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Aussies stay unbeaten at hockey World Cups

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Anna Flanagan (C) scores for the Hockeyroos against Belgium.

Anna Flanagan (C) scores for the Hockeyroos against Belgium. Photo: AP

THE HAGUE: Unbeaten and well on track for medals, the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos face key matches at the men's and women's hockey World Cups on Saturday.

The two Australian teams boosted their positions with a winning double over Belgium at The Hague on Thursday as Ric Charlesworth's men's team triumphed 3-1 and Adam Commen's women prevailed 3-2.

The Kookaburras top men's Group A with a 3-0 record but next face second-placed England on Saturday.

The Hockeyroos (3-0) are locked with hosts the Netherlands on top of women's Group A and they clash with the Dutch on the same day.

The men's team hit Belgium hard early with goals from Chris Ciriello and Jacob Whetton in the first 10 minutes and another strike from Eddie Ockenden seemed to seal victory just after the interval.

But Belgium, who had won both previous matches were not about to give up and pulled a goal back through Sebastian Dockier.

Charlesworth is seldom satisfied but he likes the way his team is tracking.

"I think we had too many lapses, I'm not happy with that," said Charlesworth.

"We played maybe two good quarters and two average quarters in the game and I expect more than that.

"I'm very happy with the result because Belgium is a team of high quality.

"We haven't had, coming into this tournament, the number of matches some other teams have had so we're perhaps a little bit rusty still but I don't mind our trajectory."

The Hockeyroos had to battle hard against winless Belgium to stay unbeaten in their six-team group.

The Belgians matched Anna Flanagan's opener through Stephanie de Groof on the stroke of halftime and Jill Boon replied to Australian Jodie Kenny's strike immediately after the break.

But Kenny struck again with a 54th minute winner, a penalty shot which only just made it over the line.

"Why make it convincing, it is far more exciting this way," said tournament top scorer Flanagan.

AAP

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