The Netherlands were one of five teams to reach the quarter-finals of the Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow today ©FIH

Australia, Argentina, Belgium, The Netherlands and hosts India all confirmed their places in the quarter-finals of the Men’s Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow on an enthralling fifth day of play.

They join Germany and Spain, the respective first and second placed finishers from Pool C, in the knock-out stages with only one quarter-final position left to be filled.  

In Pool A, Australia and Argentina both sealed their places in the last eight of the competition today, with the former finishing the day as the pool winners despite still having a game to play.

The Burras overcame a strong challenge from surprise package Austria to emerge as 4-2 winners, with Joshua Simmonds, Lachlan Sharp, Blake Govers and Jack Welch all on target in the win.

"It was slow to get going in the first half but it was coming, we just needed to stay patient and focus on what we were doing," said Australian Olympian Blake Govers after the match.

"In the second half we did that and actually let them off the hook a little bit at times.

"I think we could have bettered that performance, but we will keep building ahead of the quarter-finals."

That result left Austria sitting second in Pool A with four points, meaning that Argentina needed to win their match against South Korea by three clear goals in order to leap-frog them.

The South American continental champions achieved their target in impressive style, overpowering their Asian opponents 5-1.

Argentina established a 3-0 lead inside 14 minutes thanks to efforts from Martin Ferreiro, Tomas Domene and Thomas Habif, with Nicolas Keenan adding another just before the break.

A Park Joohan strike reduced the deficit six minutes after half time, but Keenen grabbed his second and Argentina’s fifth to complete the scoring and seal a vital win.

Pool B was also settled today, with Belgium taking first place ahead of The Netherlands, who finished second.

Argentina defeated South Korea 5-1 to reach the next phase of the tournament ©FIH
Argentina defeated South Korea 5-1 to reach the next phase of the tournament ©FIH

The Netherlands moved temporarily into top spot with a 7-0 victory over Egypt, scoring three goals in the first period and four in the second.

They were quickly overtaken at the top of Pool B by Belgium though, who proved too strong for Malaysia to claim a third successive win.

Gregory Stockbroekx gave Belgium an early lead before Quentin van Lierde doubled the advantage before half time.

Thomas Verheijen’s 55th minute penalty corner put the result beyond all doubt.

The final match of the day was in Pool D, where hosts India defeated South Africa but were made to work hard for their win.

A raucous crowd were ecstatic when India captain Harjeet Singh rifled home in the 11th minute, but a penalty corner from Kyle Lion-Cachet ahead before half time levelled the scores.

Mandeep Singh scored the winner with 15 minutes of the match remaining, sending the crowd into raptures and sealing top spot in the pool.

Tomorrow, the final matches of the pool phase will be played as England take on Canada in Pool D in a match that will decide the last quarter-final place.

Meanwhile, in Pool A, table toppers Australia take on South Korea.

Although the match order and timings are yet to be decided, Australia will face The Netherlands in the last eight while India take on Spain.

Belgium and Argentina will square off, following their senior teams facing each other in Rio 2016 Olympic Games final, while Germany await the winners of the match between England and Canada.