The final of the Odisha Men’s Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 will be a mouth-watering clash between the respective world and Olympic champions, with Australia set to meet Rio 2016 gold medallists Argentina in the championship match on Sunday.
Australia overcame stern resistance from Germany to emerge with a 3-0 win to maintain their hopes of defending the Hockey World League title that they won in Lucknow two years ago, setting up a clash with Los Loenes, the top ranked team in the game.
Germany, depleted by injuries, had caused Australia danger in the first half, with goalkeeper Tyler Lovell keeping them at bay.Second-half goals from Dylan Wotherspoon, Jeremy Hayward and Tom Wickham sealed the win. The match had been deadlocked at 0-0 at half-time before the Kookaburras scored three second-half goals to secure their place in the final.
The Kookaburras responded in the second half, with Eddie Ockenden forcing a good save from Tobias Walter in the 35th minute after good lead-up play from Junior Player of the Match Lachlan Sharp.
Australia hit the lead in the 42nd minute when Daniel Beale found Wotherspoon, who produced an expert back stick finish to give the Kookaburras the lead.The Kookaburras doubled their lead in the 48th minute when 100-gamer Jeremy Hayward fired home a deflected drag flick from a penalty corner.
Germany rallied in the light of the deficit, but Australia sealed the win when Aran Zalewski broke forward and found Tom Wickham to convert from point blank range to secure the win. The result sealed Australia spots in the decider as they seek to defend their World League title which they won in the 2015.
The final day of action takes place today, Sunday 10th December with host nation India facing Germany in the bronze medal match at 17:15 Indian Standard Time (UST+5.30). That contest will be followed title match, with reigning world and Hockey World League champions Australia taking on Olympic champions at 1930.
RESULTS – DAY 9
5-6 – Belgium 1, Spain 0.
Man of the Match, presented by Odisha New Opportunities: Josep Romeu (ESP)
Junior Player of the Match, presented by ONGC: Victor Wegnez (BEL)
Semi-Final – Australia 3, Germany 0.
Man of the Match, presented by Odisha New Opportunities: Philipp Huber (GER)
Junior Player of the Match, presented by ONGC: Lachlan Sharp (AUS)
Upcoming fixtures (All times Indian Standard Time – UTC +5.30)
Sunday 10th December 2017
17:15: Bronze medal match – India v Germany
19:30: Final – Argentina v Australia