England are through to the semi-finals of the FIH World Cup for the first time in 24 years after beating the hosts India 3-2 yesterday. England's victory at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi was their fourth in as many matches, giving them a maximum of 12 points. England, the European champions, shot 3-0 ahead with goals from James Tindall in the16th minute, Ashley Jackson (43rd) and Nick Catlin (47th) before India fought back through Gurwinder Chandi (54th) and Rajpal Singh (57th).
India will regret having failed to convert two penalty corners that came their way in the first half. It was a contest India had to win to keep their World Cup hopes alive after a victory over Pakistan was followed by defeats to Australia and Spain and their game against South Africa tomorrow will be a match in which they only have pride to play for. In other games, Australia, the tournament favourites, beat Spain 2-0 in an exciting match yesterday to close in on a semi-final place.
The in-form Luke Doerner scored from a penalty corner to put the world No 2 side 1-0 up in the 20th minute against the Olympic silver medallists. Glenn Turner scored in the 60th minute as Australia, the former champions, recorded their third victory in four matches in the six-team group B. Australia, who won a record 10th Champions Trophy in December, beat South Africa by a record 12-goal margin in the previous round.
South Africa earned their first win of the tournament by beating Pakistan 4-3. Both sides have been eliminated from the knockout round after winning only one of their first four matches. Pakistan opened the scoring in the fifth minute through their striker Rehan Butt to lead 1-0 at half-time. Gareth Carr equalised in the 38th minute on a penalty corner before field goals from Ian Haley, Tanie Paton and Marvin Harper gave South Africa a 4-1 lead.
Pakistan pulled back two goals in the last three minutes on penalty corners through Muhammad Imran and Waseem Ahmed. * With agencies