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Pakistan go down to Germany
August 16, 2004 01:17 IST
World champions Germany got the better of a fighting Pakistan 2-1 in their opening Pool A men's hockey match at the 28th Olympic Games on Saunday.
Bjorn Emmerling (7th minute) and Bjoern Michel (31st) scored for the winners in the first half before three-time Olympic gold medallists Pakistan threatened to split the points after Rehan Butt scored a field goal in the 43rd minute.
Germany, who recently won the Rabobank Trophy in Holland and a four-nation tournament at home, got off to a tentative start before taking control of the game.
A great goal by Emmerling, who received the ball from a quick free-hit on the left, ran into the circle and then flicked the ball high and past Pakistan goalkeeper Alam Ahmed from a very tight angle, put Germany 1-0 ahead, much to the dismay of the Pakistanis.
The Asian giants pushed forward into the attack after the restart, and tried hard to break past the German defence. Their hard work almost paid off when they earned a penalty-corner in the 24th minute, but the ever-reliable Sohail Abbas failed to make the most of the set-piece, hitting it wide.
Seven minutes later, Germany consolidated their position from an attack down the left and Michel finished a pass from the left touchline to put his side 2-0 ahead.
The second half saw some thrilling moments when Pakistan pressed hard for a goal but the German defence held firm.
The repeated onslaughts on the German defence finally paid off for Pakistan when Butt slammed home along the left touchline.
Pakistan's next match is against African champions Egypt while Germany take on Spain on August 17.