SA down 10-man Pakistan in angry clash

South Africa fought back to beat 10-man Pakistan on a golden goal in an ill-tempered clash on Tuesday and finish fifth in the Commonwealth Games men’s field hockey competition.

With the scores tied 2-2 at full time, Justin Reid scored the decisive goal in extra-time after Pakistan were reduced to 10 men following a red card to Muhammad Irfan in the 58th minute.

Irfan was punished for bringing down South Africa’s Marvin Harper inside the “D”.

South African forward Lloyd Jones was livid over the rough tackle but said the team did not let the incident affect their performance.

“I saw the replays. The other guy claimed he had gone for the knees, but it was pretty obvious he’d gone for the face,” he said.

“It would be easy for heads to drop, but we knew how much was at stake and you can’t have darkness in your mind. We conceded and then attacked. We’re ecstatic.

“Finishing like this is massive for us, and to do it in the fashion we did in extra time was even better.”

Veteran striker
It was veteran striker Rehann Butt who put Pakistan ahead, scoring field goals in the 28th and 52nd minutes.

Trailing 2-0, South Africa fought back to level the scores with Reid converting a penalty-corner in the 55th and Gareth Carr in the 62nd.

Stunned by the reverse, Pakistan tried to regroup but were let down by poor coordination among the players.

Reid made most of the extra-time, converting a penalty with a drag-flick in the 75th minute.

Butt said the red card devastated the team.

“If a player gets a red card, then in today’s hockey there can be no comparison between 10 and 11. He [Irfan] is a young guy. I did not see the replay of what happened,” he said.

“Umpires hardly give a red card today, so I think the umpire was justified in giving it this time. Something serious must have happened. He is young and he will learn with experience.” — Sapa-AFP

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