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Azlan hockey: Pakistan rally to down India

Last updated on: May 11, 2011 20:18 IST

India squandered a one-goal lead and went down 1-3 to Pakistan in the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Wednesday.

Trailing by a 22nd minute goal, scored by Rupinder Pal Singh from a penalty-corner, Pakistan attacked with vigour and struck thrice midway through the second half.

They restored parity in the 49th minute through Umar Butta and then struck twice in three minutes through Mohd Imran (55th minute) and Shoail Abbas (57th minute) to clinch victory and stay in contention for a berth in the final.

The defeat snapped India's four-match winning streak against Pakistan since last year and consigned them to fourth place in the league table, with seven points from five matches.

Pakistan moved up to the third place with nine points in five games. 

World champions Australia lead the standings with 10 points from four matches, while Britain are second with nine
from four.

India take on New Zealand on Thursday in their concluding round-robin match.

Each side plays six matches in the seven-team competition and the top two in the league meet in the final on May 15.

India started off on a positive note and created numerous scoring chances in the opening half but could not sustain the tempo.

Rupinder Pal, the find of the tournament, capitalised on one such opportunity and increased his personal tally, handing India the lead in the 20th minute with a powerful drag flick from the team's second penalty-corner.

However, it was a different scenario after the change of ends, as, trailing by a goal, Pakistan came out all guns blazing and launched continuous raids on the Indian citadel.

Their efforts bore fruit in the 49th minute when Butta capitalized on Diwakar Ram and Gurbaj Singh's defensive lapse and scored.

Imran made it 2-1 in the 55th minute, converting a penalty-corner, and two minutes later it was Abbas's turn to slam home the ball from another penalty-corner.

Australia ward off spirited challenge from Korea

Earlier, World champions Australia warded off a spirited challenge from South Korea to carve a 4-2 victory and move to the top of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament standings, on Wednesday.

Leading by a goal, the Australian citadel came under heavy pressure from the determined South Koreans, but a 67th minute penalty-corner goal from Mark Paterson on his second attempt sealed the issue for the Aussies.

It was his was the second goal of the match, having earlier scored a field goal in the 12th minute after Timothy Deavin opened the scoring for Australia in the eighth minute.

Seasoned striker Glenn Turner was the other scorer for the reigning World, Champions Trophy and Commonwealth Games champions.

For South Korea, the two goals came through You Hyo-Sik (15th minute) and Hyun Hye-Sung (39th minute).

In an earlier game, New Zealand rode on a last-minute goal from Steven Edwards to prevail 3-2 over Malaysia. It swelled their tally to four points from as many games.