India's medal hopes in men's hockey took a serious beating yesterday when they lost a cliffhanger to Australia. India went down fighting 4-3 in a Pool B match.

Earlier, in a Pool A match, Pakistan blanked out South Korea 3-0.

Rehan Butt put Pakistan ahead in the 43rd minute, while Shakeel Abbasi added one more to the tally in the 56th minute.

Prolific scorer Sohail Abbas then converted a penalty corner in the 66th minute of the game to give the former world champions a convincing victory margin.

India took the lead as early as in the sixth minute through Deepak Thakur. But their joy was short-lived as Australia equalised through Troy Elder in the 11th minute.

Jamie Dwyer then put the Aussies ahead in the 38th minute and Michael McCann slotted home to help Australia increase the margin in the 49th minute.

Thereafter India fought back gallantly to be on target in the 50th and 52nd minutes through Gagan Ajit Singh and Arjun Halappa. But Australia found the mark once again through Michael Brennan to settle the issue in the 70th minute.

The Netherlands snatched another last-minute victory in a men's match yesterday, finally squeezing past South Africa 3-2.

The Dutch, going for their third Olympic gold in a row, went 2-0 down in the first 23 minutes and only fought back to triumph - thanks to two magnificent goals.