Monday, December 14, 2009

Kiwis polish off Pakistan

Sunday 13 December
9:05 7-8 BEL : CAN 2:0 (1:0)
11:35 5-6 RSA : CHN 5:0 (2:0)
14:05 3-4 ARG : IND 2:3 (2:1)
16:35 1-2 NZL : PAK 4:2 (2:2)

Final Standings
1. New Zealand
2. Pakistan
3. India
4. Argentina
5. South Africa
6. China
7. Belgium
8. Canada

Game 20 – Final – New Zealand v. Pakistan: 4-2 (half-time: 2-2)

Statistics between the two teams before this final (compiled by B.G.Joshi, Bhopal, India):
Matches played: 43 - Pakistan won 34, New Zealand won 4 - 5 draws
Goals for Pakistan: 149 - Goals for New Zealand: 65
Biggest Wins for Pakistan: 12-3 in 1982 World Cup in Mumbai
Biggest Wins for New Zealand: 7-1 in 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games
Last played: 2009 Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh: New Zealand won 2-1

The much expected Final between New Zealand and Pakistan, the top two ranked teams in the competition, started immediately at high pace. New Zealand had to concede a penalty-corner in the 7th minute, and Sohail ABBAS scored it dutifully although Kyle PONTIFEX got a piece of the shot. New Zealand replied with a penalty-corner of their own, using an option with Ryan ARCHIBALD deflecting on the post.

The game was back to square one and the initial nerves shaken. New Zealand then scored a sumptuous goal by Phillip BURROWS diving full length to deflect a cross from the left, then read well the second penalty-corner for ABBAS. Pakistan could not penetrate the compact New Zealand defense and tried to use long passes but they seldom came close enough to be dangerous, let alone win the coveted penalty-corner for ABBAS to officiate. It is finally in the last minute of the period that Rehan BUTT pounced on a ball in the crowded circle and acrobatically managed to shoot it out of reach of PONTIFEX.

Second half started under hot summer sun finally arrived over Salta. New Zealand were consistently dangerous upfront by Simon CHILD, Phillip BURROWS and Ryan ARCHIBALD, circulating the ball with speed and accuracy. Their best chance was for Nicholas WILSON, deflecting the ball from close range on the crossbar, but the score did not evolve. Pakistan had three additional unsuccessful penalty-corners then New Zealand scored two goals in quick succession in the last five minutes, first by Steven EDWARDS then Phillip BURROWS, both at the conclusion of fast offensive moves that swept away the Pakistani defense.

Sohail ABBAS missed another penalty-corner and New Zealand could soon celebrate their first Champions Challenge victory with their traditional haka.

BDO Champions Challenge I (men) – Salta, Argentina
Results Day 5: Sunday 13 December 2009

(7-8) Belgium - Canada 2:0 (1:0)
BEL 24mn Alexandre DEPAEUW (FG) 1:0
BEL 50mn Renaud PANGRAZIO (FG) 2:0

(5-6) South Africa - China 5:0 (2:0)
RSA 8mn Thornton McDADE (FG) 1:0
RSA 26mn Julian HYKES (FG) 2:0
RSA 38mn Justin REID-ROSS (PC) 3:0
RSA 42mn Gareth CARR (FG) 4:0
RSA 68mn Austin SMITH (FG) 5:0

(3-4) Argentina - India 2:3 (2:1)
ARG 22mn Facundo CALLIONI (FG) 1:0
ARG 29mn Facundo CALLIONI (FG) 2:0
IND 35+mn Vokkaliga RAGHUNATH (PC) 2:1
IND 54mn Gurbaj SINGH (FG) 2:2
IND 69mn Dhananjay MAHADIK (PC) 2:3

(Final) New Zealand - Pakistan 4:2 (2:2)
PAK 7mn Sohail ABBAS (PC) 0:1
NZL 15mn Ryan ARCHIBALD (PC) 1:1
NZL 20mn Phillip BURROWS (FG) 1:2
PAK 35mn Rehan BUTT (FG) 2:2
NZL 65mn Steven EDWARDS (FG) 3:2
NZL 66mn Phillip BURROWS (FG) 4:2

Final Standings: 1) New Zealand (qualify for the 2010 Champions Trophy) 2) Pakistan 3) India 4) Argentina 5) South Africa 6) China 7) Belgium 8) Canada

Individual Awards:
Player of the Tournament: Sardar SINGH (India)
Goal-keeper of the Tournament: Kyle PONTIFEX (New Zealand)
Top goal scorer: Pedro IBARRA (Argentina), 8 goals
Fair Play: Argentina