Bhubaneswar, Dec 8: In the first game of the day, Australia, already ensured the top position in the pool before the game, heavily defeated China (11-0) in the Hockey World Cup 2018 here on Friday (December 7). However, as England defeated Ireland (4-2), both England and China will progress to the cross-overs.
Reigning world champions Australia were already confirmed as the winners of Pool B following their impressive 3-0 victory over England on Tuesday (December 4), but that did not stop them wanting to maintain their winning streak in today's meeting against a China team that were unbeaten coming into the match.
The Kookaburras were at their scintillating best in the first quarter to open up a 2-0 lead, with Blake Govers finding the roof of the China net from a penalty corner before a tap-in from Aran Zelewski doubled the advantage.
Four Australian goals arrived in the fourth quarter, with Tom Craig, a second for Govers, Jeremy Hayward and a fine team goal finished off by the exceptional Jake Whetton, who showed incredible reactions to dive in and guide the ball home from close range.
At 6-0, the Australians could have been forgiven for easing off in the two remaining quarters, but its not something any Kookaburras side could ever be accused of.
A further five goals flew into the China net, with Odisha Player of the Match Blake Govers completing his hat-trick alongside efforts from Tim Brand (2), Dylan Wotherspoon and Flynn Ogilvie on target as Australia made it three wins from three matches.
The boys were having a lot of fun out there, a lot of goals were scored so I guess we were in the groove", said Australia's Matthew Swann after the match.
Pure joy & total devastation captured in these moments straight after the 2nd game of the day. @irishhockey 2 - 4 @EnglandHockey— International Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) December 7, 2018
Odisha #HWC2018 Bhubaneswar
📸FIH/ @GettySport pic.twitter.com/b0jwaRCfwC
"There were a lot of selfless acts out there when guys could have taken the shot themselves but laid it off to a guy who was in a better spot, and it is hard to protect the whole goal."
The second game of the day saw Ireland play England with both teams having one point each at the start of the game. China's heavy defeat meant that both Ireland and England only needed to draw in order to progress through to the knock-out stages, as their respective goal differences were now superior to the team from Asia.
English player David Condon opened the scoring in the last minute of the first quarter. This followed two scoring attempts from Liam Ansell and Mark Gleghorne, both off target. At the 25th minute, England were very close to doubling their advantage as Ian Sloan missed a great opportunity with a hit just past the post.
The start of the second half was full of excitement. Ireland had to put pressure on their opponents to try and find an equalizer to ensure a place in the next round. They managed to do so in the 35th minute through Chris Cargo. However, two minutes later, Liam Ansell gave the lead again to England thanks to a fantastic hit into the roof of the net.
This was not enough to discourage the Green Machine who, just a few seconds later, equalized again with a beautiful drag-flick from Shane O'Donoghue from a penalty-corner. But England went immediately on the attack again and scored the third goal only one minute later with a superb deflection from James Gall.
Ireland nearly equalized again seconds before the end of the third quarter but Michael Darling missed the target. In the last minute of the game, England converted a penalty-corner for their fourth goal by Mark Gleghorne. That meant that England qualified for the cross-overs while Ireland were eliminated.