Hockey World Cup 2018: Belgium thrash South Africa 5-1 in Pool C match to ensure participation in cross-over round
Alexander Hendrickx scored a brace while Simon Gougnard (18th), Loick Luypaert (30th) and Cedric Charlier (48th) were the other goal-getters for Belgium
Bhubaneswar: Olympic silver medalists Belgium thrashed South Africa 5-1 in their last Pool C match to remain in the hunt for a direct quarter-final berth at the men's hockey World Cup on Saturday.
Alexander Hendrickx (14th, 22nd minutes) scored a brace while Simon Gougnard (18th), Loick Luypaert (30th) and Cedric Charlier (48th) were the other goal-getters for Belgium.
South Africa, on the other hand, stunned the world No. 3 side just 36 seconds from the start through Nicholas Spooner's field strike.
By virtue of this win, Belgium have progressed to the top of Pool C with seven points from three games while South Africa are currently placed last.
In the last Pool C match, India will take on Canada and the hosts will need a win over the world No. 11 side to top the pool and book a direct berth in the last eight round.
An India win will mean Belgium will finish the pool in the second place and will have to play in the cross-overs to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Canada are well placed in the third spot and are in with a bright chance to play in the cross-overs. Only a defeat by eight or more goals against India can ruin Canada's chances and bring South Africa back into the fray.
South Africa are virtually out of the tournament and will now depend on India to demolish Canada by a big margin to remain in the competition.
Compared to Argentina, India have played more games since hockey resumed post the coronavirus-induced stoppage and also got time to rectify issues and work on their game.
With the visitors ahead only by a goal, the last quarter was a battle of nerves with the home team stepping on the gas to secure an equaliser.
Indian men's hockey team coach Graham Reid regrets missed opportunities against Argentina in 2nd match
Lucas Martinez then pulled one back for the hosts with a field goal in the 57th minute, thus ending the game in a 4-4 stalemate.