ANTWERP - Pakistan will face world number one, Australia in second ground group match of FIH World Hokey League at Antwerp, Belgium on Wednesday. Pakistan need to beat one major team to reach wuartr-finals of the event after there 1-0 win over Poland in the opening match. Pakistan will also take on India at same venue on Thursday (June 26).
Pakistan team need to finish at top three in World Hockey League tournament to qualify for Olympics 2016. India, Netherlands, Germany and Argentina have already qualified for mega event. Pakistani coach, Shehnaz Shiekh said that opening victory was highly significant but the real test is yet to come when Pakistan team will world number one, Australia.
In Tuesday action, Great Britain were held by Ireland while India beat Poland 3-0 and hosts Belgium thrashed China 6-0.
The first match of Day 3 at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals saw world number 14 Ireland fight back from a two goal deficit to claim a deserved draw against higher-ranked Great Britain. Fifth ranked GB burst out of the blocks and quickly established a 2-0 lead thanks to team captain Barry Middleton and a sensational diving deflection from Chris Griffiths before Ireland’s John Jackson rattled the frame of George Pinner’s goal with a fierce penalty corner effort.
It proved to be a warning of things to come, as the Green Machine began an impressive fightback when Kyle Good and John Jackson netted goals either side of half time to restore parity. Ireland - winners of the Hockey World League Round 2 competition in San Diego - were arguably the better team for the remainder of the game, and could easily have won it were it not for a crucial Pinner save, guiding a goal-bound effort onto the post before the danger was cleared.It was enough to ensure that the spoils were shared.
A rare goal from India captain Sardar Singh helped his team overcome a strong challenge from Poland, running out 3-0 winners to claim their second win in Pool A. India’s talisman fired home a backhand rocket from the top of the circle seven minutes after half time break, adding to a delicate flicked finish from Yuvraj Walmiki in the second quarter. Devindar Walmiki - the younger brother of Yuvraj - also got his name on the score-sheet with an angled deflection eight minutes from the end of the game, putting the result beyond all doubt and moving India onto six points and leaving their European opponents still on zero.
“It has been a while since I have scored so it was a good time and it was a nice goal”, said India captain Sardar Singh after the game, who will now ensure that his troops are focussed for Thursday’s meeting against eternal rivals Pakistan.
Amaury Keusters thrilled the home fans with a brilliant hat-trick as Belgium’s Red Lions claimed a big win over 31st ranked China, with Dorian Thierry, Simon Gougnard and Tom Boon also getting on the score-sheet. The result puts fourth ranked Belgium at the top of Pool B overnight, with four points from their opening two matches.
China gave a superb account of themselves in the early stages, limiting the lethal Lions to only a handful of chances before a diving Thiery found the net moments before the end of the first quarter. Keusters was the star of the second quarter, taking the score to 3-0 with a double strike that included a blistering backhand effort into the top left corner that must surely be considered as an early candidate for goal of the tournament. A goalless third quarter was followed by three Belgian strikes in the fourth, with Simon Gougnard, Keusters and Tom Boon completing the scoring.

Results

Belgium 6-0 China
India 3-0 Poland
Great Britain 2-2 Ireland