Australia chalked up an easy 3-1 win over Japan for their second success in three pool B matches while South Korea dropped crucial points as they were held to a surprise 2-2 draw by South Africa of the 11th FIH men's hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach on Sunday night.
The Aussies now have six points from three outings to occupy the second spot in the pool behind New Zealand.
Having lost 3-1 to Spain in their opening league fixture, the Aussies hit hard and fast and scored through Michael McCann (6th), Troy Elder (8th) and Russell Ford (55th). Japan, though beaten comprehensively, showed plenty of spunk and managed to scramble home a goal in the 16th with Toshiaki Fukuda finding the boards following a terrible defensive lapse on part of the Aussies.
The South Africans, twice in arrears, fought back to share honours with Korea who nearly paid the price for over-confidence, having won both their previous pool B matches.
For Korea, Jong Hyun Jang (21st) and Hyo Sik You (51st) scored while South Africa replied through Lungile Tsolekile (49th) and Wayne Madsen (59th). Korea thus moved to seven points while the South Africans are on two after three matches.