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Australia rout Pakistan to top pool
September 14, 2006 13:39 IST
Olympic champions Australia ran circles around Pakistan on way to a fluent 3-0 victory in the concluding match of the league phase of the men's hockey World Cup in Monchegladbach, Germany, on Wednesday night.
The victory took Australia (12 points) to the top of Pool A, ahead of Spain (11), and set up a semi-final meeting with Korea on Friday.
Spain will face Pool B toppers and World champions Germany in the other semi-final.
Pakistan ended up fourth in their pool, behind New Zealand and will be playing for 5-8 positions along with the Netherlands and England.
The Aussies, who had begun their league campaign with a surprise loss to Spain, exerted total control over the Pakistanis, who could only launch a few sporadic attacks, forcing a couple of penalty-corners that Sohail Abbas failed to put away.
At the other end, the Aussies struck through Bevan Geroge (13th, 50th minute) with Jamie Dwyer flicking home one of the top goals of the tournament after a brilliant solo run in the 33rd minute.
Earlier, Spain made sure of a place in the semi-finals after scoring a hard-fought but unimpressive 4-2 victory over Japan in their concluding Pool A match.
Spain struggled to find their rhythm before coming through with goals from Santiago Freixa (44th, 57th, 66th minute) and Pol Amat (22nd).
Kenichi Katayama (15th, 48th minute) scored for Japan.
World champions Germany and Korea played out a goalless draw and shut the doors on the Netherlands while advancing to the semi-finals.
Germany and Korea both finished with 11 points apiece and the draw, that was greeted by boos and whistles, left the Dutch on 10 points and in third place in Pool B.
England overcame South Africa 3-1 in their concluding Pool B league fixture qualified to play for 5-8 positions.
The South Africans (2 points), along with India, Argentina and Japan, will be involved in classification matches for 9 to 12 positions.
Giving England company in the contest for 5-8 slots are the Netherlands, Pakistan and New Zealand.
South Africa went ahead with a ninth minute goal by Ian Symons, but England came back strongly with James Tindall (20th) and Richard Mantell (41st, 48th) scoring.