but a brilliant Akbar denied him in the Pakistan goal.

Canada goalkeeper Dave Carter then made two great saves, first clearing an Abbas dragflick from Pakistan's third penalty corner and then padded away Waseem Ahmed's powerful shot from top of the circle.

Akhtar Ali, however, gave Pakistan the lead in the 46th minute when he beautifully volleyed the ball into Canada goal from a Muhammad Zubair's deflected cross from the right.

Pakistan's joy was shortlived as Mark Pearson scored the equaliser for Canada 12 minutes from the hooter after video umpire was brought into action.

From there on, the ball traversed up and down the field as both teams went for the winner but failed to bring extra time into action in the first classification match of the tournament.

The opening half of the extra time was dull affair as both the teams preferring to play safe.



Topics : Hockey
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