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Siegfried Aikman terms 7-0 rout ‘learning opportunity’ after Australia crush Pakistan’s semi-final hopes at CWG

Siegfried Aikman terms 7-0 rout ‘learning opportunity’ after Australia crush Pakistan’s semi-final hopes at CWG

BIRMINGHAM: A day after the crushing 7-0 defeat at the hands of Australia, Pakistan coach Siegfried Aikman said it was a learning opportunity for his side.

Australia put paid to Pakistan’s semi-final hopes at the Commonwealth Games on Thursday night with Jeremy Hayward and Tom Wickham twice each at the University of Birmingham ground.

Pakistan, who went into their final Pool ‘A’ fixture needing to win by two goals to pip South Africa to second spot, will now face Canada in a classification match for 7th-8th place while Australia advanced to a last-four clash with hosts England.

“Yesterday we had a great opponent in Australia the current number two of the world,” Aikman wrote in a short tweet on Friday. “Great challenge and learning opportunity. We wanted to play to win.”

Pakistan, indeed, started as if they wanted to win and put Australia, who have won hockey gold in all six editions since the sport was introduced to the Commonwealth Games, under pressure.

Pakistan were denied three times by Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter, twice in rapid succession in general play then again from an ensuing penalty corner.

But once Australia drew first blood through Blake Glovers in the 12th minute, there was no way back for Pakistan.

Glovers obliged when presented with an open goal, Jake Whetton flirting with the baseline before his pass to Wickham was then slapped across the face to Govers.

Hayward added another in the second quarter from a rifled, low-drag flick to put Pakistan’s finals dream further from reach and dim the parochial crowd in a city boasting a healthy Pakistan population.

The University’s clock — the world’s tallest freestanding clock tower nicknamed Old Joe — chimed for 10pm in the background as Hayward scored his second.

Two minutes later, Daniel Beale somehow controlled a ball while lying on the ground in the circle, swiping a pass to Wickham for his first.

Wickham then cheekily found space inside the post to finish a superb solo run before Jacob Anderson and Nathan Ephraums completed the rout.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2022

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