Hockey World Cup in New Delhi

Record win for Australia as Pakistan, India stumble

NEW DELHI: Favourites Australia thrashed South Africa 12-0 on Thursday to record the biggest win in World Cup history as former field hockey giants India and Pakistan took a tumble.

Australia’s penalty corner ace Luke Doerner slammed four goals, Jamie Dwyer three and Glenn Turner two as the Kookaburras surpassed Pakistan’s 12-3 romp over New Zealand in the 1982 edition in Mumbai.

European champions England continued their unbeaten run with a 5-2 demolition of Pakistan, with Jonty Clarke and captain Barry Middleton scoring two goals apiece. England, who top group B with nine full points from three matches, need to win one of their two remaining games against India and Spain to qualify for their first World Cup semi-final since 1986.

Beijing Olympic silver-medallists Spain made light of the absence of injured strikers Santi Freixa and Eduard Tubau to silence a boisterous crowd of 19,000 with a 5-2 win over hosts India. Pau Quemada converted two penalty corners, while Albert Sala, captain Pol Amat and David Alegre chipped in with goals in the key match. India, who trailed 2-0 at half-time, earned consolation goals from Sandeep Singh and Gurwinder Chandi. With two rounds of league matches still to be played, Australia and Spain were lying second in the group behind England with six points each. India and Pakistan trail with three points apiece and need big wins in the remaining games to stay in contention for a place in the semi-finals. South Africa, the other team in the group, have lost all three matches so far, scoring six goals and conceding 22. Australian coach Ric Charlesworth was delighted at his team’s big win. “I did not know it was a record, but it is not everyday that we score 12 goals in a match,” he said. “I liked the way we played throughout the match. We were relentless. I am also very pleased with our penalty corner conversions.”

England led Pakistan 2-0 at half-time, but the four-time champions hit back after the resumption to draw level with goals from Shakeel Abbasi and Rehan Butt. Middleton put his side 3-2 ahead in the 53rd minute, before Clarke and Middleton scored twice in three minutes to put the game out of Pakistan’s reach. England, however, suffered a blow as defender Richard Mantell was ruled out of the rest of the tournament after he dislocated an ankle in the second half. Middleton said it was his side’s best match in the tournament so far. “We showed how good we are and played like the European champions we are,” the skipper said. “The boys displayed a lot of character to take the game away from Pakistan.”

India’s Spanish coach Jose Brasa conceded the hosts were virtually out of the semi-finals, but wanted his team to finish among the top six. “It’s very disappointing to lose a crucial match, but we committed childish mistakes in the defence and up front,” said Brasa. “The game turned Spain’s way when we conceded the second goal with just seconds to go for half-time.” Spain’s goal-scorer Sala was confident his team can advance to the knock-out rounds. “We have a very good chance now,” he said. “We are finding form at the right time.” afp

Today’s Fixtures

South Korea vs New Zealand
(4:05PM PST)
Netherlands vs Canada
(6:05PM PST)
Germany vs Argentina
(8:05PM PST)

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