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CWG Hockey: Pakistan beats Scotland

BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan men’s hockey team edged out Scotland 3-2 to keep their slim chances of semifinal qualification alive in the opening match of the evening session in Birmingham on Wednesday.

In a tie that ebbed and flowed in the favor of both sides it was Scotland that took an early lead, Cammy Golden scoring the opening goal in the ninth minute following a penalty corner.

Chances for both sides followed in the first period, Junaid Manzoor having a pop at restoring parity for Pakistan in the tie but missing the target.

Another quarter of few chances was blown open by two Pakistan goals in the space of a minute. Afraz got the leveler in the 22nd minute before Abdul Shahid got Pakistan’s noses in front in 23rd minute.

Suddenly on the back foot, Scotland searched for an equalizer of their own, Jamie Golden went close after some impressive skill but the players headed into half-time with Pakistan leading 2-1.

The third quarter seemed to open up the tie as both sides searched for goals. With chances for both teams coming thick and fast it was the Scots, thanks to Struan Walker, who scored in the 38th minute to level the tie.

Despite some late Pakistan pressure, in which they hit the post, the match remained level heading into the final quarter.

Scotland began the final quarter searching for a goal that may have earned them their first three points of the competition. However, it was Pakistan who would get the late winner, Rooman scoring with five minutes left on the clock.

There was little time for any more notable chances, Scotland played the last two minutes without a keeper as they desperately searched for another equaliser but the game ended at 3-2, Scotland without a win in the Pool stage.

Scotland sit last on the points table, while Pakistan are just ahead of them, occupying fourth spot.

In another Pool A match, Australia outclassed South Africa, clinching three wins from three to secure top spot.

Pakistan will take on six-time Commonwealth Games hockey champions Australia tonight in their last Pool match.

Pakistan are still in with a chance of making the semi’s, but will need to upset the odds and win or at least draw to keep that dream alive.

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M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.