champions Australia have progressed to the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup
semi-finals with a dominant 3-0 victory over France in their quarter-final in
Bhubaneswar on Wednesday night.
drag flicks from Jeremy Hayward and Blake Govers put the world number one
Kookaburras in control at half-time against the plucky French, who are ranked
20th in the world.
the Match Aran Zalewski sealed the win in the third quarter, rounding out a
fine penalty corner variation with a cool finish.
were good value for the victory, winning all key statistics with 23-17 circle
penetrations, 6-4 shots and 5-1 penalty corners, with three of those converted
by the Kookaburras.
result means Australia will play either hosts India or the Netherlands in the
semi-finals on Saturday night.
victory also keeps the Kookaburras’ hopes of a third straight World Cup title
alive, although Zalewski insisted that wasn’t on their minds.
honest we haven’t really thought about it,” Zalewski said. "We’ve just been
taking it each match at a time.
a new group. We’ve got nine or 10 guys making their World Cup debut so it’s not
like we’ve actually won a World Cup.
what we’re trying to do. We’ll try to take that into semis.”
will learn their semi-final opponent when India take on the Netherlands from
12:30am AEDT on Friday morning.
Kookaburras almost took the lead inside the first 60 seconds when Flynn
Ogilvie’s shot hit the post.
minutes later, Australia went ahead from a short corner with Jeremy Hayward’s
drag flick taking a slight deflection to beat France goalkeeper Arthur
hit the woodwork again in the seventh minute when Jake Whetton’s low shot beat
Thieffry to his right but not the post.
top scorer Govers added Australia’s second in the 19th minute,
continuing his run of scoring in every match this tournament, after winning a
penalty corner which he emphatically shot low past Thieffry.
did well to thwart Australia moments later when he snuffed out 150-gamer Trent
Mitton’s cutback with Ogilvie and Daniel Beale waiting at the back post.
had their best attack in the 23rd minute when Timothee Clement
released Aristide Coisne who beat Australia keeper Tyler Lovell but his
goalbound shot was cleared short of the line by the back-tracking Hayward.
added the third after Mitton successfully referred a non-decision to win a
penalty corner, where Govers laid off for Matt Dawson to find Zalewski in space
for a lofted finish from close range.
sides traded green cards in the final quarter as the chances dried up with
Australia content to seal their spot in the final four for the 11th consecutive World Cup.
victory over France also keeps the Kookaburras’ record-breaking World Cup match
winning streak going with 17 triumphs in a row.
Australia 3 (Hayward 4', Govers 19', Zalewski 37')