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Worst finish for Pakistan hockey team at Olympics
August 21, 2008 17:10 IST
Three-time champions Pakistan's cup of woes filled to the brim as they went down to New Zealand [Images] 2-4 and finished finish eighth, their worst ever showing in 15 appearances at the Olympic hockey competition, at the Beijing [Images] Games on Thursday.
In another match of the morning session, Belgium routed Canada [Images] 3-0 to take ninth place in the 12-nation tournament.
It was a disjointed Pakistan side which looked clueless against more determined rivals who dominated the proceedings.
However, the green shirts did make sporadic but incisive moves which fetched them five penalty-corners but they failed to convert any of them.
For the Kiwis, who led 1-0 at half-time, the goal scorers were Simon Child (26th minute), Shaw Hayden (39th, 53rd), Gareth Brooks (43rd).
For the losers, Abbas Bilgrami (43rd) and Rehan Butt (56th) scored.
The Kiwis after frustrating the Pakistani forwards, who missed some good chances, surged ahead in the 26th minute through Simon Child, who capitalised on a defensive lapse and scored a superb goal (1-0).
The Kiwis virtually sealed the match when they pumped in two more goals in the space of four minutes to take a decisive 3-0 lead.
Hayden Shaw converted a penalty-corner four minutes after the lemon break and then in the 43rd minute Gareth Brooks scored.
Pakistan reduced the gap through Abbas Bilgrami in the 46th minute but Simon Child scored off a penalty-corner in the 53rd minute to give New Zealand a 4-1 lead and the seventh place finish.
The former Asian champions made few counter forays and in the 56th minute they managed one more goal through veteran Rehan Butt (2-4) but that was all they could do as Kiwis did not allow them to score any more.
Meanwhile, Jerome Dekeyser scored twice to enable Belgium overpower Canada 3-0 to take the ninth place.
Playing under a heavy downpour, Belgium used the long ball with Dekeyser deflecting into goal a Xavier Reckinger pass in the second minute. Then John Dohmen connected Fleix Denayer's free hit in the 24th minute for the second goal.
Dekeseyer then slammed his second and team's third goal with a reverse hit after intercepting a pass from Cedric Charlier just before the final whistle.
In between, Canada tried hard for a goal but their forwards were wayward in their attempts. Their best scoring chance came in the 52nd minute when they were awarded a stroke after a goal bound hit by Mark Pearson struck a defender on the foot but Wayne Fernandes flicked his stroke high.
Belgium finished ninth, the same position they attained at 1978 Montreal Games when they last played in the Olympics. nada ended 10th, the same placing which they had attained at the 2000 Sydney Olympics [Images]. They did not qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics.
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