Spain just too good for hosts India
Spain thrashed India 5-2 to secure their second win three matches in the hockey World Cup in New Delhi on Thursday.
It was the hosts' second straight defeat.
Spain forced their first penalty-corner in the 11th minute but made a mess of an indirect variation.
The home side appeared to have settled down after yielding territorial advantage early and repeatedly raised the Spanish defence but failed to threaten the goal.
And much against the run of play they fell into arrears, in the 19th minute, following a swift counter attack, as Albert Sala latched on to a long hit from the left flank, tore into the circle on the right and slammed past a narrow gap between the left of goalkeeper Sreejesh and the upright.
Image: Spain's Albert Sala celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during their match against India
India could manage only two goals
India made a strong bid for the equalizer and forced a penalty-corner, their first, in the 23rd minute after Tushar Khandekar was fouled. However, Spanish goalkeeper Francis Cortes did well to save Sandeep Singh's flick.
Spain forced their third penalty-corner in the 29th minute, but, like the previous one, the onrushing Indian defenders prevented them from getting their indirect variation correct.
But they scored for the second time on the stroke of half-time. Alex Fabregas caught the Indian defence on the wrong foot with a diagonal pass and captain Pablo Amat was left with the easiest of tasks to deflect the ball past goalkeeper Sreejesh and maintain his record of having scored in all the four World cups he's played in.
Down two goals, the Indians started with a flourish on resumption and were deservedly rewarded with their second penalty-corner. Sandeep Singh stepped up and flicked hard and true to reduce the deficit (1-2).
However, the Spanish hit back immediately, in the 41st minute, and struck from their fourth penalty-corner though Pau Quemada, who flicked the ball high into the Indian cage (3-1).
Ramon Alegre then put Spain high in the saddle with a field goal a minute later (4-1).
But the Indians replied immediately from a counter-attack though Gurwinder Singh Chandi (2-4).
However, Quemada scored a fifth soon after.
Image: India's Sandeep Singh celebrates with his team mate Halappa after scoring the team's first goal during their match against Spain
England thump Pakistan 5-2
European champions England virtually assured themselves a place in the semifinal of the hockey World Cup after thumping Pakistan 5-2 to continue their unbeaten run in the tournament.
Captain Barry Middleton (52nd, 65th) led from the front with two goals while James Tindall (20th), Ashley Jackson (32nd) and Jonty Clarke (62nd) scored a goal each to complete Pakistan's misery in the high-voltage Pool B match.
Pakistan reduced margin through Shakeel Abbasi (45th) and Rehan Butt (49th).
Image: England's Clarke celebrates with his team mate Moore after scoring the team's first goal during their match
England started and ended with a flourish
England started the match with a flourish and sounded the board in the fourth minute when Iain Mackay's spectacular overhead shot beat Pakistan custodian Salman Akbar all ends up.
But to the disappointment of the English side, Pakistan appealed against the shot and video umpire rejected the goal because of high stick.
Rehan Butt got a fine opportunity to send his side ahead in the first 10 minutes of the game but he shot wide. England's consistent pressure finally yielded result in the 20th minute when Tindall broke the deadlock with a field goal.
Stung by the early strike, Pakistan pressed hard for the equaliser and earned two penalty corners but on both occasions England goalkeeper James Fair's great anticipation thwarted Sohail Abbas.
Image: England's Mantell is carried on a stretcher after he got injured during their match against Pakistan
Ruthless Australia break World Cup record
Title favourites Australia registered the biggest win in the history of hockey World Cup by inflicting a humiliating 12-0 defeat on South Africa in a Pool B match.
The overwhelming win is the biggest in terms of goals in a World Cup match. The earlier record was in the name of Pakistan, who had mauled New Zealand 12-3 in the 1982 edition of the event.
Luke Doerner converted four penalty corners while veteran Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner scored two field goals each as world number two Australia toyed with South Africa and made the Proteas look like a club side.
After some early jitters Australia took control over the match with speedy forays and brisk counter attacks and scored goals at will five in the first half and seven after the change of ends -- to sound a warning bell for other teams.
Apart from Doerner (16th minutes, 34th, 49th, 66th 68th), Dwyer (52nd, 54th) and Turner (20th, 62nd), Desmond Abbott (26th), Fergus Kavanagh (35th) and Matthew Betturini (44th) were the other goals scorers for Australia.
Image: Australia's Luke Doerner celebrates after scoring goal during their match against South Africa