Spain beat South Korea 2-0 to finish fifth in World Cup

NEW DELHI: Pol Amat scored a goal within 18 seconds of the start as Spain beat South Korea 2-0 to finish fifth in the men''s World field hockey World Cup on Friday.

The mercurial Amat followed his lightning strike with another goal three minutes from half-time to lead the Beijing Olympic silver-medallists to an emphatic win over the Asian champions.

Both teams were reduced to fighting for the 5-6 place after making the semi-finals of the previous World Cup in Germany in 2006.

The win ensured Spain a place in the elite six-nation Champions Trophy to be held in the German town of Monchengladbach from July 31-August 8.

Spain join hosts Germany, the three other semi-finalists at this World Cup -- Australia, England and the Netherlands -- and the winners of the qualifying event, New Zealand, in the tournament.

Defending champions Germany take on Australia in Saturday''s final, the third successive title clash between the two teams in the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Lucas Vila scored two goals as Argentina downed hosts India 4-2 to take seventh place in the 12-nation tournament.

The South Americans, who had not lost a World Cup match to India since 1978, continued their domination of the former champions in the play-off for the 7th-8th positions.

Argentina led 1-0 at half-time through a fourth-minute goal by Tomas Argento, before Sandeep Singh convered a penalty stroke to draw level seven minutes into the second session.

Vila and Facundo Callioni pumped in three goals in four minutes to make it 4-1, a margin that proved beyond India''s reach despite a goal from Shivendra Singh.

Argentina had finished 10th and India 11th in the previous World Cup.

New Zealand clinched the ninth position after defeating valiant South Africa in a high-scoring thriller which ended in a penalty shoot-out.

The Black Sticks, trailing 3-4 till the final minute of regulation play, equalised in the last second when Andrew Hayward netted his third penalty corner goal of the match.