Raipur: World champions Australia yesterday defeated Olympic champions Germany 4-1 to set up a semifinal clash against title holders Netherlands at the Hockey World League (HWL) Final here yesterday.
It was a hard-fought second quarterfinal between Australia and Germany but in the end it was the Kookaburras who came out victorious. Earlier in the day, defending champions Netherlands had to fight hard to overcome a gritty Canada 2-0 in the first quarterfinal. The world¿s top two teams -- Australia and Netherlands --
will now lock horns in the first semifinal of the tournament on Friday.
Germany had the first shot at goal in the second minute but Florian Fuchs¿ reverse shot went wide after he was set up by a brilliant defence splitting pass from skipper Moritz Furste. The miss cost Germany dearly as Australia took the lead two minutes later through a penalty corner conversion by Jeremy Hayward (4th minute).
Australia doubled their lead in the next minute when veteran Jamie Dwyer deflected in a cross from Matthew Swann. The Germans earned their first penalty corner in the 11th minute but wasted the opportunity. Both the teams fought hard to seize the control of the match in the second quarter and Germany had a golden opportunity to score when they were awarded a penalty corner but Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter pulled off a fine save to deny Oskar Deecke.
If the miss was not enough, Australia added another to their tally when Matthew Dawson scored from a penalty corner to extend their lead to 3-0 at the halfway mark. Desperate to make a match out of it, the Germans went on the offensive and managed to pull one back in the 40th minute through Christopher Ruhr's field strike.
But that was all the Germans could manage as they failed to breach the resolute Australian defence in the remaining time of the match. In the final minute of the match, Germany withdrew their goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi to add another striker in search of goals. But the move backfired as Glenn Turner scored from a counter-attack to make the scoreline 4-1.