THE HAGUE - Argentina turned the form book upside down with a stunning 1-0 upset of reigning Olympic champions Germany in the Hockey World Cup at the Kyocera Stadium here on Tuesday. The all-important goal in the fast-paced encounter came in the 31st minute from Manuel Brunet, who scooped the ball from an acute angle on the left. The ball ended in the net just inside the far post, to the surprise of German goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi.

The result opened up Group B, which also features hosts and Olympic silver medalists The Netherlands and New Zealand, who rode on Andy Hayward's three-goal act to hammer South Africa 5-0 for their second successive victory.

New Zealand now have six points from two games while The Netherlands have three from their first match. Germany have three points from two matches, having beaten South Africa in their last outing. Argentina lost 1-3 to The Netherlands in their first game, but today gained full three points.

In the second league game Marcus Child scored before Hayward got into his penalty-corner conversion act to slam the ball twice in the space of three minutes in the 15th and 17th minutes. Shea McAleese scored on a penalty corner in the 52nd minute before Hayward returned to complete his three-goal tally two minutes later.

China stun England as SA women go down to Germany

England are unlikely to reach the semi-final stage of the women's hockey World Cup after suffering their second straight defeat. The 3-0 loss to China leaves England with only slim hopes of finishing in the top two of pool B if they win their three remaining group games.Having already lost 2-1 to the USA on Sunday, England must now beat South Africa on Friday, world champions Argentina on Sunday and European champions Germany on Tuesday. Even then, other results must fall their way. But with the side's confidence, shaky after the USA defeat,  now shattered, England are unlikely to match their third-place finish of four years ago in Rosario."I have been in the game a long time and I don't think it has been worse than this," said England coach Jason Lee."For long periods of the game I thought we just needed to score from the chances we created. As the game progressed, the nerves became bigger and bigger.It was a fantastic goal from China. Then they scored from a corner and all of our confidence drained."

England captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, close to tears, said: "I am devastated. We pride ourselves in our fight and some players were lacking in that today. When we get chances we have to take them. I'll hold up my hands and say 'it's me'. We need to go out there an play like an England team."

In another match, the South Africa women's hockey team lost 3-1 to Germany after trailing 1-0 at half-time in the team's second Group-B match.There are still three Group-B matches left for South Africa in the cup competition."We've got to put this behind us, take it one game at a time, the players are fit and I don't think it will be difficult to pick ourselves up for the next match on Friday against world number three England," Cox said.

South Africa , like Germany, also needed points in Group B after their 4-1 defeat to defending champions Argentina on Sunday.Midway through the half Dirkie Chamberlain brought Platten into action again after Bernie Coston's powerful cross from the right.

However, the Germans opened the scoring in the 19th when Jana Teschke fired in a left-to-right diagonal ball from inside the 23-metre area and Marie Mavers was superb in getting a touch to leave Van Deventer with no chance (1-0). In the 49th Germany won their first penalty corner, while South Africa had earned three at that stage, and Hillmann made it 2-0 after a goalmouth scramble.

However, in the 63rd South Africa pulled a goal back with a great move down the left that involved Coetzee, Coston and Chamberlain in the final plays before Russell delivered the final strike (2-1).The joy was brief as Germany restored their two-goal cushion two minutes later (65th) when Mavers bagged a second (3-1).