Netherlands storm into World Cup hockey semifinals

PTI| Updated: Jun 09, 2014, 10:30 AM IST

The Hague (Netherlands): Olympic silver medallists The Netherlands stormed into the men?s hockey World Cup semifinals with a runaway 7-1 victory over South Africa at the Kyocera Stadium.

Three-time World Cup winners Netherlands stayed at the top of Group B with 12 points from four successive victories to ensure a spot in the semifinals.

Netherlands are virtually assured of the top spot in the pool irrespective of the result of their last league outing against New Zealand, because of their massive goal difference Robbert Kemperman scored two field goals in the Netherlands rampage against South Africa. Others making an entry on the scoresheet were Seve van Ass, who opened the scoring with a flash strike in the fourth minute, Valentin Verga, Jeroen Hertzberger, Billy Bakker and Sander Baart.

The consolation goal for South Africa was scored late in the game by Justin Reid-Ross. Argentina, on course for their maiden semifinal appearance, are on nine points but way behind on goal difference. Penalty corner shooter Gonzalo Peillat`s three-goal burst lifted Argentina to a 5-0 victory over Asian champions South Korea, keeping them on course for the semifinals.

Logging nine points from four matches, Argentina stayed ahead of Olympic champions Germany, who are in danger of failing to make the semifinal only for the second time in World Cup history. Peillat converted two early penalty corners to give Argentina a two-goal lead by the seventh minute. Lucas Vila then scored a field goal, before Peillat returned for his third goal in the 20th minute that gave te Argentines a 4-0 lead at half-time.

Guillermo Schickendantz rounded off Argentina?s scoring midway in the second session with an open play strike.

Two-time champions Germany defeated New Zealand 5-3 for their second win in four Group B outings, giving them six points in four games. But the lone-goal losses to hosts The Netherlands and Argentina have pushed two-time champions Germany to the brink.

Until now, it was only in the first World Cup in 1971 that Germany did not feature in the semifinals. Martin Zwicker scored twice for Germany today, while Florin Fuchs, Christopher Zelller and Benedikt Furk contributed a goal each. Zellar could have added another goal, but missed a penalty stroke.

Andy Hayward scored a hat-trick for New Zealand with his last two goals coming in the last four minutes of the match.