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SA redeem themselves with a win over Pak

Boys grow to become men. The South Africans did so splendidly. After a huge 0-12 rout against Australia, the Proteas came out all guns blazing on Saturday, outplaying Pakistan 4-3 in their Pool B encounter.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2010 01:34 IST
Shubhodeep Chakravarty

Boys grow to become men. The South Africans did so splendidly. After a huge 0-12 rout against Australia, the Proteas came out all guns blazing on Saturday, outplaying Pakistan 4-3 in their Pool B encounter.

With no chance of making it to the semis, the Proteas looked focused on the match in hand from the beginning. A penalty corner in the second minute though unsuccessful, sent early shivers in the Pakistan camp. Powered by Marvin Harper and Julian Hykes in the forward line, the South Africans continued their thrust into their opponents' half.

A lacklustre Pakistan took lead in the sixth minute off a gentle reverse stick touch by an unmarked Rehan Butt. The field goal, however, was the sole highlight for the side.

The 0-1 score on the giant scoreboard ignited the South Africans and they let loose a barrage of assaults. A 19th minute counter offensive saw Harper steer clear of Pakistani defence. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Harper mistimed what could have been a stunning equaliser in a deserving first half.

The post 35-minute session, however, saw the South Africans all over it. Within minutes after the lemon break, Thornton McDade put his team on level terms, spanking the ball to the net off a penalty corner. In the next 16 minutes, South Africa not only took the lead but cemented it with three goals one of which resembled a creative golf spank from Harper's stick. A goal each by Imran Muhammed and Waseem Ahmed in the dying minutes could not stop Austin Smith's side from redeeming itself against a team that now has just one win from four matches.

Smith could barely conceal his smile after the win. “We played to our strengths today.”