Eng­land, China in Hockey World Cup quar­ter­fi­nals

Oman Daily Observer - - FOOTBALL/HOCKEY -

BHUBANESWAR, In­dia: In the first game of the day, Aus­tralia, al­ready en­sured of the top po­si­tion in the pool be­fore the game, heav­ily de­feated China (11-0). How­ever, as Eng­land de­feated Ire­land (4-2), both Eng­land and China will progress to the crossovers. Eng­land will play New Zealand, while China will take on France on Mon­day.

Reign­ing world cham­pi­ons Aus­tralia (FIH Hero World Rank­ing: 1) were al­ready con­firmed as the win­ners of Pool B fol­low­ing their im­pres­sive 3-0 vic­tory over Eng­land on Tues­day (4 De­cem­ber), but that did not stop them want­ing to main­tain their win­ning streak in to­day’s meeting against a China (WR:17) team that were un­beaten com­ing into the match.

The Kook­abur­ras were at their scin­til­lat­ing best in the first quar­ter to open up a 2-0 lead, with Blake Govers find­ing the roof of the China net from a penalty cor­ner be­fore a tap-in from Aran Zelewski dou­bled the ad­van­tage. Four Aus­tralian goals ar­rived in the fourth quar­ter, with Tom Craig, a sec­ond for Govers, Jeremy Hay­ward and a fine team goal fin­ished off by the ex­cep­tional Jake Whet­ton, who showed in­cred­i­ble re­ac­tions to dive in and guide the ball home from close range.

At 6-0, the Aus­tralians could have been for­given for eas­ing off in the two re­main­ing quar­ters, but it is not some­thing any Kook­abur­ras side could ever be ac­cused of. A fur­ther five goals flew into the China net, with Odisha Player of the Match Blake Govers com­plet­ing his hat-trick along­side ef­forts from Tim Brand (2), Dy­lan Wother­spoon and Flynn Ogilvie on tar­get as Aus­tralia made it three wins from three matches.

“The boys were hav­ing a lot of fun out there, a lot of goals were scored so I guess we were in the groove”, said Aus­tralia’s Matthew Swann af­ter the match. “There were a lot of self­less acts out there, when guys could have taken the shot them­selves but laid it off to a guy who was in a bet­ter spot, and it is hard [for China] to pro­tect the whole goal.”

The sec­ond game of the day saw Ire­land (WR:10) play Eng­land (WR:7) with both teams hav­ing one point each at the start of the game.

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