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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Belgium keep Athens hopes alive

March 09, 2004 21:28 IST
Last Updated: March 09, 2004 22:31 IST

Belgium handed out a 2-1 defeat to Malaysia in a Pool B match of the Olympic hockey qualifying tournament on Tuesday to keep alive their hopes playing at Athens.

Belgium's first win in five outings took the European team's points tally to six and earned them a chance to play in the 5-8 classification matches.

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Malaysia, with just four points, are now left to play for 9-12 positions and thus will not be eligible to play at the 2004 Olympics.

Mike Dewer (14th) and Jean-Phillipe Brule (49th) scored for Belgium while captain Kuhan Shanmuganathan (31st) sounded the board for Malaysia.

In a Pool A match, Great Britain camp up with a vastly improved performance to gun down South Africa 6-0 to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the Olympics.

In the process, Britain moved to third spot in the pool -- behind Holland and Spain -- with six points, followed by South Africa.

Ben Hawes (7th, 14th, 69th) scored a hat-trick for the winners. Steve Evans (9th), Emile Smith (37th) and Ian Symons (70th) were the other scores.

Netherlands beat Japan 9-3

Earlier, The Netherlands hammered Japan 9-3 in Pool A to complete their league engagements on a rousing note.

With four wins and a draw, the Dutch, who are already in the semi-finals, ended with 13 points while Japan, with just one point, finished at the bottom and failed to qualify for the Athens Olympics.

For The Netherlands Ronald Brouwer (12th, 51st, 54th minutes), Bram Lomans (68th, 70th), Nick Meijer (1st), Matthijs Brouwer (39th), Rob Reckers (48th) and Teun de Nooijer (55th) found the mark while Japan scored through Kazuyuki Ozawa (5th), Takahiko Yamabori (21st) and Mitsuru Ito (65th).

Spain beat Poland 6-0

Spain destroyed Poland 6-0 to round off their league outings and take up second spot in Pool A behind Holland.

Both Spain and Holland tied with 13 points apiece from four wins and a draw, but the latter took the top position on a superior goal-difference.

Scorers for Spain were Juan Escarre (33rd, 51st), Santiago Freixa (22nd), Albert Sala (23rd), Xavier Ribas (28th) and Pol Amat (63rd).

Poland, suffering their third defeat, were left on four points and denied a berth in the Athens Olympics. Along with Japan, Malaysia and Canada, the Poles will be involved in 9-12 classifications in this 12-nation tournament.

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