Hockey player red-carded in ugly scenes at Commonwealth Games
England and Canada have played out a spiteful clash in the hockey at the Commonwealth Games, with one player sent off after appearing to choke another.
It was an otherwise dominant display from England, who won 11-2 thanks to Canada's Balraj Panesar being sent off in the first half.
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The hosts had been leading 4-1 before the fracas broke out, stemming from an England player being yellow carded for tackling a Canadian player with his stick.
Despite the umpire stepping in for a quick penalty, they were unable to prevent both sides coming together.
From there all hell broke loose, with Panesar reacting furiously when England's Chris Griffiths appeared to grab at his stick.
The two men squared off immediately, grabbing a fistful of one another shirts.
Panesar escalated the situation by appearing to grab at Griffiths' throat, to which the Englishman responded with a forceful shove.
Well you don’t see them often in hockey but you’ll not see a clearer red card than the one just handed to Canada. England need to stay disciplined, keep everyone on the pitch and stay out of range. Come on @EnglandHockey boys!
— Kate Richardson-Walsh OLY (@katewalsh11) August 4, 2022
Eventually cooler heads prevailed, with Panesar red-carded and sent off for the rest of the match and Griffthgs shown the yellow.
England immediately made the most of their man advantage, eventually running away with a convincing victory to set up a semi-final against Australia.
Australia had earlier enjoyed a one-sided victory of their own, albeit under far less controversial circumstances, crusing past Pakistan 7-0.
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In their first encounter in four years, Pakistan were bold and skilful in their pursuit of a two-goal victory that would have seen them pip South Africa for second spot in the pool.
Instead South Africa's upset of New Zealand in the earlier game saw them through to a final-four showdown with India, who pipped England for top spot on goal difference.
"We have to come out and play our best every day cause if you're off you're in big trouble," veteran of four Games and Australian flag bearer Eddie Ockenden said.
"Yesterday (against South Africa) and today, tight, first-half tussles.
"They're awesome players ... I love having Pakistan in the tournament, they're beautiful to watch, so skilful, hard to tackle.
"It's such cool hockey and good crowds.
"We have to be our best and I love playing home teams ... it's not always we get great crowds so it's going to be awesome."
Tokyo Olympics silver medallists Australia have won all six men's hockey gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, but were under fire early.
Pakistan were denied three times by Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter, twice in rapid succession in general play then again from an ensuing penalty corner.
Australia, yet to concede a goal in the tournament, had a reply through Blake Govers.
The striker obliged when presented with an open goal, Jake Whetton flirting with the baseline before his pass to Wickham was then slapped across the face to Govers.
Jeremy Hayward added another from a rifled, low-drag flick to put Pakistan's finals dream further from reach and dim the parochial crowd in a city boasting a healthy Pakistan population.
The University's clock - the world's tallest freestanding clock tower nicknamed Old Joe - chimed for 10pm in the background as Hayward scored his second.
Then Daniel Beale somehow controlled a ball while lying on the ground in the circle, swiping a pass to Wickham for his first.
He then cheekily found space inside the post to finish a superb solo run before Jacob Anderson and Nathan Ephraums completed the rout.
Australian back-up goalkeeper Johan Durst then got valuable minutes and made several sharp saves to maintain Colin Batch's side's flawless defensive record.
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