Today's 3-0 win over England has seen Australia reach the quarter-finals of the FIH Men’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar ©FIH

Defending champions Australia have been confirmed as Pool B winners at the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Men’s World Cup in Bhubaneswar after they beat England and China drew against Ireland today.

The Kookaburras saw off England 3-0 at the Kalinga Stadium in today’s first match before the China result left them four points clear and uncatchable, at the top of the table.

The first two-quarters of Australia’s match remained goalless as England’s players put up a good fight against the world number one side.

Both sides had chances early on but the goalkeepers excelled, with England’s George Pinner making two fine penalty corner blocks to deny the Kookaburras before Tyler Lovell pulled off a miraculous stick save from Mark Gleghorne’s penalty corner drag-flick to deflect the ball over his own crossbar.

In the third-quarter Australia were the better side but they were still unable to break England’s resistance with their first goal finally coming in the fourth.

Jake Whelton broke the deadlock with a pinpoint slapshot in the 47th minute before Blake Glovers doubled their lead just three minutes later.

Having kept them out for so long, England then let in a third four minutes from full-time when Corey Wever rattled the backboard with a low reverse stick effort.

Afterwards goal scorer Whelton said he was playing in a more attacking position which was "nice".

"I’ve been working on a goal-shot like that for a little while so happy it paid off," he said.

"It was a tough game - to come away with a win was really good."

Ireland managed to equalise against China even while down to 10 men ©FIH
Ireland managed to equalise against China even while down to 10 men ©FIH

Had China won their match against Ireland, then Australia’s position at the top of the pool would not have been secure, and they should arguably have taken the win.

For the first-half of the match Ireland were the better side and had the majority of the chances.

They were unable to take them, however, and when Jonathan Bell was shown a yellow card at the end of the third-period China used their man advantage to take the lead.

Gou Jin finished a beautifully worked penalty corner with a high finish that went in off the left post.

Even while Ireland were down to 10 men though, China were not able to hold onto the lead.

Shortly afterwards, Alan Sothern managed to deflect Michael Robson’s reverse stick pass into the back of the net.

Afterwards China’s coach Kim Sang Ryul claimed he was "very satisfied" with the result, despite losing the lead.

"Our mentality is that we are still trying to win," he said.

"We will try to show our abilities against Australia."

Tomorrow the action is due to continue in Pool D as European champions The Netherlands face Germany and Malaysia play Pakistan.