Pakistan beaten again as Australia reach semis
NEW DELHI: Favourites Australia sweated to a 2-1 win over Pakistan on Monday to join England in the semi-finals from group B in the men''s field hockey World Cup.
Veteran penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas put a rejuvenated Pakistan ahead in the 24th minute, before Desmond Abbott scored twice in the second half to clinch victory for the Kookaburras.
European champions England, who had won all four previous matches, crashed to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Beijing Olympic silver-medallists Spain in their last match.
Pau Quemada convered a penalty corner in the 35th minute and Eduard Tubau increased the margin six minutes before the end against an English team already assured of a semi-final berth.
Both England and Australia ended the league on 12 points each, but the Kookaburras took top spot in the group by virtue of a superior goal difference of plus-17 against their rivals'' plus-5.
Spain finished third in the group with nine points and ensure themselves a top-six finish in the tournament.
Pakistan, with one win and four defeats, were left with three points.
India and South Africa, who also have three points each, clash in the final league match later on Monday.
The two semi-final spots from group A will be decided after Tuesday''s last round.
England captain Barry Middleton rued his team''s first loss in the tournament.
Sohail Abbas said Pakistan lacked consistency.
"We play well one day, and very bad the next day," he said. "The team lacks co-ordination. There is a lot of hard work ahead for us."