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Champions hockey: Pakistan, Korea score upsets
November 30, 2007 22:27 IST
Last Updated: December 01, 2007 08:16 IST
In stark contrast to the results of Day 1 which conformed well with expectations, the second day at the Samsung Champions Trophy in Malaysia brought two surprises as Pakistan wrestled three points from Spain and Korea defeated Australia.
In the two other matches of the day, the Netherlands and Germany [Images] racked up their second wins against Malaysia and Great Britain respectively.
Pakistan started off the day with their match against Spain. Having lost the first match to Germany and drawn with Korea respectively, both teams were keen to pick up some points from Friday's match to build a base for their race for the final.
In a match that suffered from the intense heat of the early afternoon hour, Spain never found into their game while Pakistan enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity to defeat the higher-ranked Iberians.
After being denied many times by Spanish goalkeeper Quico Cortes in the first half, Pakistan sunk a pair of goals in the second half as the Spanish slowly faded to secure three points. Spain left the field with their heads hanging low, as this defeat makes it highly unlikely they will be able to still reach the final of this tournament, while Pakistan celebrated their unexpected win elatedly.
In the following match, the Malaysian hosts who had already impressed with a good performance yesterday again offered an unexpected amount of resistance to a much higher ranked opponent.
Stunned by a first half goal, the Dutch displayed their trademark efficiency however, and put away goals through the ever reliable Taeke Taekema and Rob Reckers for a half-time lead.
A third goal just after the teams came back from the break sealed the deal and put an end to the Malaysians� aspirations, giving Holland a 3-1 win and their second three points.
With Friday's goal, Rob Reckers also put himself in the position of solitary leader in the goal scorer list, the only player in this tournament to have three goals to his name.
The third match of the pitch saw two of the event's European teams lock horns, as Germany met Great Britain. In 11 previous encounters, Germany had never lost to Britain in a Champions Trophy, and they extended that streak today with a convincing 4-0 win.
The Brits never had a chance of challenging the World champions today and have now lost both their first two matches by the same score line.
The Germans waltzed to a leisurely win with goals from Sebastian Draguhn and Carlos Nevado plus a double-hit from Matthias Witthaus, whose second goal of the day also marked his 100th international goal.
In the last match of the day, Korea provided the second surprise result of the second round of matches, snatching three points from the Olympic Champions.
In a hard-fought encounter that turned quite physical in the second half, Australia had as much trouble capitalizing on their opportunities as they did yesterday, but today also paid the price by losing the match.
In the table, Germany and the Netherlands now are at the top, both on six points, followed by Pakistan on three, Spain on one point, and Malaysia and Great Britain without points to their name.
Play resumes on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur, with the matches between Spain and the Netherlands, Malaysia and Great Britain, Germany and Korea, and Pakistan and Australia.