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September 21, 2000
Germany, Pak in 1-1 drawThe Rediff Team
The most skillful attack seen in the tournament thus far, went up against the most obdurate defence of the men's hockey event of the Millenium Games. The result, a 1-1 draw, the scoreline being a fair indication of the evenness of the exchanges.
Or perhaps that is not quite true, either -- much against pre-match predictions, it was Germany who enjoyed the better share of exchanges for the most part, and in fact had far more tries on goal than the normally ebullient Pakistanis.
Pakistan for its part seemed to be having an off day, often losing possession before they could get the ball inside the rival D.
Germany started off brilliantly, outrunning the Pakistanis and mounting serial assaults that resulted in two field tries, and one penalty, before Oliver Domke banged one in from the top of the circle in the 19th minute.
Pakistan gradually fought its way back into the game, showing their dazzling stick skills and tormenting the Germany defence with some slick runs and ritzy dribbles. One such move saw the frustrated defender produce an improper check, resulting in Pakistan's first penalty-corner, in the 30th minute. Sohail Abbas did the needful, with a neat drive.
As it turned out, that was it for the game -- the remainder of the first half, and the entire second half, witnessed a lot of running up and down and quite a few tries on goal, but no result. Germany more than Pakistan was guilty of prodigality -- they had 8 shots at goal to Pakistan's 3, from the field, and managed to convert only one.
Neither defence was unduly stretched, either -- as evidenced in the fact that there were just 3 penalty corners in the game, two of them to Pakistan.
Pakistan now have five points from three games following a draw against Canada and an 8-1 mauling of Great Britain.
Germany have seven points from two earlier wins against Malaysia and Canada. Both teams have to face defending Olympic and World champion The Netherlands. Those two matches are likely to decide which two teams will reach the last four. The Netherlands too are well placed with seven points from three matches.
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