Home SPORTS HWL Final: Australia crush depleted Germany to reach final

HWL Final: Australia crush depleted Germany to reach final

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Bhubaneswar: Defending champions Australia moved past a depleted German side 3-0 on Saturday to set-up a title clash against Olympic 2016 champions Argentina in the Hockey World League (HWL) Final here.

Dylan Wotherspoon (42nd minute), Jeremy Hayward (48th) and Tom Wickham (60th) scored for the reigning world champions against Germany, who had Christopher, Martin Haner, Julius Meyer, Marco Miltkau and Timur Oruz on the bench due to illness.

Germany, winners of 2008 and 2012 Olympics, will now meet hosts India in the bronze-medal playoff at the Kalinga Stadium on Sunday.

The Germans played with only 13 fit players and it proved tough for them to sustain the Australians for the entire period. They held Australia goalless till the 42nd minute, when a fierce backhander from Wotherspoon from the left beat goalkeeper Tobias Walter.

Six minutes later, a powrful drag-flick from Hayward got a deflection just in front of Walter, giving the custodian no chance.

In the final minutes, Germany removed their goalkeeper in order to reduce the deficits.

Wickham guided a drive from Aran Zalewski to an empty net to complete Australia’s scoring in the final minute.

Earlier in the day, Olympic 2016 silver medallists Belgium edged past Spain 1-0 to finish fifth in the tournament.

Sebastien Dockier’s fourth-minute strike was enough for the Belgians to claim the 5th/6th classification match.

Belgium had topped the Pool A, winning all the three matches. But they lost to India in the quarter-finals to be forced to play the contest against Spain.

Belgian drag-flick specialist Loick Luypaert has the chance of emerging as the highest scorer of the tournament having scored eight goals. (IANS)

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