New Delhi: A dazzling second half display by the Netherlands took the three-time champions to the top of pool A in the World Cup hockey at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium on Friday.
Locked goalless against lowly Canada at half time, the Netherlands suddenly came alive in the second half to slam in half a dozen goals without reply that took their points tally to nine from three matches.
Two of the goals for the Netherlands were scored by drag-flick specialist Taeke Taekma, who is now tournaments top scorers with six goals. Rogier Hofman (2) and Roland Brouwer and Rob Reckers were the other goalscorers.
All calculations in the group, however, went topsy-turvy when Asian Games champions South Korea went down to New Zealand 1-2 in the days first match. It was the biggest upset of the tournament after Australias loss to England on the opening day.
Known for their speedy runs and gritty display, the Koreans cave in rather meekly. Down by two goals in the first half, the South Koreans could never recover from the shock.
No wonder the Kiwis captain Dean Couzins was ecstatic after the match. It has opened up our chances of going to the semi-finals. Hope we would be able to do it in the next two matches against Germany and Argentina, he said.
Despite the win, New Zealands chances are still slim as Germany also notched up full points against Canada to take their tally to seven.
Two days ago, Argentina defeated Germany on the football field. The result was reversed in hockey on Friday but not before Argentina put up a good fight against the world champions, who are looking for their third back-to-back title.
Germany, who won 4-3, were the first to draw blood in the fifth minute when Martin Zwicker went through the defence. Argentina retaliated a minute later as Lucas Martin Vila scooped the ball in.