Spain win as England save their breath
Spain's only chance of making it to the semifinals was to beat England by a huge margin, 10-12 goals, and hope Pakistan beat Australia by a good margin as the Kookaburras have a huge goal advantage.india Updated: Mar 08, 2010 23:56 IST
Spain's only chance of making it to the semifinals was to beat England by a huge margin, 10-12 goals, and hope Pakistan beat Australia by a good margin as the Kookaburras have a huge goal advantage.
That was easier said than done because England have been the find of the tournament, won all their matches thus far and were assured of the semifinal spot with a round to spare.
On the other hand, Pakistan have not set the turf on fire and, predictably, were beaten by the Australians.
The only interest then for Spain was to ensure that they finish third in the pool and played for the fifth and sixth spot.
Defeat would have opened up a chance for India to beat South Africa by a big margin and overtake them on goal difference.
But Spain completed their end of the bargain and defeated England 2-0 in a match that failed to rise to rise to high standard.
England, having clinched their berth in the semis, did not exert themselves much and were more interested in avoiding further injuries.
They have already lost three players to injuries (two before the start of event and one after) and wanted to avoid any more casualties going into the business end of the tournament.
Spain rode on goals by Pau Quemada off a penalty corner at the stroke of half-time and a field goal by Eduard Tubau in the 64th minute to seal a comfortable 2-0 victory in the Hero Honda FIH Men's Hockey World Cup here on Monday.
Though Spain held the upper hand, they could not score more goals.
England seems to have saved their breath for the tough semifinal.
Spain had to secure third place in the pool and went on the offensive from the start. Albert Sala, Quemada, Pol Amat and David Alegre made some good attacks while for England, skipper Barry Middleton, James Tindall and Iain Mackay played well.
Spain had nine shots on goal, of which four went wide. England could manage only six shots with only one on target.
Both the teams had two penalty corners and while Spain capitalised on one, England missed both their chances.