England poised for encounter with Argentina

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The Independent Online

England will play Argentina tomorrow, with Germany opposing India, in the semi-finals of the Junior World Cup in Hobart, Tasmania, following yesterday's unexpected set of results as the teams played their last pool games.

England will play Argentina tomorrow, with Germany opposing India, in the semi-finals of the Junior World Cup in Hobart, Tasmania, following yesterday's unexpected set of results as the teams played their last pool games.

The day started with Scotland surrendering a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with South Africa, whose equalising goal came in the dying seconds of the game at a penalty corner.

Despite the comeback, South Africa's coach, Paul Revington, described his team's performance as dreadful. The teams then required a penalty shoot-out later in the day, which South Africa won 3-2, to decide the final placing. Scotland, who had been leading their pool overnight, slipped to third place as Malaysia beat Chile 3-1 to move into top spot.

Argentina then overcame the hosts and defending champions 2-1 to move top of their pool and send the Australians to the bottom. Argentina's winning goal came from Juan Garreta with just 18 seconds of the game remaining.

There were more surprises in store. The Netherlands, strong favourites for a semi- final place, were trailing to India by two goals – a brilliant field goal from their captain, Ajit Singh, and a penalty corner from their specialist, Jugraj Singh – after 10 minutes. The Dutch then fought back to level the score before India regained the lead. The Dutch equalised again, but India claimed the winning goal, from Kanwal Preet Singh.

Later in the day South Korea, beaten 7-3 by Germany the previous day, overcame a two-goal deficit to thrash Spain 5-3. That left England in the semi-finals regardless of the result of their last game.

In a match of little consequence, with both teams looking lethargic at times, England and Germany went through the motions. Richard Mantell scored twice for England and Oliver Hentschel matched the feat for Germany, with Witthäus Matthias claiming Germany's third for victory.

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