Placement: Ireland vs. Spain – 12:30
Placement: India vs. France – 14:30
Semi-Final: Belgium vs. New Zealand – 17:00
Semi-Final: Australia vs. Netherlands – 20:00
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Netherlands – France 8-4 (3-2 halftime)
The Netherlands made their home fans happy at the Rabobank Hockey World League tournament in Rotterdam after cruising through the semi-final round with a 8-4 win against France. The Dutch will take on Australia in what is sure to be an epic semi-final meeting on Friday.
It was a festival of goals for the teams, especially in the last 10 minutes of the game, where the goals were flowing freely with five scored in an eight-minute span.
Jereon Hertzberger got the party started early 2:30 into the game with a penalty stroke goal slammed into the lower left corner. Just over five minutes later Constantijn Jonker doubled the lead with his tip in on a Billy Bakker shot.
France staged a mini-comeback and opened the eyes of the crowd and Dutch team when they scored two straight goals to pull even. Matthieu Durchon fired in a penalty corner in the 21st minute and three minutes later teammate Viktor Lockwood followed suit to make things interesting.
But Hertzberger was there to restore order for the Netherlands when he did what he does best, firing in a penalty corner goal in the last minute of the half. Valentin Verga picked up in the second half right where the Dutch left off, increasing the lead to 4-2 in the first two minutes of action.
Hertzberger mixed things up mid-half when he completed the hat trick, only this time putting in a field goal from the slot and increasing the lead to three goals. The teams exchanged two quick goals in the last 10 minutes. Hugo Genestet tried to get France into the game with an odd-angle goal, but two minutes later the Dutch struck again on a penalty corner, this one scored by Rogier Hofman.
Robert Kempermann and Quirijn Caspers put the icing on the cake with two late goals in the last three minutes. In total, the last 10 minutes of the game saw an amazing five goals scored, including an own goal that favored the French and helped the scoreline look somewhat respectable at 8-4 as the final.
Of the four semi-final teams in Rotterdam, Belgium is the only squad that went through an earlier round of the Hockey World League. The Belgians won the Round 2 tournament in France to earn their spot here in Rotterdam. The other three semi-finalists, New Zealand, Netherlands and Australia were all automatically seeded into the Rotterdam event based on their placement in World Ranking.
Australia – India 5-1 (4-1halftime)
Australia earned a spot in the semi-final game at the Rabobank Hockey World League tournament in Rotterdam after a feisty 5-1 win against India. Australia will play the winner of the Netherlands vs. France game in the semi-finals.
It was a momentous game today between Australia and India. First, it was the quarterfinal meeting between the two hockey giants with a lot riding on a top-four finish in Rotterdam. Second, it was hockey legend Jamie Dwyer’s 300th appearance for Australia and adding the icing to the cake, it was the 100th meeting between the India and Australia. In the end,
Once all the pre-game festivities were over it was time for the teams to get down to business. Things started out tame enough. Australia took a 1-0 lead when Glen Simpson scored a penalty corner two minutes into the game. Things started to heat up as the clock reached double digits with elbows, knees and everything in between flying.
But the real fun and game started in the 20th minute when the teams combined for an amazing four goals in a two-minute span. Australia’s Matt Ghodes and India’s Chinlensana Singh exchanged two quick goals. But before India even had a chance to celebrate the 2-1 score, a long pass intended for Jamie Dwyer bounced off Sardar Singh for the own goal. Less than 30 seconds later Russell Ford added the 4-1 goal to the mix.
After the flurry, thing settled down into a more manageable rhythm. The score stayed a 4-1 until the 39th minute when Matthew Swann added to the Australian tally with another penalty corner goal for his team.
For India, it was a disappointment to be ousted in the quarterfinal after their last major campaign at the 2012 Champions Trophy finished in a top-four finish. However, there is a silver lining for the Indians, they will host the Hockey World League Round 4 tournament in Delhi this winter and will have a chance to earn a stronger finish there.
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