Junior World Cup: Belgium first to make quarters

New Delhi, Dec 7: Belgium became the first team to secure a quarterfinal berth with a 5-0 crushing win over Egypt to top Pool A with six points in the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Saturday.

Later in the day, defending champions Germany bounced back from their defeat to Belgium Friday by drubbing Pakistan 6-1 in another Pool A clash to keep alive their quarterfinal hopes.

Egypt started their match high on confidence, defending well against the Belgians by stopping the penalty corners. The African side were also not shy to take their chances on swift counter-attacks, showing excellent individual skills.

Belgium, however, calmly waited for their time to strike. They pushed up the pace but the Egyptian defence held tight and the break was reached with no score.

The Europeans did not wait long in the second half and put the first dent when Alexander Hendrickx beat goalkeeper Wael Noureldin on a 38th minute penalty corner. Mathew Cobbaert added another goal 10 minutes later. Hendrickx scored his second to take his side to 3-0 via a 51st minute penalty corner.

Belgium were on a roll and skipper Cobbaert scored his second goal three minutes later. Hendrickx completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute with a penalty stroke for a final score of 5-0, booking their quarterfinal berth.

In the second Pool A match, Germany needed to redeem themselves after their loss to Belgium and it only took them only two minutes to stake their claim on the match when Christopher Rühr blasted a shot that Pakistan keeper Amin Yousaf nearly stopped but could not prevent from trickling over the line.

The defending champions doubled in the 10th minute with a Lukas Windfeder penalty corner. Rühr then displayed incredible talent in the 18th minute. He beat the Pakistani defence and delivered a reverse flick which went straight in.

Pakistan did not help their cause when Muhammad Arslan Qadir picked up a red card, leaving his side 0-3 down and a man short.

Germany immediately capitalised and Rühr completed his hat-trick with another precise drag flick, taking his side into the break with a four goal cushion.

Germany stayed in control in second period and added another penalty corner goal by Alexander Schöllkopf in the 59th minute. In the 69th minute, Niklas Bruns scored Germany’s sixth and last goal while Pakistan managed to a goal in the final minute with a penalty corner by Ammad Shakeel Butt.

Germany and are now second in the pool ahead of Pakistan on goal difference.

IANS