March 8, 2010 / 3:52 PM / 8 years ago

Australia beat Pakistan to qualify for World Cup semis

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Tournament favourites Australia advanced into the semi-finals of the men’s hockey World Cup on Monday after they beat Pakistan 2-1 in a pulsating match to finish top of Pool B.

Pakistan's Waseem Ahmed (R) fights for the ball with Australia's Glenn Turner during their match at the men's Hockey World Cup in New Delhi March 8, 2010. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

Desmond Abbott scored twice as Australia completed their matches in the six-team pool, finishing level with England on 12 points but topping the group on goal difference.

European champions England, who pulled off a surprise 3-2 victory over Australia in the opening match, lost 2-0 to Spain at the Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium for their first defeat in the competition.

Pau Quemada and Eduard Tubau scored for Olympic silver medallists Spain who finished third in the group on nine points. India meet South Africa in the day’s final match.

Sohail Abbas put Pakistan ahead against Australia, who won a 10th Champions Trophy in December, in the 24th minute through a penalty corner.

Abbott scored the equaliser three minutes into the second half and netted again shortly before the final whistle.

(Reporting by Sanjay Rajan in Chennai; Editing by Alison Wildey

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