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Holland rout Pakistan after late flourish

December 07, 2004 17:16 IST

Defending champions Holland drubbed Pakistan 4-1 with a late burst of goals to secure their third straight victory and set sights on a third title triumph in a row in the Champions Trophy hockey tournament in Lahore on Tuesday.

It turned out to be a memorable outing for Dutch captain Jeroen Delmee, playing his 300th international, as his team overcame a resilient Pakistan before thousands of their home supporters in the thrilling contest.

The victory took Holland's points tally to nine from three games, the same as Spain, whereas Pakistan stayed on six points from three outings in this round-robin tournament.

Holland scored two goals in the last five minutes to seal victory after the teams went to half-time with scores level at 1-1.

Ronald Brouwer (15th minute) gave Holland the lead before the hosts drew parity through Sohail Abbas, who equaled Australian Mark Hager's Champions Trophy record of 32 goals.

Taeke Taekema (39th minute) and Karel Klaver (65th) added two mode goals before Delmee rounded off the tally with a 69th minute strike.

Although the result suggested a one-sided game, the Pakistanis had themselves to blame for the defeat as they squandered a number of opportunities to score the equalizer when the socre line was 2-1 in Holland's favour.

Shakeel Abbasi and Rehan Butt missed sitters to leave the home side ruing their misfortunes even though they did manage to outplay their rivals at times.

"We played the best hockey in the tournament in the last part of the second half. Pakistan played well and they had a few opportunities for them. I am very pleased with the way we played," Holland coach Terry Walsh said.

With the tournament going past the half-way mark, the Dutch are now clear favourites to move into the final.

"We are half-way through and sitting on nine points. But still there are two more matches to go. We have to play Spain tomorrow. So let's wait and see," Walsh said.

The high-profile match drew over 15,000 fans to the stands but the home side supporters were disappointed by the way their side lost the match after dominating it for long.

"If you look at the score it looks like a big defeat. But that was not the case. We had goal scoring opportunities but we missed them. But I am sure the team will come back hard in the next matches," Pakistan coach Roelant Oltmans said.

The home team's scoring problems were compounded by the failure of Abbas to score more than once from penalty-corners. Abbas scored the equaliser with his trademark drag flick, but failed to beat veteran Holland goalkeeper Guus Vogels in subsequent attempts.

"Holland scored twice from two penalty-corners while we managed just once. This only added to our problem as our strikers also struggled to put the ball in even from open chances," Pakistan captain Waseem Ahmed said.

In Wednesday's matches, Holland play Spain while Pakistan will clash with India.


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