TWO goals by Australia within a space of 11 minutes against Pakistan was good enough to clinch 2-1 victory and see the Burras through to the 11th Sultan of Johor Cup final on Saturday.
The Aussies will take on World No 2 Germany in the final while Pakistan and India will battle in the third and fourth placing playoff match. The Germans had earlier defeated the Indians 6-3 in the semifinals.
“I thought it was a great game. Pakistan played some pretty good hockey. To me it was Pakistan’s style of brand. They were fast and very skillful with the ball. Towards the end we could have played a little bit better in possession of the ball,” said coach Jay Stacy.
“But there are few things we need to fix them up within 24 hours for the final against Germany. We have been playing well but we know we can play a lot better. We are happy to play Germany, in the final as they are a good side and so are we too.” He added.
Australia rallied to take a 2-0 lead over Pakistan before the end of the first half. Cooper Burns scored from a reverse stick tomahawk style in the 18th minute, crashing the ball into the goal mouth past a bewildered goalkeeper Ali Raza.
Brodee Foster then extended the lead 2-0 in the 29th minute with a solo run down the 25-metre line, charged into the Pakistani circle with just goalkeeper Raza to beat. He cleverly maneuvered his way and slammed the ball into goal after a major blunder by the entire defence team.
The Pakistanis, desperate for a goal as the clock was ticking away, had earlier ‘moved’ their entire players into Germany’s circle in search for goal. However, their failure to do anything positive saw the ball clipped out of their possession and Foster picked it from there, raced all the way with several Pakistani players hot on his heel. It was too late as Foster had already inflicted the damage.
Pakistan did everything it could to close the gap. The men in white and green colours had three penalty corners and numerous close targets opportunities but could not find the gaps.
With just one minute and 40 seconds remaining, Pakistan kept moving forward with intensity and scored a field goal through Hannan Shahid but it was too late to deny Australia a spot in the final.