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Spain push past Malaysia to reach medal round
12 Jun 2009 19:53
 

© FIH

On the last day of preliminary round play, the pools were still open and places in the medal round pools up for grabs. Australia and Germany had to come out for a penalty stroke competition to decide their ranking after recording identical results, while the tragic story of the day has to be that of the Belgian team who defeated Pakistan but failed to reach the medal round nonetheless. For a single goal. The Netherlands and New Zealand drew to push India into the non-medal round pools, while in pool C, Spain drew with Malaysia to go through to the medal round on goal difference.

In pool A, Argentina played Egypt today, struggling but eventually taking the game 3:1, which sees them advance to the medal round as first of their preliminary round pool. In the second match of the pool, Belgium faced Pakistan. Both teams knew the match to be the decider, and played accordingly. The Greenshirts went a goal ahead, but the resilient Belgians came back from behind to defeat them 2:1 - a bittersweet victory, as there was one goal missing to push them into the medal round pools.

Pool B was the surprise pool today, requiring a penalty stroke competition to settle first place, when Australia and Germany had recorded an identical overall result in the preliminary round and could not be separated after Australia defeated South Africa and Germany defeated Japan. Australia won the settling competition and thus goes into the medal round in a slightly better position as the tabel leader.

England became the first team to score goals against Korea who had not conceded a goal in three games previously, and ended up forcing a 2:2 draw from a listless and lethargic Korean team, without the result having any effect on the standings: Korea remained first, and England fourth in pool C. In the pool's far more important encounter, Spain and Malaysia did battle to determine who would be allowed to join Korea in the medal round pools in the upcoming second phase of the event. Spain went ahead by two goals but couldn't hold on to the lead, eventually settling for a draw which sees them into the medal rounds, while Malaysia will be playing for the 9th to 16th place.

In pool D, India defeated Poland, but it was a match that already didn't carry any weigth anymore after the Netherlands had drawn with New Zealand, making it impossible for India to overtake either of them in the pool table. India thus end up in the non-medal round, just like Malaysia, while the Netherlands and the Junior Blacksticks join Argenina and Pakistan, Australia and Germany, Korea and Spain in the round of the top eight.

Follow our extensive tournament coverage including a live ticker from key matches, daily summaries, a photo gallery and video interviews at http://www.juniorworldcupmen2009.sportcentric.com.



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