Top two eye gold
24 Mar 2006 10:18
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Australia and Pakistan will play for the men's gold medal at the XVIII Commonwealth Games after winning vastly different semi finals in Melbourne today.
Tournament favourite Australia produced a clinical second half display to dismantle the Malaysian defence en route to a six-goal victory.
Captain Brent Livermore scored two penalty stroke goals either side of half time to give Australia a comfortable margin before the world's best team displayed their considerable talent with four more goals in the final 19 minutes to cap an impressive performance.
Livermore had double reason to celebrate the semi final win which gives him a chance at a third successive Commonwealth Games gold medal, with wife Belinda giving birth to their second daughter, Zoe, less than four hours before the Kookaburras took the field.
He will make a quick trip to the Gold Coast tonight before returning to Melbourne in time for the final on Sunday.
The second semi final between Pakistan and England was a tense yet entertaining match, with sudden death extra time needed to separate the teams.
After a scoreless opening half, Pakistan took the lead midway through the second term before England responded two minutes before full time to force the match into extra time.
However Pakistan wasted no time ending the contest early in the first period of extra time, with Shakeel Abbasi scoring his second goal to give the world number five a spot in the gold medal playoff.
In the classification matches on day nine, New Zealand scored an extra time victory over India to claim fifth place after scores were locked at full time, while Scotland edged South Africa to take seventh.
In the playoff for ninth, Canada scored two early goals and held on to beat Trinidad & Tobago.
The men’s final will be held at 13:00 on Sunday, with the bronze medal clash at 10:30.
The women’s medals will be decide tomorrow with home team Australia playing India for gold and England and New Zealand clashing to determine the bronze medallist.