Hockey WC: Germany, S Korea, Netherlands winners of 4th day

NEW DELHI: The Netherlands took a clear lead in Group A of the men''s field hockey World Cup with a 3-1 win over New Zealand on Wednesday.

All four goals came in the first half after New Zealand captain Phillip Burrows had put his team ahead in the opening minute of the game.

Ronald Brouwer drew level immediately in the second minute, Taeke Taekema scored a penalty corner in the seventh, before Jeroen Hertzberger completed the tally in the 27th.

The Dutch moved to six points from two matches as defending champions Germany and Asia''s number one South Korea went to second place with four points each following their first wins in the tournament.

New Zealand, who had defeated Canada in their opening match, are on three points.

The Germans, seeking a hat-trick of World Cup titles, came back strongly after a 2-2 draw against the Koreans to trounce Canada 6-0.

It was their biggest World Cup win since the 7-0 romp over India in the 1978 edition in Argentina while playing as the West German team.

South Korea clinched a 2-1 win over Argentina with Nam Hyun-Woo converting a last-minute penalty corner.

Germany, the reigning Olympic champions, pumped in four goals in the first half, three of them with penalty corners after Benjamin Wess had put them ahead in the 3rd minute with a field goal.

Jan-Marco Montag, Max Muller and Martin Haner fired in set-piece goals, before man-of-the-match Florian Fuchs sealed the emphatic win by striking twice in the second session.

Germany won the last two World Cups in 2002 and 2006 before underlining their supremacy with a gold at the Beijing Olympics two years ago.

The 11th-ranked Canada remain without a point.

"We analysed our first game to draw up a things-to-do list," said German coach Markus Weise. "I am glad some of those negatives have been ticked off.

"We you are not playing a top side, you look to score five to six goals, and we were able to achieve that today."

South Korea and Argentina produced a barren first half as both sides wasted scoring opportunities, including two penalty corners by the Asian team.

Argentina took the lead in the 53rd minute through Facundo Callioni after the Koreans were reduced to 10 men following a green card to Kyung Min-Jun.

Lee Nam Yong drew level eight minutes later and Nam Hyun-Woo slammed the last-minute winner when South Korea were awarded a penalty corner by the video umpire.

Argentina have lost both matches so far.

Dutch coach Michel van den Heuvel said the win over New Zealand was satisfying.

"We are on the right path," he said. "We played better than in the last game and it was nice to see the boys fighting back after the early goal.

"The whole team is taking turns to make a mark and that augurs well for the rest of the tournament."

In the next round of group A matches on Friday, South Korea take on New Zealand, the Netherlands meet Canada and Germany clashes with Argentina.