Pakistan have a tough task in hand on Wednesday as they face Australia in their second match of the FIH World Hockey League semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium.
Australia were ruthless against France in their opening game as they drilled an incredible 10 goals past the Europeans. But, it should come to us as no surprise with Australia said to have brought a strong team in the competition, which they will be eager to win.
Apart from eying a place in the World Hockey League finals later in the year, the Australians have also set their eyes on the 2016 Olympics berth. Not only Australia, but also Pakistan, who are ranked 10th in the world, will use this competition as a last opportunity to seal a berth for 2016 Rio Olympics.
Pakistan was lucky enough to defeat Poland in their first game with the score reading 2-1. Pakistan scored in the dying minutes to secure three points. During the game as well, Pakistan were pressurised on many counts by the Polish players who deserved a draw at the least.
With such contrasting form coming into this Wednesday's game, Australia, ranked number one are surely going to be favourites to win the game. Pakistan, known to be an unpredictable side are always a threat and a team that cannot be considered lightly.
"Australia won't be taking us lightly as anything can happen in hockey in this age," The Express Tribune quoted Pakistan skipper Muhammad Imran as saying.
With players such as Blake Govers, Jamie Dwyer, Matt Gohdes and others, the Australians are force to be reckoned with.
"Australia have some speedy strikers who can score goals on the counter, as they displayed against France in their 10-0 win. The same French side had lost 3-2 to India, which shows what the Kookaburras are capable of. We will have to make amends in our defence and also play attacking hockey."
If the Pakistan team commits the same mistakes, which they committed against Poland, the Australians are going to punish the men in green like no other team. Poland might have troubled Pakistan with their breaks, but the Australians are a major force in all areas.
Things do not look good for Pakistan, hence their goalie Imran Butt needs to be on top of his toes. He could prove to be the most important player for Pakistan.
Pakistan's head coach Shahnaz Sheikh has stated that they have worked on the errors from their last game.
"We have worked on the mistakes done in the opening match and have analysed the match between Australia and France," said Shahnaz Sheikh.
Where to Watch Live
The World Hockey League semi-finals clash between Pakistan and Australia is scheduled for 8pm local time (11:30pm IST, 11pm PKT) start with live Tv coverage in India on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports 2 HD with live streaming option on starsports.com. Audience in Pakistan can catch the game live on PTV.
Ireland and Great Britain viewers can follow it live on Sky Sports, with the live stream option on Sky Go.
Viewers in Belgium can watch the game live in Telenet, while Australian viewers can catch the action live on Fox Sports and Foxtel.