New Delhi: Australia scored two second half goals to beat France 2-0 and end their pool engagements on an unbeaten note in the Hero Junior Men`s Hockey World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, here on Monday.
By virtue of three wins from as many games, Australia finished on top of Pool B with nine points ahead of second placed France, who have six points in their kitty.
Australia will now take on the second placed team in Pool B in the quarterfinals on Thursday, while France, who have qualified for the quarterfinals for the first time since 1985, will be up against Pool A toppers.
Except for Pool standings, the match between Australia and France hardly had any significance as both the teams had already qualified for the knock-out phase ahead of today`s encounter.
The action was flowing back and forth pleasantly in the initial minutes of play as both the teams traded early penalty-corners but with no real danger for the goal-keepers.
William Gilmour had a chance for Australia alone in front of Edgar Reynaud in the French goal but blasted his shot wide.
French goal-keeper was again in fine form as he thwarted a number of Australian attempts to help his team keep a clean slate at the halfway mark. But Australia came out all guns blazing after the change of ends and took the lead just two minutes into the second period through a field goal from Frank Main.
Australia doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Cameron Joyce converted a penalty corner with a straight forward low shot. Meanwhile in another inconsequential Pool B match earlier in the day, Argentina scrapped past Spain 1-0 to register their first win in the tournament.
Argentina`s lone goal came in the second half from the sticks of Manuel Nicolas Sacchetti (46th). While Argentina will now play in the 9-12 classification match on Thursday, Spain will feature in the 13-16th play-off games.