India to face defending champions Belgium if they win crossover match vs New Zealand

Hosts India will face defending champions Belgium in the quarterfinals of the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup if they beat New Zealand in the crossover match in Bhubaneswar on Sunday.

India had finished second in Pool D behind England on goal difference, forcing the home side to play in the crossover round. They needed to beat Wales by a margin of eight goals in their final pool match on Thursday to directly qualify for the quarterfinals, but could only notch up a 4-2 win.

The top team from each of the four pools directly qualify for the quarterfinals, while the second and third-placed sides feature in crossover matches to fill up the remaining four slots in the last eight stage.

In the first Pool B match of the day at the Birsa Munda Stadium, Belgium hammered Japan 7-1 to top the group and directly qualify for the quarterfinals.

Tom Boon slammed five goals in a superb show of finishing as he helped defending champions Belgium steamroll Japan.

Boom scored four field goals — in the 22nd, 27th, 28th and 51st minutes — before converting a penalty stroke in the 56th minute. Cedric Charlier (18th) and Sebastien Dockier (52nd) were the other goal getters for Belgium. Both scored field goals.

Kentaro Fukuda scored a consolation field goal for Japan in the 46th minute.

Belgium will play the winner of the crossover match between India and New Zealand in the quarterfinals at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.

Japan made an exit from the tournament after losing all their three matches and finishing at the bottom of the pool.

Japan defended well in the first and second quarters which did not produce any goals. Belgium scored four goals in the third quarter and three in the fourth to stamp their class.

Belgium earned six penalty corners in the match while Japan got two.

In another match, Germany defeated South Korea 7-2 to finish second in Pool B. Germany will now play crossover match against France on January 23 in Bhubaneswar for a place in the quarterfinals.

South Korea, who finished third in the pool with three points — from one win and two losses — face Argentina on January 23 in their crossover match in Bhubaneswar.

Germany and Belgium, who had played out a 2-2 draw against each other, ended on the same seven points — two wins and one draw — but the latter topped the pool on the basis of superior goal difference (plus 11 of Belgium and plus eight of Germany).

Wellen Niklas Wellen (2nd, 17th and 41st) scored a hat-trick — all field efforts — while Gonzalo Peillat (43rd), Justus Weigand (51st), Mats Grambusch (53rd) and Moritz Ludwig (53rd) were the other goal getters for Germany.

Jang Jonghyun scored both goals for South Korea, in the 15th and 60th minutes. All the pool matches of the World Cup were over on Friday. Australia topped Pool A, while Belgium, Netherlands and England did the same in Pool B, C and D, respectively, to directly qualify for the quarterfinals.

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