England, Pakistan, Australia win in FIH World Cup

NEW DELHI: England recorded their second successive win in the men''s field hockey World Cup on Tuesday as Australia and Pakistan joined the race for semi-final berths from group B.

England defeated South Africa 6-4 in a high-scoring thriller, while Australia and Pakistan bagged their first points in the tournament after losing their opening matches.

Abdul Haseem scored once in each half as Pakistan, stung by the 1-4 defeat to arch-rivals India on Sunday, recovered to beat Olympic silver-medallists Spain 2-1.

Pre-tournament favourites Australia brushed aside the 2-3 loss to England as they swept aside India 5-2 in front of a sell-out crowd of 19,000 at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

The Kookaburras, watched from the stands by visiting Australian foreign minister Stephen Smith, ran up a 3-0 lead by the 26th minute and pumped in two more goals despite Jamie Dwyer missing a penalty stroke.

England emerged group B leaders with six points from two matches, while Australia, India, Pakistan and Spain were lying in second spot with three points each.

Two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.

European champions England edged past the South Africans in a game where both sides suffered defensive lapses.

Richard Mantell scored two penalty corners, while Rob Moore, Ashley Jackson, Nick Catlin and Iain Mackay chipped in with a goal each for England.

Marvin Harper scored twice for South Africa, and Lloyd Norris-Jones and Thornton McDade netted one each.

It was the first time in World Cup history that England pumped in six goals in a single match. They had scored five against Pakistan in 1998, but still lost the match as their rivals netted seven.