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England, Pakistan, New Zealand and Korea qualify for World Cup

By Staff
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Changzhou, China, Apr 20 (UNI) England, Pakistan, New Zealand and Korea captured the first four spots as they moved into the semifinals of the qualifier tournament here and, in the process, booked their berths for the 11th Hockey World Cup to be held in Monchengladbach, Germany in September.

Five slots were up for the grabs from this 12-team qualifier for the 12-Nation World cup for which seven teams -- India, South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Germany, Holland, Spain have already qualified.

Belgium, France, Japan and Ireland will now battle for the one remaining place for the World Cup.

Pakistan thus earned the distinction of being the only country to have made it to the all editions of the World Cup, also winning it for the maximum four times -- 1971, 78, 82 and 1994.

England are to face Korea while Pakistan will clash with New Zealand in the semis.

England topped the pool 'A'with 12 points (four wins and a defeat). They beat Egypt 6-1, Canada 5-3, Belgium 1-0 and Ireland 5-1 but lost to Pakistan 2-3.

Pakistan came second with 11 points (three wins and two draws).

They beat Canada 1-0, Egypt 2-1 and England 3-2 but drew 2-2 with Belgium and 2-2 with Ireland.

Korea topped pool'B' with 11 points (three wins, two draws). The 2000 Sydney Olympics runners up defeated Malaysia 3-1, Japan 4-2, China 2-0 and drew 2-2 with France and 1-1 with New Zealand.

Montreal Olympic (1976) winner New Zealand were second with ten points (three wins a draw and a defeat).

The Kiwis beat Malaysia 4-2, Japan 4-2 and China 4-1, drew with Korea 1-1 and lost to France 2-5.

However it was Japan which created the major upset as they spoiled France's party. A win against Japan would have enabled France to make it to the semis thus qualifying for the World Cup but they lost 3-5.

In other matches, England beat Belgium 1-0, with Matt Daly scoring the onlyy goal in the fourth minute.

Pakistan drew with lowly Ireland 2-2. Dilwar Hussian and Rehan Butt scored for the former champions. Stephen Butler scored both the goals for Ireland Korea outlasted China 2-0 with Jong Hyun Jang and Sung Kweon Hong converting a penalty corner in each half respectively.

New Zealand overpowered Malaysia 4-2. Lloyd Stephenson, Simon Child, Hayden Shaw and Bevan Hari scored a goal each for the winners. Ahmad Tenghu and Kuhan Shanmuganathan reduced the margin for the losers.

Canada overcame Egypt 2-1. Connor Grimes and Rob Short scored a goal each for the winners. Hassan Mohamed scored for the losers.

UNI XC HSB DH BST 1634

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