With all teams now having started their campaigns in Monchengladbach, European champions Spain displayed their title credentials with the highlight performance on day two of the BDO Hockey World Cup.
Spain entered their clash with Australia having beaten the Athens Olympic gold medallists twice at the Champions Trophy in late July and continued the strong form with a pair of opening half goals followed by another soon after the break giving them an unbeatable lead.
Despite the win, the final scoreline slightly flattered Spain slightly with Australia’s poor conversion rate, especially from penalty corners, helping to keep the margin at a comfortable level for the European champions.
In other matches, Pakistan predictably accounted for Japan in a lacklustre match, with two early goals complemented by a pair in then final six minutes ensuring they sit on top of Pool A with each team having played once.
Earlier, England produced a powerful second half effort to overhaul India after missing a pair of penalty strokes in an unconvincing first half. The second 35 minutes was not quite as frustrating for England however, with three penalty corner goals enough to guarantee they began the tournament with an important victory.
India were again gallant without being great and appeared to tire late in the match to fall to a second straight one-goal defeat which almost certainly signals the end of their semi final hopes.
In the late match, South Africa were rated little hope of toppling the Netherlands but they made the world number two work extremely hard for their victory.
The African’s defence was superb and they repelled the Netherlands’ scoring efforts throughout the match and were unlucky not to steal a goal themselves after creating some good chances.
After an opening night loss, the Dutch are still yet to display their best form but will need to produce something extra when they meet the home team in Saturday’s showcase match.
Action continues tomorrow with England’s match against Korea likely to give the victor a significant advantage in the race for a top two finish at the end of the pool phase.
Other matches include first round winners New Zealand against Pakistan, and Spain against Argentina.
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