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Pakistan, New Zealand in thrilling draw
September 08, 2006 22:13 IST
Twice in arrears, Pakistan fought back to force a 4-4 draw with New Zealand in a Pool 'A' match of the 11th FIH men's hockey World Cup in Monchegladbach, Germany, on Friday.
In a hotly-contested match, Pakistan looked in danger of losing when New Zealand led 4-3 with five minutes left, but Muhammad Zubair found the net from a melee for his second goal of the match to tie the scores, before Sohail Abbas wasted a penalty-corner seconds from the close.
For the Kiwis, who have never finished higher than seventh place in six appearances in the World Cup, Dean Couzins scored from penalty-strokes in the 15th and 36th minutes, while Blair Hopping (18th) and Hayden Shaw (54th) accounted for the other goals.
Shakeel Abbasi put Pakistan ahead in the ninth minute from a penalty-stroke. Rehan Butt (43rd minute) and Muhammad Zubair (21st, 65th) scored the other goals.
Both teams, who both won their previous matches, thus picked a point.
The match witnessed dramatic twists and turns with three penalty-strokes, two of them to the Kiwis, being awarded.
Pakistan strongly disputed the second stroke that umpire David Leiper signaled after a rising shot at goal struck a defender. The Pakistanis claimed dangerous play, but the umpire stuck to his decision.
Of the eight goals, the best was the one scored by Butt, who capped a brilliant solo run with a spanking reverse hit to the boards from a difficult angle.