Pakistan, Germany score second wins
Four-time champions Pakistan recorded their second victory in the 10th men's hockey World Cup, edging past Belgium 3-2 in a Pool A match on the second day of the tournament on Monday.
In a later match, also in Pool A, Germany defeated South Africa 3-0 to register their second victory.
For South Africa it was their second defeat.
Pakistan's victory was not as easy as against South Africa on Sunday. Belgium, drawing inspiration from the presence of Belgian Prince Philippe and wife Princess Mathilde, put up a strong fight before going down.
Belgium drew first blood even before the Pakistanis could settle down, from their first penalty-corner through Vitali Kholopov.
But Pakistan's penalty-corner ace Sohail Abbas was sure with his flick from a penalty-corner within five minute to put his side on level terms.
The Pakistanis held a slight edge thereafter but failed to make an impression on the Belgian goal because of crowding out tactics.
Belgium began the second session like the first, again surprising the Pakistan defence with a breakaway raid which ended with Xavier Brooke finding the net.
But that lead was only to last for five minutes as Sohail Abbas again found the mark from a penalty-corner. The goal took his tournament tally to four from two matches.
Atif Bashir made sure of victory for the Asians with a field goal in the 50th minute.
Pakistan had chances to increase the lead but some good 'keeping by Vincent Deneumoistier denied them further success.
With a second win, the Pakistanis have six points. They take on New Zealand on February 27.
Belgium are still pointless but could give defending champion the Netherlands a tough fight when they face each other on February 27.
The Germans led 2-0 at half-time in their match against South Africa. Olivier Domke scored twice from field goals, in the 15th and 64th minutes, while Sascha Reinelt slammed one in the 21st minute.
Mail Sports Editor