India, Pakistan lose to jeopardise World Cup hopes (Roundup)March 5th, 2010 - 1:39 am ICT by IANS
By Sirshendu Panth and Avishek Roy
New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) India squandered chances and defended sloppily to go down 2-5 to a determined Spain as their Hockey World Cup hopes lay in shambles here Thursday.
India’s sub-continental neighbours Pakistan also seemed to be staring down the barrel after an identical 2-5 loss to an in-form England in another Pool B encounter at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.
England lead the group with nine points followed by Australia and Spain with six each.
India and Pakistan have three points, but the hosts are fourth on better goal difference. A top two finish in the group for making the semis would be a tall task for the former Asian giants.
Mathematically, both still have slender chances of making it to the last four stage, provided they win their remaining two ties. But even then their fortunes will heavily depend on the results of other matches in the pool.
In the other game on day five, Australia showed remarkable speed and agility, pummelling South Africa 12-0 to set a new World Cup record.
In a free flowing contest, India and Spain played a fast-paced attacking game but the hosts had to surrender to the better team on show.
Spain’s Albert Sala scored the first goal while skipper Pol Amat added to the tally just at the stroke of interval. Sandeep Singh converted a penalty corner at the start of second half but Spain immediately struck in quick succession through Pau Quemada and Roc Oliva to increase the lead.
Gurwinder Singh Chandi narrowed the margin before Quemada slotted home another penalty corner to take the match away from India.
India lost their second consecutive match after going down to Australia by the same margin following their victory over Pakistan in the opener.
India’s Spanish coach Jose Brasa conceded that he has given up hopes of a semi-final finish.
“We have no chance of making the semi-finals now. Our main aim is to finish among the top five,” said Brasa.
India converted only one of the six penalty corners with Spanish goalkeeper Francisco Cortes making some brilliant saves, while the host forwards failed to give finishing touches to the moves. The defence lapses also cost them dear.
England played a disciplined game to continue their relentless march towards the semifinal.
Jonty Clarke (21st minute, 62nd) and skipper Barry Middleton (53rd minute, 64th minute) struck a brace each, while Ashley Jackson (32nd minute) chipped in with a solitary strike in the game which was exciting but marred by frayed tempers on both sides.
Down 0-2 at the breather, Pakistan played blitz hockey for the first 12 minutes of the second session to restore parity as Shakeel Abbasi (45th minute) and Rehan Butt (47th minute) scored within a space of two minutes.
However, James Tindall was seen lying injured when Pakistan scored the second goal, which was finally awarded despite a referral by England.
As the on-field action was halted for the referral and subsequent treatment of Tindall, the reserve benches of the two sides almost came to blows. The tempers continue to flare up for the rest of the match and Pakistan’s Muhammad Irfan had to digest a blow from Iain Mackay.
The 47th-minute stoppage and on-field disturbances destroyed Pakistan’s rhythm and helped England regroup as the European champions slammed three more goals to take their points tally to nine from three straight victories.
Post match, veteran Pakistani forward Rehan Butt asked tournament director Ken Read to have a look at the television footage of their match and take some action against the Englishmen for reckless play.
“What happened today was for everybody to see. If Mr. Read can punish Indian forward Shivendra Singh for ‘reckless’ play, then he should also see the footage of this match. Mohammad Irfan injured his nose today due to the rash act of English players,” said Butt.
For Australia, Like Doerner (15th minute, 34th minute, 49th minute, 68th minute) scored four goals, three of them from penalty corners, while Jamie Dwyer (52nd minute, 54th minute, 65th minute) struck thrice and Glenn Turner (21th minute, 61st minute) twice.
Desmond Abbott (26th minute), Matthew Butturini (44th minute) and Fergus Kavangh (35th minute) scored once.
Australia’s victory margin over South Africa is the biggest ever in the World Cup and surpassed Pakistan’s 12-3 win over New Zealand in the 1982 World Cup in Mumbai.
- India muff chances to let Spain progress in Hockey World Cup (Second Lead) - Mar 05, 2010
- Azlan Shah Cup: Rupinder drag-flicks India past Britain 3-1 - May 06, 2011
- India lose to Spain in second hockey Test - Jul 08, 2012
- England drub Pakistan 5-2 to close in on semi-final berth (Lead) - Mar 04, 2010
- India, Pakistan bow out of semifinal race (Roundup) - Mar 07, 2010
- India outplay Pakistan, England shock Australia (Round-up) - Mar 01, 2010
- India eves go down to China in Junior Asia Cup - Jul 02, 2012
- India beat South Africa 6-5 in hockey Test - Jul 09, 2012
- Relaxed England lose their last Pool match to Spain (Lead) - Mar 08, 2010
- India are better than what scores might suggest, says Charlesworth - Oct 14, 2010
- India eves in semis of Junior Asia Cup hockey - Jul 03, 2012
- Asian Games hockey: India beat Pakistan, reach semi-finals (Lead) - Nov 20, 2010
- England push India out of knockout contention (Lead) - Mar 07, 2010
- India beaten 1-2 by Spain in tri-nation meet - Jul 19, 2012
- CWG hockey: India crush Pakistan 7-4, face Australia in semis (LEAD) - Oct 10, 2010
Tags: amat, asian giants, brasa, chandi, dhyan chand, fortunes, goal difference, hockey world cup, india and pakistan, india india, india pakistan, oliva, panth, remarkable speed, semi finals, semis, shambles, spanish coach, staring down the barrel, world cup record