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Pakistan too good for South Korea
August 19, 2004 15:41 IST
Pakistan 3 South Korea 0
The Netherlands 3 South Africa 2
Pakistan scored a convincing 3-0 victory over South Korea to take one more stride towards a semi-final berth from Group A in the Olympic Men's hockey competition in Athens on Thursday.
In the clash between two top Asian teams Pakistan, aiming for a gold medal after a gap of 20 years, played a scratchy first half but regrouped in the second to inflict a humiliating defeat on the Sydney Olympic silver medallists.
Rehan Butt (43rd minute), Shakeel Abbasi (56th) and Sohail Abbas (65) scored the goals for Pakistan to take their points tally to six from three outings.
Pakistan, who last won their gold at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, looked out of sorts in the first half, preferring to get the measure of their wily opponents.
But the Koreans also lacked the understanding and penetration to trouble the Pakistanis.
The breather seemed to do wonders for the Pakistanis as they went on the offensive from the word go and launched attacks from both flanks on the Korean goal.
It was a lucky deflection by center-forward Rehan Butt which broke the deadlock, as he barely connected a free hit from Abbas.
With the Koreans pressing for an equaliser, the Pakistanis resorted to fast paced counter attacks and the move paid off as Abbasi capped off a brilliant move from Butt in the 56th minute.
Penalty-corner specialist Abbas made it 3-0 when he converted the team's third penalty-corner five minutes from time to take the game away from the Koreans.
Pakistan will now take on Spain while Korea take on Egypt in the next league fixture on Saturday.
Earlier, in a Group B encounter, defending champions the Netherlands defeated South Africa 3-2.
Greet-Jan Derikk (29th), Teun de Nooijer (49th minute) and Karel Klaver (69th) scored for the winners while Steven Evans (16th) and Ian Symons (23rd) found scored for South Africa.