|March 4th, 2010|
|14||Pool B||6:30pm||ENG - PAK||5 - 2 (2 - 0)||Final|
England, unbeaten so far in the competition, started with a bang and thought that they had taken the lead in the third minute when Iain MACKAY batted into goal a ball lifted into the circle by a Pakistani defender, however the goal was disallowed by the video-umpire after a lengthy review.
The match continued at high pace but both defences were compact and there were few serious scoring chances until a penalty-corner for England. Richard MANTELL’s powerful high flick had the keeper beaten but it shaved the outside of the port. England nevertheless went first on the scoreboard in the 21st minute by Jonty CLARKE, diving to deflect high in goal a perfect cross from the left by James TINDALL. Immediately after, James FAIR in the English goal protected the advantage with a superb save in full extension on a Sohail ABBAS penalty-corner.
Pushed by the crowd filling in the stadium for the India game later in the day, Pakistan were trying hard to tie the game, but their defense was caught flat footed by Ashley JACKSON, sneaking in their back to deflect in goal a hard pass by Barry MIDDLETON from outside the circle. Two goals down, Pakistan went into the break looking dejected and with a lot of work to do to come back in the game.
Shakeel ABBASI was the most dangerous forward for Pakistan and another one of his deep penetrations earned a penalty-corner, but Sohail ABBAS was definitively off his usual lethal form and James FAIR gloved the ball away without too much problem. It took a spectacular solitary effort by Shakeel ABBASI through the whole English defense for Pakistan to reduce the score in the 45th minute. Things were suddenly looking brighter for the Green Shirts and another penalty-corner gave them a chance to equalize by Rehan BUTT, after the initial shot was saved again by James FAIR.
Unfortunately, England lost central defender Richard MANTELL on the play after a nasty collision with an attacker. Just when it seemed that they would struggle through the last twenty minutes, England regained the lead by Barry MIDDLETON, deflecting on the run a cross from the right. James TINDALL had a golden opportunity soon after on a one-on-one with Salman AKBAR in the Pakistani goal, but his reverse stick shot went wide.
Pakistan were handicapped in the final minutes by a yellow card to Muhammad IMRAN and Jonty CLARKE scored his second goal of the game with a hard shot from a narrow angle and Barry MIDDLETON added a fifth goal in the 64th minute. Three goals down and one player short was too much for Pakistan and the European Champions cruised to a spectacular win to maintain their unbeaten streak in the competition.
Match facts (England v. Pakistan):
> England beat Pakistan by three goals their biggest winning margin over Pakistan in World Cup competition.
> England have won 4 of their 8 World Cup matches against Pakistan, drawing 2 and losing 2.
> England go top in Pool B with 9 points from 3 matches.
> Eight England players have now scored at least once at the 2010 World Cup.
> Ashley Jackson is now on three goals in this world Cup.