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Spain whip Pakistan
August 22, 2004 00:45 IST
Results of the day's matches
South Korea 11 Egypt 0
New Zealand 2 India 1
Holland 4 Argentina 2
Australia 3 South Africa 2
Spain 4 Pakistan 0
Eduardo Tubau scored a hat-trick as Spain handed Pakistan a 4-0 drubbing in a Pool A match of the Olympic men's hockey tournament in Athens on Saturday.
Three field goals by Tubau and another by Santiago Freixa gave the Spaniards a well-deserved victory and swelled their points tally to eight.
The victory enhanced their chances of making it to the semi-finals as they play minnows Egypt, who are yet to open their account in the competition, in their last league match.
Pakistan, on six points, now face the threat of being knocked out of medal race as Germany and Korea are ahead of them in points, the former being the favourite to take the top spot from the group.
The Europeans outplayed the Asian giants in all departments and Tubau was unstoppable, scoring goals in the 6th, 35th and 41st minute.
Freixa sealed the game for Spain with a strike from close on the right with just seven minutes to go.
Spain could have added a few more goals to the tally but for their failure to convert even one of as many as seven penalty-corners.
Pakistan next play Great Britain on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands and Australia snatched the first semi-final spots in the tournament.
Australia beat South Africa 3-2 although it could have been a different story had the South Africans made good on any of five shots at goal in the last 10 minutes.
The match was lumpy and defensive with few of the stunning running attacks that spiced up the Aussies' previous matches.
They scored through Travis Brooks, Nathan Eglington (pc) and Michael Brennan (pc); Greg Nicol (pc) and
Emile Smith accounted for South Africa's goals.
The Dutch, going for their third Olympic gold in a row, beat Argentina 4-2 but kept going through dry patches, losing control of the ball.
Rob Reckers, Karel Klaver, Teake Taekema (pc) and Teun de Nooijer scored for the Dutch while Mario Almada and Jorge Lombi (pc) were on target for Argentina.