Spain keep 100% winning rate, Netherlands secure quarters slot – theSun

KUALA LUMPUR: Spain trounced South Korea 8-2 to keep their 100 percent winning record in the Men’s Hockey Junior World Cup (JWC) 2023 at the Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium here, today.
With the comfortable victory, the Junior Red Sticks squad, who beat Canada 7-0 and India 4-1 before, advanced to the quarter-finals as the Group C champions with nine points.
The world number six Spain, who are gunning for their maiden JWC title, will next face the second placed team in the Group D, which is in contention between the Netherlands, Pakistan and Belgium, and will be known after the match between India and Canada tonight.
Earlier, Pol Cabre Verdiell scored an early brace by converting penalty corners in the fifth and sixth minutes to give early lead for the Spaniards.
Nicolas Alvarez (18’, & 26’) and Pablo Espino (32’ & 35’) also netted doubles for Spain, while Enric Miralles (14’) and Bruno Font (16’) scored a field goal each for the dominating victory.
South Korea managed to reduce the deficit through Lee Seunghwan ’s penalty corner in the 29th minute and Park Geonwoo’s field goal in the 58th minute.
Spain’s head coach Oriol Torras Puig said playing fast hockey and scoring in the early minutes were key for their success.
“Our system is to play fast with balls, always start very well and score very early. If things didn’t go well after that we must defend well, like when playing against India, they attacked a lot but we managed to put a solid defense.
“We don’t know which team we will play (on Tuesday), but facing any of the three teams will be tough and difficult, all of them are very good. The most important thing now is to recover well, then to be ready for the match,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands secured their quarter-finals ticket after beating New Zealand 3-1 in theri Group D match, courtesy of Olivier Hortensius’ field goals in the 19th and 31st minutes.
Casper Van Der Veen was also on target in the 22nd minute’s, while New Zealand, who have yet to win a match in the tournament, replied through James Nicolson in the 33rd minute.
“I am happy we have reached the quarter-finals, that was our first goal in the group stage. We had created many chances, should have converted more against Belgium and New Zealand,” the Netherland’s head coach Jesse Mahieu said.–Bernama

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