Ireland crashed out of the men’s Hockey World Cup after losing 2-3 to England. China were handed a berth in the knockout stages despite being crushed 0-11 by two-time holders Australia in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Australia
topped the pool with an all-win record after thrashing lowly China in a lop-sided affair and remained on course for a hat-trick of titles.

The reigning champions accumulated nine points from three games and secured a direct entry into the quarterfinals while England finished second on four points and China (two points) scrapped through by securing the third spot with two draws.

In the cross-overs, China will take on France on December 10, while England will face New Zealand the same day. World No. 7 England scored three field goals through David Condon (15th minute), Liam Ansell (37th) and James Gall (38th) to come out victorious.

For world No. 11 Ireland, Chris Cargo (35th) and Shane O’ Donoghue sounded the boards.

In the match between David and Goliath, Australia toyed with the hapless Chinese defence and scored goals at will to go into the halfway break with a commanding 6-0 lead.

Coming into the match with two impressive draws against higher-ranked England (2-2) and Ireland (1-1), it turned out to be a completely different ball game for the Chinese, as they found it difficult to breach the huge gulf.

From start to finish, the match was mostly played in the Chinese half with the Kookaburras launching one attack after another.

After managing to hold Australia initially, the floodgates opened in the 10th minute and there was no stopping the Kookaburras thereafter.

Blake Grovers (10th, 19th, 34th minutes) scored a hat-trick, while young Tim Brand (33rd, 55th) accounted for two goals. Aran Zalewski (15th), Tom Craig (16th), Jeremy Hayward (22nd), Jake Whetton (29th), Dylan Wotherspoon (38th) and Flynn Ogilive (49th) were the other goal getters for Australia.