Pakistan were ripped apart by the hosts Australia in their first match of the International Festival of Hockey at Melbourne’s State Netball Hockey Centre. The record four time World Champions’ 1-9 defeat is their worst ever in international hockey. Holland had defeated Pakistan 9-2 at the 2006 Champions Trophy in Terrassa, Spain.
Australia, the reigning world champions, dominated the proceedings almost throughout; at times they toyed with the opponents. Blake Govers’ hat trick included two off penalty corners, and a memorable field goal. Aaron Kleinschmidt had a brace each.
The Kookaburras first goal came in the eighth minute off the first penalty corner. An excellent top of the circle drill baffled the defence and Hayward put his team ahead.
Within four minutes, Whetton doubled the advantage. After robbing a defender, he entered the circle from the left, immediately swerved and with the tomahawk rattled the board.
First half’s last goal came off a wonderful Whetton assist. His inch perfect ball from circle’s top beat a crowded defence and Kleinschmidt, easily scored from the middle of the scoring area.
In the first 30 minutes, Pakistan had just one open play attempt when Arslan Qadir’s full stretch effort eluded the target. They also wasted one PC.
Half Time: 3-0
Two minutes into the second half, Abubakr brought a glimmer of hope. Off Pakistan’s second PC, his forceful flick went high into the net.
However, within a minute, Aussies restored three goal lead. Kleinschmidt had his second of the evening with a superb first time reverse hander from the left of circle’ s edge which went into the roof of the far net. Govers made it 5-1 with a PC conversion. His flat forceful push beat the Pak defence all ends up.
Though, Australia again had most of the exchanges in the third quarter but it was green shirts’ best 15 minutes of the game. They had open play opportunities and a couple of penalty corners, scored off one of them.
Pakistan’s sloppy defending seemed to be theme of the day but in the last quarter, it completely melted away and conceded four more. Arunasalam dived to avail a parallel pass sent from left.
Then Govers scored the most memorable goal of the day. Standing in the left side of the circle, he body feinted the defence and put it in, finding the narrowest of the narrow gaps between the near post and the net minder- all in one movement. Soon a Govers’ reverse shot from left, across the face of the goal, was well flicked into the goal by Wickham. Irresistible Govers completed the tally and also his hat trick in the last minute. Off another PC, his hard low push went past goal keeper Amjad’s left pad.
Australia: 9 Pakistan: 1
Australia: Blake Govers 3, Aaron Kleinschmidt 2, Jeremy Hayward, Jake Whetton,
Kiran Arunasalam,Tom Wickham
Pakistan: Abubakr Mahmood
In the 4-nation event, Pakistan play Japan on Thursday. Japan today held a strong New Zealand side 1-1