Holland edge out Eng to enter final

Olympic silver medalists The Netherlands defeated England 1-0 to enter the final of the men’s hockey World Cup at the Kyocera Stadium here on Friday.

Chasing their fourth World Cup title, hosts Netherlands rode on a penalty corner conversion by Mike van der Weerden in the 31st minute to overcome the dogged England defence.

Van der Weerden sent a drag-flick, from Netherlands’ second penalty corner, soaring into the net to the left of English goalkeeper George Pinner.

The English goal had two narrow shaves when the ball rebounded off the bars after beating the defenders.

In the 27th minute, Billy Bakker’s rising reverse hit deflected off the cross-bar, while Rogier Hofman’s flick rebounded into play after hitting the left post in the 48th minute.
England were constantly under pressure from the Dutch strikers, but managed to build some raids into the rival circle.

Dutch custodian Jaap Stockmann, however, was not unduly troubled by the English shots at the goal.

India face Korea

Dejected at failing to improve upon their eight-place finish of the last edition, India have a lot at stake in the ninth-position play-off against South Korea on Saturday.

India will not only be seeking revenge for their 3-4 loss against Korea in the 2013 Asia Cup final but both the teams’ also have the As­ian Games on the radar wh­en they face off.

India were the last of reserve teams to clinch a spot among the 12-nation line-up for the World Cup, where four-time champions Pakistan were missing from the first time in the tournament’s history.

Three months ahead of the Asian Games in Incheon, India are eager to put aside their disappointment of a lacklustre show in this World Cup and seek to produce their best game against South Korea, the continental champions.

Coach Terry Walsh says international sport provides no space for brooding at past results.

“Whatever the disappointment of the previous outing, you need to lift yourself for the next game,” says Walsh, trying to motivate his players to produce their best against the Asian rivals.

A good result against South Korea will lift the morale of the Indian team in the year that will see these two nations meeting again in the Asian Games, which will be the qualifying event for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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