HWL Finals: Argentina, Germany complete semifinal line-up

Olympic champion Argentina will face a buoyant India, while Germany takes on defending champion Australia in the semifinal of the Hockey World League Finals held at Bhubaneswar.

Argentina's Lucas Vila(12) celebrates after scoring against England during the side's quarterfinal clash on Thursday.   -  PTI

Olympic champion Argentina stepped up its game to prove there was more to it than just an ability to score off penalty corners, edging past England 3-2 in the third quarterfinal of the Hockey World League Finals here on Thursday. Argentina earned not a single penalty corner through the match, had less possession and far fewer entries but made the ones they had count.

Lucas Vila and Matias Paredes struck from acute angles, taking advantage of defensive lapses while Juan Gilardi converted a penalty stroke after Vila was brought down inside the striking circle even though it looked like the Argentine striker had stumbled after stepping on England goalkeeper Harry Gibson's arm.

England tried to fight back but with every passing minute, it became more desperate and rough, trying to find a way past the Argentine defence that didn't yield. Adam Dixon managed one in the  last seconds of the game but it wasn't enough.

READ: India braces for Argentine challenge

In the day's other game, Germany beat Netherlands 4-3 in shootouts, after the teams were tied 3-3 in regulation time, to adavnce to the semifinals of the tournament for the first time.

Mirco Pruijser struck the equaliser and his second goal of the match 25 seconds from time for the Dutch, just as the Germans looked set to advance easily.

While Argentina's reward for its win would be a match-up against a buoyant India, Germany will take on defending champion Australia, which finally hit its straps in the previous game, in the other semifinal for a spot in the title clash.

The results (quarterfinals): Argentina 3 (Lucas Vila, Matias Paredes, Juan Gilardi) bt England 2 (David Condon, Adam Dixon); Germany 3 (Julius Meyer, Florian Fuchs, Constantin Staib) bt Netherlands 3 (Mirco Pruijser 2, Bjorn Kellerman) in shootouts.


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