Spain beats Australia at World Cup; England rallies to beat India

Spain beat Olympic champion Australia 3-1 on Thursday at the men's field hockey World Cup.

Spain displayed an imaginative attack with goals from Eduard Tabau in the 8th minute, Pol Amat in the 11th and Xavier Ribe in the 41st.

It was the third time in a month Australia had lost to the European champions.

"We didn't want the ball. We learned from Australia how to play without the ball," said Spain forward Santiago Freixa. "We had few chances, but we scored on those chances."

Troy Elder, on a 47th minute penalty corner, picked up a consolation goal for Australia. Twice the team hit posts.

"I think with an ounce of luck those posts may have been in and we may have won," Australian coach Barry Dancer said. "One loss is not going to lose a World Cup," he added.

Tabau hit into a crowd, collected the deflected ball and slapped it in at the right post. Amat redirected a free hit from the left into the middle of the net and Ribe scored on a penalty corner.

Spain, Pakistan and New Zealand all have 3 points in Group A.

In Group B, England rallied to beat India 3-2 as Simon Mantell scored two second-half goals, while Pakistan beat Japan 2-0.

Against England, Shivendra Singh netted on a breakaway to put India ahead 1-0 in the 29th, but James Tindall's slap-shot in the 53rd leveled the match.

Mantell's go-ahead goal in the 57th came while India was down to 10 men after a yellow card. Four minutes later, Mantell scored again to seal the win despite England failing to convert two penalties.

Dilip Tirkey scored a late consolation goal for India.

"We've had some big wins and some notable wins, but I think this was one of our biggest," England coach Jason Lee said.

In Pakistan's win, Sohail Abbas scored in the ninth minute against Japan and Rehan Butt added the second on a reverse-stick shot three minutes later, reports AP.

The win by England seventh in 2002 in its worst performance at the World Cup in two decades  leaves India with little chance of making the semifinals after a 3-2 loss to Germany on Wednesday.

Later Thursday, South Africa takes on the Netherlands.