ISLAMABAD - M Waseem's goal saved green shirts blushes and brought them back into contention from the brink of elimination in the all-important match against minnows South Africa.

Pakistan maintained their reputation of conceding early goals in the match as they were 1-0 down in just one minute and 20 seconds of the match. Their defence needs improvement and clear-cut strategy to mark the rival players. They have to overcome their mistakes to beat defending champion Australia in their last group match as defeat will end the green shirts hopes of making to the semi-final.

Pakistan forwards put up a brave show and for the first time in the entire event, they created numerous chances and posed serious threats to South African defence. Pakistan team management should take notice of poor goalkeeping as Imran Shah's reflections and anticipation were slow and poor in the last four matches and needs coordination with defenders to keep green shirts on track.

Pakistan had so far conceded nine goals and also scored nine as well in the four matches so the percentage of conceding goals is alarming because of lack of coordination among the defenders and goalie. Coach Akhtar Rasool should try to address the flaws as the match against Australia will be a daunting challenge for the defenders and especially for the goalkeeper. Haseem Khan's brace and a goal apiece from Sohail Abbas, Shafqat Rasool and the all-important from veteran full back M Waseem had managed to save the day for Pakistan and the expectations of the nation reached at new level. Now they are sensing the team can go on further and even win the gold after a hard wait of 28 years.

Australia on paper is a strong side, but not invincible as Argentina had managed to play a 2-2 draw against them while Pakistan is more than capable of taking one step further by beating them. The players had got the potential and hunger but they have to fully focus on the task ahead and play their natural attacking game.

Sohail once feared for his lethal short corners hitter but is not producing the wonders and needs to score more goals by slightly changing his style, as team’s had worked hard on his style of taking plenty corners.

If Pakistan play out a draw against Australia then they had to rely on Spain to beat England and worst come worst if green shirts lose the match then their Olympic dream will be over without any silverware.