Jr Hockey World Cup: Australia, Belgium win in 5-8 position playoffs

New Delhi, Dec 13: Australia and Belgium beat New Zealand and South Korea respectively, in their 5-8 position playoffs of the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Friday.

Now Australia and Belgium will face off for 5-6th positions while New Zealand and South Korea will play for 7-8th places Sunday before the final.

Australia beat Oceania rival and neighbours New Zealand 2-1 in a close encounter.

The Kiwis drew first blood in the 20th minute by Jared Panchia on a penalty corner but Australia responded in the next breath by Cameron Joyce, also on a penalty corner.

Australia had a slight edge on the proceedings but the teams went into the break locked at a goal apiece.

Australia took the lead in the 44th minute after a quick run by captain Daniel Beale on the right and a perfect pass to Dylan Wotherspoon alone in front of Ben Smith in the ‘Black Sticks’ goal. The score stayed the same till the end and the 1997 edition champions came out on top.

Earlier, Belgium beat Korea 6-1 in a one-sided affair. A day after both were booted out of the quarterfinals, it was a difficult match for the teams.

Belgium scored on their third penalty corner via Alexander Hendrickx in the 27th minute but it was all they could produce and the break was reached with a 1-0 lead.

However, the Europeans opened the second period with two quick field goals by Maxime Plennevaux and their captain Mathew Cobbaert. Gaetan Perez and Maxime Capelle added two more goals within the same minute and the road seemed impossibly steep for Korea.

With six minutes to go, Korea had a chance on a penalty corner and Nam Yunseon scored a consolation goal. Belgium scored one more goal through Dorian Thiery with a sweet lob over diving Korean goalkeeper Lee Seyoung, booking a Sunday date with Australia.

IANS