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 February 27, 2002 | 1935 IST

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Pakistan, Australia win easily

Pakistan stayed on course for a semi-final berth with a comfortable 2-0 victory over New Zealand in Pool A in the men's hockey World Cup on Wednesday.

The four-time champions are second to the Netherlands on goal difference but have tough matches against the title holders, Germany, Spain and Argentina coming up.

Australia were also easy winners, whipping Poland 5-1 in a Pool B match.

After their subcontinent neighbours India were beaten by hosts Malaysia, the Pakistanis went about their task in a relaxed manner, preferring to conserve their energies for the sterner tests ahead.

The Kiwis kept them at bay till the breather but after the change of ends they were unable to cope with the tremendous pressure their forwards exetred.

The evergreen Shahbaz Ahmed put Pakistan ahead from a field goal in the 39th minute and Khalid Saleem added another in the 57th to ensure them full points.

The New Zealanders are still without a victory in the competition.

Easy for Australia

Michael McCann scored a brace while Troy Elder, Craig Victory and Jamie Dwyer got one each in Australia's victory.

Thomas Choczaj reduced the margin for Poland. His goal is the first conceded by the Aussies in the tournament.

After much midfield play, Australia went ahead at the stroke of half-time through Jaime Dwyer. But the Poles hit back immediately on resumption in the second half through Choczaj.

Michael McCann then got the first of his goals and Australia the lead in the 51st minute, and from then on the floodgates opened.

Craig Victory scored in the 57th minute, and Troy Elder, from a penalty-corner conversion, in the 62nd minute to make it 4-1.

McCann completed the rout from a penalty-corner eight minutes from time.

Poland have one win and two losses from three matches.

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