Hosts India ended their much-hyped Hockey World Cup campaign with a 5-2 win over South Africa to finish joint 9th with Argentina at the Birsa Munda Stadium here tonight.
India played an aggressive game and led 2--0 at halftime.
For the hosts, the goal scorers were Abhishek (4th Minute), Harmanpreet (12th m Pc), Shamsher (44th), Akashdeep (48th) and Sukhjeet (58th). Samkelo Mvimbi (48th) Cassiem Mustaphaa (59th) scored for South Africa
India, who had beaten Japan 8-0 in their first classification match, opened on a fast-paced and surged ahead in the 4th minute through Abhishek and Harmanpreet converted a penalty corner to make it 2-0.
In the last minute of the third quarter, Shamsher made it 3-0 for the hosts, striker Akashdeep Singh increased the tally to 4-0 but immediately Samkelo Mvimbi made a solo thrust and caught the defence to reduce the margin.
Two minutes before the final hooter Sukhjeet completed the tally for the hosts (5-1) but South Africans countered and were rewarded with a stroke and Cassiem Mustaphaa made no mistake in converting it (2-5).
India could convert only one of the six penalty corners that were awarded to them.
India had finished 6th in the last edition of the World Cup (2018 )which was played in Bhubaneswar
Earlier former Olympic champion Argentina trashed Wales 6-0 in a one-sided match. The score liner is not the true reflection of the domination of Latin Americans.
Their forwards missed several openings otherwise the scoreline would have been much higher.
For the winners who led 3-0 at halftime, the goal scorers were Martin Ferreiro (2) Lucas Toscani, Augustine Bugallo, Santiago Tarazona, Maico Casella (one each).
In the morning, Malaysia piped Asian Games champion Japan 3-2.
In a well-contested match, Malaysia took lead in the 7th minute through Shello Silverius who converted a penalty corner.(1-0) However Japan drew parity 16 minutes later through Tanaka Kaito (1-1)
Two- minute into the second session, Japan captain Seren Tanaka gave his side the lead (2-1) but it lasted barely a minute as Shello drew parity with a super goal (2-2) two minutes later Shahmie Irfan Suhaimi made it 3-2 for Malaysia.
The Asian Champions tried hard for the equalizer but the Malaysian crowded their citadel and manage to defend the solitary goal lead.
In another classification match France outpaced Chile 4-2.
France dominated the match and took the lead in the 14th minute through Eliot Curty (1-0) Victor Charlet scored a brace converting two penalty corners in a space of one minute to make it (3-0)
Chile reduced the lead in the 312th minute through Franco Becerra who scored off the penalty corner (1-3). However, France sealed the match in therir favoure when in the 43rd minute Gaspard Xavier scored a fine goal.
Chile managed to score their second goal to reduce the margin in the 54th minute through Andres Pizarro (2-4)
As per the FIH release after the match, the eight teams involved in the classification matches wer placed joint 9th, 11th, 13th and 15th,
Apart From India and Argentina who were declared joint 9th, South Africa and Wales (Joint 11th)
France /Malaysia (13th) and Japan/Chile (15th)