Australia beat Pakistan 7-0 (Half-time score: 4-0)
This match just blew away the growing suspense over the eventual semifinalists from Pool A. The Kookaburras, after a couple of draws, were back to their ruthless style and destroyed the Pakistanis, who were looking a decent side till this game. Liam De Young started off the goal feast in the 4th minute when he slammed in a rebound from the Pakistani goal-keeper, Imran Shah. The very next minute, Mark Knowles made it 2-0 and left the Asians wondering. The Aussies kept the Pakistanis under high pressure and the latter struggled to make any attack.
Christopher Ciriello scored successive goals in the 29th and 34th minute to leave the Pakistanis a wounded lot. Russell Ford, Jamie Dwyer and Glenn Turner added to the Pakistanis woes in the second half (42th, 48th and 7-th minutes) while the latter did not find any route to score even one. Australia with a +18 goal difference ensured themselves the top spot in the group even before Great Britain, who were tied with them before the match, started their match against Spain.
Argentina beat South Africa 6-3 (Half-time score: 2-2)
Argentina came from behind to beat South Africa to ensure that they did not finish last in the pool. The contest, although was just of academic interest with both teams bowing out of the competition, was a heated one and a South African player saw the green card within a few minutes after the start of the play. Justin Reid-Ross scored the first goal for South Africa in the 7th minute while Lloyd Norris-Jones added to the tally within a few seconds. Facundo Callioni found a golden chance to goal soon after but could not beat the South African goalkeeper. The Argentines missed another couple of chances before Gonzalo Peillat pulled one back in the 25th minute.
Eight minutes later, Lucas Rossi hit a high shot into the goal to tie the scores. The Argentines created a storm after the break and Peillat scored his second in the 39th minute to put his team ahead. A lively contest followed and the Latin Americans went up 4-2 after Callioni scored in the 45th minute. The South Africans, just like the game against Pakistan, were losing the plot from a winning position. Callioni scored his second in the match to make it 5-2 with 20 minutes remaining. Jonathan Robinson pulled one back for the South Africans in the 64th minute but Peillat scored his third goal from as many penalty-corners. It was a great feat for Peillat, just 19 and playing in his first major competition. South Africa deserved a better standing in the group but they conceded too many goals to maintain their lead and will now play India for the last two positions.
Spain drew with Great Britain 1-1 (Half-time score: 0-1)
It was so near yet so far for Spain, who needed to beat Great Britain in a match that was a virtual quarterfinal. Ashley Jackson scored his fifth goal of the tournament and put the hosts ahead in the 33rd minute. Pau Quemada tied the score in the 55th minute and the match was set for a pulsating finish. Quemada and Edi Tubau were green carded during the intense physical tussle.
Spain got two penalty corners but umpire conferrals saw the decisions being turned down. Spain went on an all-out attack in the final minutes and even won a couple of corners but failed to get that winning goal. The home supporters had a tense few final seconds as the Spanish attack continued. The match saw many milestones being reached by Great Britain players. David Alegre played his 200th match, Matt Daly his 150th, Iain Mackay his 100th while Iain Lewers his 50th match.
The Netherlands beat Korea 4-2 (Half-time score: 2-0)
Korea needed a win to make the last four but they failed to beat the Dutch who completed their group campaign perfectly. Both teams played attacking hockey and Holland nearly scored in the 10th minute but the Korean goalkeeper did a fantastic job for his side.
The Dutch scored in the 17th minute when Mink van der Weerden converted a penalty corner. Four minutes later, Valentin Verga made it 2-0 with a sudden shot. The Koreans, however, did not give up and had a number of penalty-corners but could not convert any. The Dutch took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the 47th minute when Roderick Weusthof converted a penalty-corner.
Nam Hyn Woo pulled one back in the 54th minute but injured himself in the process. Lee nam Yong displayed the Korean character when he further reduced the gap in the 62nd minute. But the Dutch regained their two-goal lead when Billy Bakker converted a swift counter-attack into a goal in the 64th minute. This win ensured that the Dutch advanced to the semi-final with a cent per cent record, just like their eves. Germany also made the last four while Korea were eliminated. The latter will now take on Pakistan in the 7th -8th place classification match.
Belgium beat India 3-0 (Half-time score: 1-0)
Jerome Dekeyser, Gauthier Boccard and Tom Boon scored for Belgium (See match report)
Germany drew with New Zealand 5-5 (Half-time score: 2-4)
Christopher Zeller's last-minute goal saved the day for the Germans and the draw left New Zealand finish fifth in the group, even though the Black Sticks were clearly dominating the game for most of the time. Nick Wilson and Richard Petherick converted two penalty-corners getting the Black Sticks 2-0 ahead within six minutes and Oskar Deecke pulled one back in the 10th minute.
The Kiwis went up 3-1 in the 21st minute when Stephen Jenness scored off a terrific pass from Ryan Archibald's pass. Florian Fuchs, who has been a consistent scorer for the Germans this Olympics, reduced the gap in the 27th minute with a nice move but Simon Child widened the gap again in the 30th minute and the two sides went to the break with the score reading 4-2.
Child slammed home his second just a few seconds into the second half and with 5-2 up, the Kiwis were certain to go up the table. But the German resilience was proved once again when Thilo Stralkowski and the seasoned Christopher Zeller pumped in three between the 47th and 69th minutes to tie the scores. New Zealand will now play Argentina for the 9th and 10th spots while Germany will meet Australia in the first semi-final. Germany, however, got a blow when their skipper, Max Mueller received a bad thumb injury.
(With FIH inputs)