England, Australia through to Hockey World Cup semis

Photo courtesy: FIH

Two-time defending champions Australia showed just why they are the overwhelming favourites to make it three World Cups in a row with an emphatic 3-0 win over France in their quarter-final clash, while England claimed a narrow 3-2 win over Argentina to sneak through.

Australia showed their strength as they scored thrice from three penalty corners in three different quarters and with three different scorers in a match that they cruised through without ever having to ever shift into second gear.

All talks of a potential upset were put to paid as early as the fourth minute, when Jeremy Hayward converted from a penalty corner to make it 1-0 to Australia. It became 2-0 in the 19th minute as Blake Govers smashed the ball into the net, before Aran Zalewski made it 3-0 in the 37th minute.

With the match well and truly over, Australia lifted their foot off the peddle completely and saw out time without any hiccups.

The day was not to be without an upset though as England managed to defeat Argentina in a shock 3-2 defeat.

Argentina took an early lead through Gonzalo Peillat but England managed to equalise through Barry Middleton, who then turned provider to give England a 2-1 lead at the end of the third period.

Peillat was not to be outdone though and scored his second of the night through another penalty corner. England, however, had the last laugh as Harry Martin scored the winner just a minute later to knock out the Olympic champions.

With world number two team Argentina out of the tournament, Australia become stronger favourites to retain their crown and match Pakistan’s record World Cup tally of four titles.