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Australia men, women win World Cup matches

June 5, 2014

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Defending champion Australia won a third straight match at the field hockey World Cup and handed Belgium its first loss by 3-1 on Thursday.

Chris Ciriello and Jacob Whetton scored in the first 10 minutes for Australia, but coach Ric Charlesworth said he was not happy with his side’s play.

“We had two lapses in the first half when we conceded two penalty corners and we fell asleep in the second half when we conceded a goal,” he said. “We need to address that.”

Australia’s women have also started 3-0 in their group after also beating Belgium 3-2, their third consecutive match with that scoreline. Tournament top-scorer Anna Flanagan opened the scoring from a penalty corner, and Jodie Kenny’s second for Australia was the winner with 16 minutes to go.

“Why make it convincing, it is far more exciting this way,” Flanagan joked.

In other men’s matches, England beat Malaysia 2-0, and India drew 1-1 against Spain.

Among the women, Japan drew 1-1 against South Korea, while the Netherlands beat New Zealand 2-0.

The Dutch dominated with two first-half goals but were denied a much bigger win by a strong New Zealand defence. Goalkeeper Joyce Soembroek touched the ball once in the game, while counterpart Sally Rutherford was constantly under fire.

The Dutch win sets up a meeting with the other undefeated team in Group A, Australia, in their next match on Saturday.

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