Ipoh, Malaysia:Pakistan were ruled out of the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament title race on Monday when favourties New Zealand snatched a late 2-3 win over the former champions here.
With back-to-back defeats, Pakistan are now out of the running for a place in the April 12 final after hosts Malaysia beat them in identical scoreline on Sunday.
Meanwhile, in the other match of the day, Malaysia registered their second successive win in the five-nation event, outplaying debutants Egypt 4-1.
With this victory, the hosts are now one step closer towards the title clash.
The encounter between New Zealand and Pakistan was a close fought battle as the match went till the wire with the Black Sticks sealing the victory just two minutes from the hooter through a penalty stroke.
The Black Sticks, who came into the event with a young squad, scored through Priyesh Bana (seventh minute), Nicholas Haig (44th), and Dean Couzins (68th), while Dilawar Hussain (eighth) and Mohamed Imran (23) found the net for Pakistan.
The other match between Malaysia and newcomers Egypt was a one-sided affair with the hosts sounding the board thrice in the second half to score their second successive win in the invitational tournament.
Ismail Abu (27th minute), Engku Abdul Malek (39th), Chua Boon Huat (64th, 68th) found the net for the hosts, while Ahmed Abd El Hakiem (45th) was the lone goal scorer for Egypt.
Egypt is still in the fray for the title as they stunned India on Sunday by holding them to 2-2 draw in the tournament opener.
After a rest day on Tuesday, India will take on Malaysia on Wednesday, hoping to put an end to their winning streak while New Zealand will be up against less-formidable Egypt in the other match of the day.