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Pakistan too good for NZ
Our Correspondent |
March 23, 2003 13:08 IST
Asian hockey power Pakistan kicked off their campaign in the 12th Azlan Shah tournament in rousing fashion on Saturday, overwhelming New Zealand 6-1.
The victory enabled them avenge the 7-1 defeat against the Kiwis in the Manchester Commonwealth Games semi-finals last year.
Playing under overcast conditions, the Pakistanis, with three new faces in the side, opened the floodgates in the ninth minute through Kashif Jawad before Mohammad Saqlain made it 2-0 in the 27th minute, finishing off on a penalty-corner rebound.
But the Kiwis fought back and reduced the lead minutes before half-time when Hayden Shaw sounded the board.
In the second session, however, it was a different story altogether. Pakistan scored twice within eight minutes of the restart through Shabbir Hussain and Sohail Abbas and then added more goals in the 51st and 58th minutes through Rehan Butt and Kashif Jawad respectively to finish with a tennis score victory.
Pakistan meet world champions Germany on Sunday.
In the day's second match, South Korea beat Malaysia 2-0.
South Korea went ahead in the 17th minute through a penalty-corner conversion from You Hyo-sik and made it 2-0 with a goal from Lee Jung Seon's penalty-corner strike just before the break.
The feature of the tournament is the '3-out rule' which is being tested. The new trial rule states that at least three players must, at all times, be outside their defending 23 metre area. These can be any three players and they do not have to be identified in advance or permanently for the match.
Wolfgang Rommel, chairman of the Hockey Rules Board, said: "The aim is to make the defensive zone less crowded and so facilitate more attacking play -- and thus increase the attractiveness of the game for players and spectators. When the defensive zone is less crowded, it is also safer. Extensive experience of the 3-out rule in Australia has also shown that there are fewer speculative, and unattractive, hard hits into the circle.
"Of course, there are always concerns when we trial a new rule, but the whole purpose of having a trial is to test exactly what does happen and therefore to assess the positive and negative implications of the rule on the future of our sport."