Tue, Oct 03, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Netherlands remain undefeated at field hockey World Cup


Netherlands beat Spain 2-0 on Sunday to top Pool A at the women's field hockey World Cup.

Olympic champion Germany beat China 3-1 to move into a second-place tie with Spain, while India and England played to a 1-1 draw, in the other Pool A games.

Netherlands, a five-time world champion looking for its first title in 16 years, won through goals by Eefke Mulder in the sixth minute and Naomi van As in the 41st. It remains undefeated and top of the group with three wins.

"If Spain had scored when it was 1-0, we may not have won," Netherlands coach Marc Lammers said.

The Oranje took full advantage of Spain's defensive errors, with Mulder directing a centering pass past sprawling goalkeeper Maria Rosa, who was left helpless as Van As tapped in a rebound into an empty net.

A strong Dutch defense frustrated the host nation, which gave away too much possession, allowing Netherlands chances on the counterattack, which eventually led to the goals.

Goals from Maike Stoeckel, Silke Mueller and Mandy Haase gave Germany a commanding win over China, with Zhen Sun scoring for China.

The top two teams from each group advance directly to the semifinals and Spain holds the edge over Germany in Pool A after beating it 1-0 in their opening game.

Kerry Williams set up Chloe Rogers in the 47th to give England the lead before Surinder Kaur drew India level with her penalty shot 11 minutes later. Williams had a late goal disallowed, after India had seen a goal revoked for dangerous play.

England will need to beat both Germany and Spain in its final two games to have a chance of advancing.

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