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Pool games in Commonwealth Games Hockey poised for exciting finish

Excitement to decide which teams go to semi-finals in the Commonwealth Games Hockey competition, both for men and women, will continue till the last game is decided on Thursday.

Excitement to decide which teams go to semi-finals in the Commonwealth Games Hockey competition, both for men and women, will continue till the last game is decided on Thursday.

The pool games played so far have produced both exciting and surprising results. While Australia and Indian men are certain to play the semis, which other two teams make the last four grades is anybody’s guess. Even Pakistan stands an outside chance of making the last four rounds provided it springs a surprise against the only unbeaten team Australia in its last pool game on Thursday.

The morning session of the last day of the pool matches  starts with  South Africa taking on New Zealand. The South Africans need a big win to leapfrog their opponents into second place in Pool B.

In the second game, England plays Wales. A win or a draw for the hosts would  be enough  for it to secure top spot in Pool A. England can only be replaced as the leader of pool A only if it loses to Wales by 10 goals or more of which there is not even a remote possibility.

The afternoon and evening sessions  will take the excitement to the men’s competition where India takes on Wales in Pool B in what is essentially a faux quarter-final. A draw would be enough for India to progress  even if Canada is able to beat England in the next game. England currently sits at second spot in the pool and will be looking to register a big win over Canada to try and secure top spot in Pool B. As of today it is  11  goals behind India’s goal difference on the same points.

In the evening session South Africa takes on  New Zealand in Pool A. A win for South Africa could knock the Black Sticks out of semi-final contention. A win for New Zealand would see them leapfrog their African foes and into 2nd place in the group ahead of the final match of the day.

The final game in Pool A  features Australia and Pakistan. Pakistan are still in with a chance of making the semi-finals, but will need to upset the odds and win or at least draw to keep that dream alive, depending on how the game between New Zealand and South Africa ends.

In the penultimate round of the round robin league, Australian women made it 4 wins from 4 games while India secured its place in the semi-final in a dramatic fashion to round out the morning session with a 3-2 win over Canada.

Indian men registered a big win over Canada in the first game of the afternoon, while Wales kept its hopes of semi-final alive following a win over Ghana. The evening session began with a thriller between Pakistan and Scotland’s men, with Pakistan edging the tie and keeping its slim hopes of qualification alive. A packed day was ended by Australia making it 3 wins from 3, securing its top spot in Pool A.

Australia made sure it finished with a perfect record in the Pool stage as it beat Scotland (3-0) in a game that ended its chances of reaching the semi-finals.

 

 

 

Prabhjot Singh

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