Dutch, Aussies in thrilling draw
World and Olympic champions Holland salvaged some lost pride as they held Australia to a 4-4 draw in the Six-nation men's hockey tournament at the Bukit Jalil stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
In the last match of the day's programme, the Dutch, who lost their first two matches to Pakistan and New Zealand respectively, staged a remarkable recovery after being thrice in arrears to come off with a creditable draw.
Australia drew first blood in the 13th minute, when Mathew Smith scored from a penalty-corner set piece but Holland drew level after only six minutes when Karel Klaver broke the shackles of tight marking to slame home.
As has been their play in their first two matches, the Aussies again took control of the proceedings with clever positional play and regained the lead in the 27th minute through Ben Taylor.
Jamie Dwyer then made it 3-1 for the Aussies in the 41st minute.
However, the Dutch, who needed a victory to stay in contention for a beth in the final, were in no mood to concede defeat so easily and they pulled one back four minutes later through their penalty-corner specialist Bram Lomans.
The deficit reduced, Holland launched a feverish search for the equaliser and were rewarded in the 55th minute when Teun De Nooijer was on target.
That set the stage for a rousing finish. Both teams went all out for the winner. Australia appeared to have clinched the issue when, in the 57th minute, Micheal McCann connected home a cross from Daniel Sproule. But Marten Eikelboom, who came as a late substitute, spoilt the party, scoring the equaliser three minutes from time.
Khasif Jawad 'tricks' as Pakistan slaughter Japan
In the first match of the day, Khasif Jawad scored a hat-trick as Pakistan went on a goal-scoring spree to trounce Japan 9-1.
The victory, the third from as many matches for Pakistan, was, needless to say, effortless even though it was the Japanese who opened the scoring early in the match. Sameer Hussain, Sarwar Muhammad and Sohail Abbas scored a brace each to complete the rout.
Takahiko Yamabori put Japan ahead in the sixth minute but thereafter the traffic was one-way. Sohail Abbas restored parity for Pakistan from a penalty-corner five minutes later and soon the Japanese found themselves conceding three more goals within three minutes -- Khasif Jawad scoring in the 16th minute and Sameer Hussain, in the 18th and 19th minutes.
Pakistan then relaxed the pace for the latter part of the first half, but continued the slaughter in the second session. Skipper Sarwar Muhamad made it 5-1 four minutes after the restart before Khasif got his second goal in the 45th minute and Sohail Abbas scored again in the 61st minute.
Khasif completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute while Sarwar completed the demolition a few second before the hooter.
Pakistan, who had earlier beaten the Netherlands and Malaysia, have a day's break on Tuesday and take on New Zealand next on Wednesday.
Malaysia gift New Zealand a draw
In the second match of the day, Malaysia gifted New Zealand a point as they conceded a silly goal and ended up with a 1-1 draw.
Malaysia should have been at least three goals to the good in the first half when they restricted the Kiwis to their own half, but poor finishing them saw them score just once.
After skipper Mirnawan Nawawi hit the post in the opening minutes and then saw New Zealand 'keeper Paul Woolford pad away his shot five minutes later, they scored in the 16th minute from a penalty-corner when K.Keeven Raj deflected Chua Boon Huat's pass into the goal.
They held a clear edge for the remainder of the half and then for much of the second session till a misunderstanding in the defence allowed New Zealand to restore parity in the 52nd minute. The Malaysians stood watching the ball as New Zealand captain Simon Towns essayed a reverse stick shot from the top of the semi-circle. Thinking the ball was struck from outside, goalkeeper Mohammad Nasihin Nubli let it travel into the goal.
With the draw, both teams have four points each.
Six-nation invitational tournament - the complete coverage
Day 3 report: Shabaaz stars as Pakistan rout Malaysia
Day 2 report: Kiwis shock Holland; Aussies beat Japan
Day 1 report: Pak rout Holland; Australia, Malaysia up