It is the last day for pool A action at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014 and the pool toppers have already been decided. Australia downed India 4-0 to perfect for five games while only conceding one goal and holding a +18 goal margin. Spain edged Malaysia in a heated contest. Gabriel Dabanch notched two to help Spain win 5-2. But the story of the day is surely England beating an in form Belgian team, but a penalty stroke to take a much coveted slot in the semi-final.
MEN Pool A: Australia v India 4-0 (4-0)
An explosive start by the world number one and reigning champions Australia cemented their position as pool A winners as they cracked in four goals to defeat India 4-0. But coach Ric Charlesworth was concerned to see his captain Mark Knowles leave the field on a stretcher following a neck injury sustained in a collision with an India player. The defeat for India means Terry Walsh’s men are likely to finish fifth in the pool and they will face either Korea or South Africa for 9th/10th place. Australia will discover who they will face in the semi-finals on Tuesday with Argentina (who currently sit second in Pool B) the most likely candidates.
MEN Pool A: Spain v Malaysia 5-2 (2-1)
Gabriel Dabanch scored twice to help Spain cruise to a 5-2 win over Malaysia in a highly-charged Pool A encounter in the GreenFields Stadium. The result means that Spain finish 4th in Pool A and will play in the 7-8 Classification match against the team that finishes 4th in Pool B. That position is currently occupied by New Zealand’s Black Sticks, but may change tomorrow when the final Pool B matches are played. Malaysia’s 6th place finish means that they will compete in the 11th-12th place classification game against either Korea or South Africa.
MEN Pool A: Belgium v England 2-3 (1-1)
A penalty in the 66th minute gave England a hard-earned 3-2 victory over their European rivals Belgium in a thrilling match in the Kyocera Stadium. The result means England progress to the semi-finals where an encounter with the home nation, the Netherlands, awaits. For Belgium the result means a fifth/sixth classification match against New Zealand or Germany, depending on tomorrow’s results.
In the Women’s Tournament on the final day of Pool A match ups, the New Zealand Black Sticks women were ousted from semi-final hopes after the first scoreless draw occurred in The Hague. The Australian Hockeyroos held on to their 0-0 score line and it was enough to bring them one step closer to the medal rounds. Also happening today to wrap up Pool A play is Netherlands and Korea (16:00 CET), as well as Japan and Belgium (17:30 CET).
WOMEN Pool A: New Zealand v Australia 0-0 (0-0)
Only a win would do if the Black Sticks were to maintain any hope of making it to the semi-finals of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014, but the 0-0 draw that was played out between New Zealand and Australia was notable only for a high turnover of the ball and one controversial referral decision: goal scoring opportunities for either side were far and few between. Early indications were that this would be a battle royal between the two Oceanic rivals, ranked four (Hockeyroos) and five (Black Sticks), but instead cagey play and some poor decision-making rendered it a game that had goal-less draw written all over it.
WOMEN Pool A: Netherlands v Korea 3-0 (1-0)
The Netherlands will be relieved to have taken three points from their last pool A match after Korea worked ceaselessly to get a result in this engrossing game at the Kyocera Stadium. It all looked to be going the way of the Oranje when Naomi van As (3′) opened the scoring with a rebound shot, following Lee Sinhye’s initial save from a Maartje Paumen penalty corner. But the Koreans, led by their hard-tackling Kim Jongeun, had other ideas and if they had managed to make the most of their seven penalty corners then it could have been a very different story. The match finished 3-0, but the Netherlands team will be pleased they have a few days to recover from such a tough match before their semi-final match on Thursday.
WOMEN Pool A: Japan v Belgium 2-2 (0-0)
A goal-less first period followed by four strikes in the second half saw Japan’s Cherry Blossoms and Belgium’s Red Panthers play out a 2-2 draw in their Pool A encounter in the GreenFields Stadium. The result was far better for Japan than it was for Belgium, giving the Asian Champions a fifth place finish in the pool to secure a spot in the 9-10 classification match. Belgium finish bottom of the Pool, and will play in the 11-12 classification game.
For more results, schedule, highlights and more visit the event website at Rabobankhockeyworldcup2014.com
Photograph: England celebrates (FIH/Frank Uijlenbroek (c))