LONDON - Eighth ranked Pakistan hockey team face South Africa in their fourth match of the 2012 London Olympic Games at Riverbank Arena on Sunday (August 5). This group A match will start at 14.45 hours (PST).
This will be the only second match between South Africa and Pakistan in Olympic Games. Pakistan recorded a 3-1 victory over South Africa when two teams met only time in the Olympics at Beijing on August 17,2008.
Mohammed Javed scored the first goal of the match in the ninth minute. South Africa's Austin Smith netted the equalliser in the 31st minute. Shakeel Abbasi and Mohammed Saqlain scored one goal each in the second half for Pakistan. Pakistan draw their opeing match with Spain and achieved a 2-0 victory over Argentina in their second match. Great Braitin defeated Pakistan 4-1 in the third match.
Two goals in the first half from James Tindall and Jonty Clarke set the tone and an unstoppable Ashley Jackson added two more in the second half to make it 4-0 before Pakistan pulled one back in the final minute through their captain Abbass.
The South Africans who finished last at Beijing four years ago, did not have the best times in their Group A opening game, due to a crashing 6-0 by the Australians. They draw the second match with Great Britain 2-2 and lost the third match against Spain 2-3.
The green shirts will offer a stiff challenge to their counterparts having won the men’s Hockey Gold Medal in the Olympics a total of three times in 1960, 1968, and 1984. Pakistan has also won 3 silver and 2 bronze medals.
STARS TO WATCH:
SOHAIL ABBAS (PAKISTAN):
Penalty-corner specialist Sohail Abbas, the top goal-scorer in the history of hockey, scored two of Pakistan's four goals in the current tournament.
Sohail Abbas who was born on June 9,1975, scored 346 goals in 347 international matches since making his debut against India in 1998.
JUSTIN REID-ROSS (SOUTH AFRICA):
Justin Reid-Ross has proven himself as one of the world’s hottest penalty corner experts, netting as many goals in the Dutch Hoofdklasse as Dutch legend Taeke Taekema in the past season. Add in a dynamic presence from the back, either in the centre or over-lapping down the flanks, and he is one of the star performers.