Pak quailfy for World Cup hockey
Argentina, Australia, Spain, Germany, India, Netherlands and South Africa have already been guaranteed direct qualification in the tournament.india Updated: Apr 19, 2006 15:36 IST
Four-time champions Pakistan qualified for this September's World Cup hockey tournament in Germany, after reaching the semifinals of the qualifying tournament in Changzhou, China, on Wednesday.
Pakistan were held to a 2-2 draw by lowly Ireland that gave them second place in Group A behind England, who also earned a direct entry with a 1-0 win over Belgium.
After the league stages, England finished on top of Group A with 12 points while an unbeaten Pakistan secured 11 points. England's only loss in the league stages was against Pakistan who beat then 3-2.
Besides Ireland, Pakistan were also held to a 2-2 draw by Belgium.
Situation in Group B remains tight with France, Korea, New Zealand and Japan all in with a chance to reach the semifinals.
The winner of the 5-6 playoff match will be the fifth team, apart from the semifinalists, to qualify for the World Cup.
After England and Pakistan's qualification, nine of the 12 teams have earned births for the tournament to be played in German city of Monchengladbach from September six to 17.
Argentina, Australia, Spain, Germany, India, Netherlands and South Africa have already been guaranteed direct qualification in the tournament.