MELBOURNE - Pakistan finished Pool B in third place after losing 1-0 to Australia in Tuesday’s final preliminary round game at the Champions Trophy in. The loss means Pakistan will face a daunting task in knock-out stage of the event as they are pitted against Olympic champions Germany.

Four-time defending champion Australia will take on England in Thursday’s quarterfinal match-up. The Australia vs England quarterfinal is sure to be one of the top games on Thursday as it will knock one of the two 2012 Olympic semi-finalists out of the medal race. Pakistan is also sure to have its hands full against world no 1 Germany in the two vs three quarterfinal match-up.

The teams closed the first half in a scoreless draw despite some good chances on both end of the field. For the Australians the half was a continuation of offensive frustration from their 0-0 meeting against the Dutch and left the Aussies scoreless for more than 100 consecutive minutes of this Champions Trophy.

It was Kieran Govers that at last broke the scoring silence for the Australians when he fired in a top shelf penalty corner goal with 20 minutes left in regulation. The Australians breathed a visible sigh of relief after finding the back of the goal and looked more relaxed and confident in the later stages of the game. Tomorrow is a day off for all eight teams before the all-important quarterfinals on Thursday.

Pakistan played well throughout the matched and looked capable of pulling off an upset, however a second-half penalty corner to Kieran Govers gave the home team the win. Australian defender Mark Knowles said there was still room for improvement.

"We haven't played that well yet and know we can get better. We need to improve, we now play England, they are young and it's a quarter-final at a Champions Trophy so it will be big for everyone," he said.

Meanwhile, India finished top of Pool A despite going down 3-2 in their final pool game to Olympic champions Germany. World number 11 India will now face win-less Belgium, who finished fourth in Pool B, in a quarter-final on Thursday.

The Netherlands, ranked three in the world, topped Pool B after defeating Belgium 5-4 and will face New Zealand in their quarter-final. Elsewhere, England blew their chance to finish on top of Pool A after drawing 1-1 against New Zealand.

A win will put India into the semi-finals and a chance for their first Champions Trophy medal since their bronze at Amstelveen in 1982. Striker SK Uthappa said his team still took confidence going forward despite the loss to the Germans.

"Team morale is very high because we knew that it wouldn't be an easy game to play against the Olympic gold medallists, so we were prepared for a good fight and that's what happened," he said. "It was most important that we finished on top and that is what we did." India made the best possible start with Gurwinder Chandi finding space in the circle to deliver a powerful shot for the opening goal.

Germany worked themselves back in the game minutes later, with Oliver Korn following up his first shot which hit the post to fire home the rebound and level the game. The match continued at a frantic pace, with India producing several shots on goal which were all stopped by German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi.

India continued on with their form after half-time, with a deflection from Nithin Thimmaiah from a penalty corner retrieving the lead. India continued to play attacking hockey in search for another goal, however the disciplined German defence held firm. This eventually paid dividends with a lapse in concentration from India allowing Germany back in the game with two goals to Tobias Matania within two minutes to seal the win.

The Netherlands secured top spot in Pool B by beating Belgium in a nine-goal thriller, but were pushed by the Belgians who fought back from a 3-0 half-time deficit. Dutch captain Klaas Vermeulen said despite the close call they would take the positives heading into the quarter-finals. "The tournament is starting now (with the quarter finals). We have to forget the second half and remember the first and stay focused," he said.

Pool Standings

Team    M    W    D    L    GD    Pts

Pool A

India    3    2    0    1        3    6

Germany    3    2    0    1        1    6

England    3    1    1    1        1    4

New Zealand    3    0    1    2    -3    1

Pool B

Netherlands    3    2    1    0    3    7

Australia    3    2    1    0    3    7

Pakistan    3    1    0    2    -1    3

Belgium    3    0    0    3    -5    0


Pakistan    v    Germany

New Zealand    v    Netherlands

India    v    Belgium

England    v    Australia


Australia    1

Pakistan    0

Germany    3

India    2

Netherlands    5

Belgium    4

England    1

New Zealand    1