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Australia whip Pakistan 3-0 in rough final to retain Hockey gold

Written by: Staff
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Melbourne, Mar 26: Displaying an all out attacking game, hosts Australia outplayed Pakistan 3-0 in a violence-marred final to retain the Men's Hockey gold in the Commonwealth Games for the third time in a row here today.

Alongwith this, Australia also have the Olympic gold and the Champions Trophy and are now looking forward to the world Cup later this year in Germany.

For Australia, who led 1-0 at half time, the goal scorers were Liam De Young (18th), Luke Doerner (58th) and Jamie Dwyer (61st) World number five, Pakistan played with only 10 men for the last 19 minutes of the match after Tariq Aziz was sent off.

While Pakistan threatened on occasions, Australia, the world's top-ranked men's team, was too strong in all departments of the game, in which they forced as many as nine penalty corners and converted two of them.

Australian defenders Mark Knowles, skipper Bevan George and Dean Butler were frustrated by the Pakistani attacks but they did not concede a single penalty corner.

Australia surged ahead in the 18th minute through their first penalty corner. It was a well planned conversion as after dragging the ball in, Liam De Young received the ball back from Jamie Dwyer and, from alongside the goal post, slotted it past goal-keeper Salman Akbar.

In between, Pakistan muffed up a couple of good chances and the culprit was none other than their star striker Shakeel Abbasi, whose excellent running down the right wing caused panic in the the Australian defence.

In the 12th minute, he wasted a sitter when he shot just wide of the Australian goal and in the 23rd minute was on the end of a lightning counter-attack, after an Australian penalty corner, only to be foiled by goal-keeper Stephen Mowlam.

If it was hot for the crowd, the temperature on the pitch was not cool either with plenty of rough play and physical clashes. After a couple of green cards -- one each in the first half -- the match erupted into a brawl in the 41st minute that left Robert Hammond's with a bloodied face and the umpire gave marching orders to Tariq Aziz.

Tariq, in sheer frustration, struck Hammond in the mouth with his stick and the umpire had little hesitation in showing Aziz the red card.

The Kookaburras took full advantage of their numerical strength and while Pakistan tried its best to keep the margin to a single goal, Luke Doerner slammed home from a penalty corner to double Australia's lead (2-0).

Two minutes later, a brilliant goal from Jamie Dwyer secured Australia a third straight Commonwealth gold medal with the Kookaburras defeating Pakistan 3-0.

With nine minutes remaining and Australia leading 2-0, Dwyer pounced with a terrific reverse stick deflection to guide the ball past Pakistan's goal-keeper Salman Akbar to complete the tally.

Veteran Australian Brent Livermore now has all three Commonwealth Games hockey gold medals, having been a part of the Kookaburras successful campaigns in Manchester and Kuala Lumpur, where the sport was included for the first time.

Pakistan have only themselves to blame for the debacle and rough play lost them many a supporters. Their forwards failed to combine well and Shakeel missed chances, Rehan Butt was off colour and Tariq Aziz was more interested in physical contact with the rivals then with the ball.

They attacked with the sole purpose of gaining penalty corners in which they failed and the Australians after defending their citadel well in the first half went out on the offensive, braving the Pakistani rough tactics to emerge winners.

Earlier, Malaysia scored a goal in each half to beat England 2-0 to claim the Bronze medal. Tunku Abdul Jalil (12th) and Mohammad Amin Rahim (44th) were the scorers.

UNI

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