Pakistan to play SAfrica in crucial match today

KARACHI: At least three matches are scheduled today in hockey World Cup, as Pakistan will have to win with huge margin its today’s match to stay in the event, Geo News reported Saturday.

The mega event’s first face-off would be staged between Australia and Spain of Pool-B. It should be mentioned that Australia is second in world ranking and Spain on the third position.

Pakistan to play South Africa at 6pm. The South Africa were defeated by Australia 12-0. Today’s last match would be played between the event hosts India and the most successful England at 8pm.

Australia and Spain are on second and third positions respectively with 6 points each.

Holland tops Pool-A with 9 points, followed by Germany with 7 points and New Zealand on third with 6 points.

Their World Cup campaign may be in tatters following defeats against India and England but Pakistan remain upbeat about their chances in the remaining Group B games.

Pakistan have just three points from three matches and seem highly unlikely to advance to the semifinals. But the Greenshirts are still focused on winning their last two games, including a tough one against Australia, to keep their hopes alive.

“It looks really difficult,” Shahid said regarding Pakistan’s chances of reaching the last-four. “But anything can happen. We want to stay in the hunt for the semifinals by winning our last two matches. If we fail (in reaching the last-four) then we would go all out to at least finish fifth in the World Cup,” he said.

Pakistan take on Group B minnows South Africa on Saturday (today) before finishing their league matches with a clash against Australia.

On current form, Pakistan should beat South Africa but they will start as the underdogs against the Aussies.

“At the moment we are focussing on the match against South Africa,” he said. “We have to win it and then we will give our best to beat Australia.”

Commenting on his team’s disappointing 2-5 defeat against England on Thursday, Shahid said that his team lost the plot after coming back from two goals down to level scores 2-2. “At that time we were in a very position but our defence faltered and our goalie made too many mistakes.”