Bhubaneswar, Dec 4:
Olympic champions Argentina lived up to their billing and beat New Zealand 3-0 to inch closer towards a direct quarterfinal spot at the men’s hockey World Cup here on Monday.
Argentina were the better side on display as they created more chances and scored thrice through Agustin Mazzilli (23rd), Lucas Villa (41st) and Lucas Martinez (55th) to pocket full three points from the Pool A encounter at the Kalinga Stadium.
By virtue of two wins from as many games, Argentina are atop Pool A with six points and they have brightened their chances of a direct berth in the last eight round.
New Zealand are at the second place with three points from two games ahead of Spain and France, both of whom have one point each.
Argentina had earlier defeated Spain 4-3 in their tournament opener while New Zealand had beaten France 2-1.
While Argentina will play world number 20 France in their last pool match on December 6, New Zealand will be up against Spain.
hands Spain 1-1
Skipper and goalkeeper Quico Cortes led from the front with a superb penalty stroke save to help three-time medallist Spain eke out a hard-fought 1-1 draw against lowly France in their second Pool A match .
The draw kept both the teams in the hunt for the knock-out round with one point apiece from two games.
It was a battle between world number 8 Spain and the lowest ranked team of the competition France, who are ranked 20th, but it turned out to be a keenly-contested encounter as the Frenchmen gave their opponents a run for their money.
It was France who stunned the Spaniards in the sixth minute when Timothee Clement scored from a field effort.
But Spain came back strongly after the change of ends and restored parity in the 48th minute through Alvaro Iglesias’ field strike.