The Hague - The game was just 24 seconds old when Australia opened their account against England in the third pool B match of the day. Matt Gohdes took advantage of a turnover by GlennTurner and slammed the ball past George Pinner in the England goal to signal the start of a 5-0 demolition job that left England stunned and demoralised.
That England met Australia on a day where every ball seemed to bounce kindly for them was unfortunate for the world number four side, and there is a growing sense that Ric Charlesworth's men are not only playing well, but they are also improving with each match and, perhaps more importantly, revelling in the atmosphere that has been created at this 2014 World Cup.
On 13 minutes Liam de Young doubled the Australian lead through a penalty corner, and with the clock approaching the half hour, Jamie Dwyer (30') was on hand to tap in a cross from the tenacious Jacob Whetton. The most audacious goal of the day came on the stroke of half time. Mark Knowles threw a terrific aerial ball from just beyond the half-way line and, as it started its trajectory into the circle, and unmarked Kieran Govers was on hand to trap it mid-air and angle it past Pinner into the goal. The England goalkeeper was furious with his defence, but there was a feeling that this was a day when all Australia touched would turn to gold. As with many of the Australia games this tournament, there was an easing of pressure in the second half. Only one goal was scored, this time fromAran Zawelski (38'), who turned and shot home with precision and power.
In a feisty game that saw three yellow cards, five goals and an interminable number of referrals, Belgium cemented their reputation as a goal-scoring nation with a 2-5 win over a battling Spanish team.
Proving that they are not a one-man scoring team, Tanguy Cosyns, Alexandre de Saedeleer and John-John Dohmen all got their names on the score-sheet, with Cosyns scoring twice, both times spectacularly well-taken penalty corners. Although Spain scored two late consolation goals in the 58th and 66th minutes, through Eduard Tubau and captain Santi Freixa, the match was already beyond them.
"Belgium played better than us," said Spain's coach Salvador Indurain. "We are still building this team. There have been changes to our team in recent years and we are still in transition. We cannot make excuses such as a lack of funding, we are just finding our way at the moment." Talking about the disallowed goal, Indurain said that he accepted the decision and thought the umpires had done well in the way they had dealt with some difficult situations." "It was the case against Malaysia and the case today that I scored from penalty corners and I am happy with that," said two-goal hero Cosyns. Belgium coach Marc Lammers added: "We will look at our defence before the game against England, because we are letting some goals in. But we are scoring goals so I am not overly worried."
Akashdeep Singh scored two goals in the space of three minutes to set up India's 3-2 victory over Malaysia in the men's hockey World Cup on Saturday. Jasjit Singh Kular opened the scoring for India in the 13th minute and Malaysia equalised in the 45th with a penalty corner conversion by Mohammad Razie before Akashdeep got into the goal-scoring act, which helped his team post its first win of the tournament.
Akashdeep first applied the finishing touch to Rupinder Pal Singh fine run on a counter-attack by deflecting in a diagonal cross into the boards in the 49th minute. Two minutes later, he picked up a pass from captain Sardar Singh inside the circle and slammed the ball past the desperate goalkeeper. Malaysia reduced the lead in the 61st minute when Marhan Jalil fired in on a rebound from Indian goalkeeper P R Sreejesh on a breakaway move.
India wasted several scoring opportunities, but also had to depend on their defenders to keep out the dangerous Malaysian raids in the closing stages.
Team P W D L GF GA GD PTS
Australia 4 4 0 0 15 1 14 12
Belgium 4 3 0 1 15 9 6 9
England 4 2 2 1 5 7 -2 7
India 4 1 1 2 7 8 -1 4
Spain 4 0 2 2 4 10 -6 2
Malaysia 4 0 0 4 4 15 -11 0
Team P W D L GF GA GD PTS
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 6 2 4 9
New Zealand 3 2 0 1 8 4 4 6
Argentina 3 2 0 1 5 4 1 6
Germany 3 1 0 2 4 2 2 3
Korea 3 0 1 2 2 4 -2 1
South Africa 3 0 1 2 0 9 -9 1