Olympic silver medallist Belgium thrashed South Africa 5-1 in their last Pool C match to remain in the hunt for a direct quarterfinal berth at the men’s hockey World Cup here on Saturday.
Alexander Hendrickx (14th, 22nd minutes) scored a brace while Simon Gougnard (18th), Loick Luypaert (30th) and Cedric Charlier (48th) were the other goal getters for Belgium.
South Africa, on the other hand, stunned the world no.3 side just 36 seconds from the start through Nicholas Spooner’s field strike.
By virtue of this win, Belgium have progressed to the top of Pool C with seven points from three games while South Africa are currently placed last.
In the last Pool C match, India will take on Canada and the hosts will need a win over the world no. 11 side to top the pool and book a direct berth in the last eight round.
An India win will mean Belgium will finish the pool in the second place and will have to play in the cross-overs to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Canada are well placed in the third spot and are in with a bright chance to play in the cross-overs. Only a defeat by eight or more goals against India can ruin Canada’s chances and bring South Africa back into the fray.
South Africa are virtually out of the tournament and will now depend on India to demolish Canada by a big margin to remain in the competition.