Defending champion Australia retained their supremacy with a dominant display despite the Germany challenge and scripted a win by 3-0 goals in the semi-final of the Hockey World League Final here at Kalinga Stadium here tonight Australia will cross swords with World No 1 Argentina in the final on Sunday. They also employed long-range balls due to the heavy pitch. It was hard hitting long balls along the carpet. They did have possession in the last quarter and virtually camped in the Argentine striking circle. Although England and Netherlands drenched it out for the seventh position match, the FIH Technical Delegates kept the semi-final decision pending.
India coach Sjoerd Marijne explained later that the opposition, once it got the goal, stayed so far back in the defence all the time that it made playing long overheads hard.
India had started the match brightly in the first quarter, but the South Americans stepped up a gear in the second quarter and took the lead through a penalty corner. With the ball not travelling at usual speed, Argentina did not rush things.
India attacked through Chinglensana, who picked up the ball two feet inside the Argentine half and found Mandeep Singh but Peillat blocked his shot. India did not have any short corners in that duration of time and no clear-cut chances. Germany won as many as five penalty corners but either their drag-flickers failed or the Australian rushers defended well to keep them from scoring. "We have to make the best of our penalty corners. And the only one we conceded was successfully converted by Peillat", India midfielder SK Uthappa said.
Iraq declares war with Islamic State is over
The US-led coalition that has been supporting the Iraqi forces against Islamic State welcomed the news in a tweet . The Iraqi armed forces issued a statement saying Iraq had been "totally liberated" from the IS.
Gonzalo Peillat scored the goal in the second quarter proving to be the difference. What he may not have realised was that over 70 per cent of the Argentinians played in familiar conditions in Europe.
"They are after all the No. 1 team, and that is expected from them", said Marijne. The circumstances of this game were different.
That meant Stefan Kermas only had 13 players to rotate throughout the game, even bringing on second goalkeeper Mark Appel as a kicker-back for the last 10 minutes. "In these conditions they were better", the India coach said.
The results: Semifinal: Australia 3 (Dylan Wotherspoon, Jeremy Haywards, Tom Wickham) bt Germany 0; 5-6 place: Belgium 1 (Sebastien Docker) bt Spain 0. Sebastien Dockier scored the only goal of the match from a field effort in the fourth minute.