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Sohail Abbas leads Pakistan charge
March 02, 2004 22:31 IST
Pakistan shrugged off a listless first-half performance to overrun Canada 4-2 in their opening Pool B match in the Olympic men's hockey qualifying tournament in Madrid on Tuesday.
Sohail Abbas made amends for a first-half penalty stroke miss and converted two of the five penalty-corners Pakistan forced in the 37th and 51st minutes to spearhead Pakistan's victory charge.
Kashif Jawad put home a Ghazanfar Ali pass in the 41st and then Shakeel Abbasi dribbled his way through for the fourth goal in the 58th.
Enjoying a healthy lead, Pakistan turned complacent and allowed Canada to score twice in the 68th and 69th minutes through Ken Pereira and Paul Wettlaufer respectively.
The Pakistanis took all of 35 minutes to settle down. Though they had more of the say in the first-half, their play was marked by some loose ball distribution and the inability of the forwards to find a way through a packed defense.
However, on change of ends, the Pakistanis found their rhythm to score at will while putting Canada in their place with some speedy moves after Abbas had put them in the lead.
The Canadians looked rather ill-equipped and their performance today was replete with wrong passes and a shaky defense.
It was only in the final minutes that they marked their presence with two goals and that too due to some shoddy defending by the Pakistanis.