A nervy Pakistan put behind their defeat against arch-rivals India to eke out a narrow 2-1 win against Spain in a hard-fought Pool B encounter of the hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Tuesday.
A defeat would have virtually shut the semifinal door on Pakistan after their 1-4 defeat against India but Abdul Haseem Khan (30th minute, 70th) sounded the board twice to see them through.
David Alegre scored the lone goal for Spain in the 67th minute.
As expected, the match started on a fast pace with Pakistan going for the attack right at the beginning.
As early as in the ninth minute of the game, Pakistan got a great opportunity to go ahead but Waseem Ahmed's shot, after dodging some Spanish defenders in side the D, was saved by goalkeeper Francisco Cortes.
But Spain seemed in no mood to sit back and got their first scoring opportunity in the next minute.
A quick through ball from captain Pol Amat found Rodrigo Garza right in front of the goal but his shot was cleared by Pakistan custodian Salman Akbar.
Pakistan's experienced centre forward Rehan Butt also wasted an opportunity in the 11th minute as he failed to touch the ball with only the Spanish goalkeeper to beat.