World champions Australia set up title clash with Belgium

Antwerp (Belgium): World champions Australia overcame some stiff resistance put up by Great Britain to notch up a 3-1 win and set up a title contest against Belgium in the men’s Hockey World League Semifinals here. World number one Australia stamped their authority during the second half to advance to tomorrow’s final against the home side who defeated India 4-0 in the other semifinal of the tournament. India and Great Britain will meet in the bronze medal match, also tomorrow. All the four semifinalists from this World League Semifinals will secure passage to the 2016 Olympics, with India’s qualification assured from their Asian Games gold medal in Incheon.

After being denied by a ball bouncing back into play off the crossbar, Australia opened the scoring in the 27th minute through a penalty corner goal from Blake Govers. Great Britain fought back to restore parity six minutes into the second session when Nick Catlin created an opening through his square movement from right into the scoring zone, which he capped with a fine reverse drive that sounded the boards. Within two minutes, Australia were again in front as unmarked Daniel Beale swept a square pass inside the circle into the goal with the custodian already beaten by the cross. Jacob Whetton’s goal for Australia in the 51st minute put the match beyond Great Britain’s reach.

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