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Australia hammer Spain for second victory

03 June, 2014

THE HAGUE: Defending champions Australia continued their winning ways in Group A of the World Cup with a 3-0 victory over Spain at the Kyocera Stadium. It was the world No.1's second straight win, putting them on top of the group with six points.

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The Kookaburras, who outplayed Malaysia 4-0 in their opening match on Saturday, scored all their goals in the first half. The Spaniards, who drew 1-1 with England in their first match, had no answer to Australia's disciplined performance. It took the Australians only two minutes to open the scoring with Tim Deavin getting a field goal.

In the 10th minute, Mark Knowles put his name on the scoresheet with a penalty stroke conversion. The Australians again earned a penalty stroke in the 16th minute, but this time Knowles failed to make it count as his effort hit the bar and went out. In the 33rd minute, Kieran Govers made it 3-0 from Australia's third penalty corner attempt. The Spaniards were more defensive minded after the break and were able to keep the Australians at bay. "The first half goals did the trick," said Australian coach Ric Charlesworth.

Belgium whip Malaysia 6-2: Malaysia's defensive weaknesses were laid bare by Belgium as they whipped Malaysia 6-2 in their second Group B match at the GreenFields Stadium here. The Malaysians led twice through Mohamed Razie Rahim's penalty corner goals but in the end it was not enough to stop the Red Lions on Monday. Tom Boon was the hero with four goals while Tanguy Cosyns and John-John Dohman added the other goals. The Belgians were fast on the breaks and also defended well in numbers to keep the Malaysians at bay. In fact, the Malaysians allowed them too much space and more often the Malaysian attack failed at the half line. It was the second defeat for the Malaysians after the 0-4 loss to Australia on Saturday.

England put India on brink: India conceded another last minute goal as they went down 1-2 to England for their second consecutive loss. India put on a vastly improved show but a 69th minute goal by Simon Mantell from a rebound off a penalty corner, that was well saved by goalie P.R.Sreejesh, cost them badly. India who lost 3-2 to Belgium with a final-minute goal on Saturday seem unlikely to make the semi-finals unless they can beat Spain on Thursday, then Malaysia and Australia in their final two pool games.

It was a spirited performance by the Indians as they were determined to bounce back from the 2-3 loss to Belgium in their opening match. India started off well but England went into the lead in the 27th minute after Mark Gleghorne converted a penalty corner.

But the Indians were back in the reckoning within four minutes through Dharamvir Singh, who received a pin-point pass from skipper Sardar Singh and swung around to hit it straight into the net from the top of the circle. Till the 68th minute, the Indians did well and it looked they would end with a draw, but a foul by Gurbaj Singh gave England the winner from the penalty corner.

The Indians did contest the penalty corner but it was upheld after a referral and Mantell scored from the rebound after Sreejesh had put on a brilliant effort to thwart the penalty corner shot.

Australia's women also made it two wins out of two with a 3-2 defeat of Japan. The Hockeyroos had more pressure throughout the game, taking 10 shots to their opponent's three, but fell behind in the 20th minute when Yurl Nagal finished a quick break. Anna Flanagan swept home a penalty corner to level after 35 minutes and, in a powerful start to the second half, Australia took control.

In another match, a sensational strike from Kim Darae gave underdogs Korea a 1-0 triumph over New Zealand's Black Sticks in an exciting Pool A encounter in the Greenfields Stadium. Kim's angled deflection in the 30th minute, which rocketed into the net via the bar and the post, was enough to settle the contest as the world number 8 overcame a team that sits three places above them in the World Rankings.   The result gave Korea their first points of the tournament, drawing them level on points with the Black Sticks after two matches each.

Courtesy: The Nation

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