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Australia to play Germany, Netherlands to play Great Britain in the Olympic semi-finals

[img_assist|nid=5355|title=Argentina prevail|desc=Lucas Rossi (we think) scores past Erasmus Pieterse – hockeyimages.co.uk|link=node|align=right|width=220|height=146]LONDON, August 7 – The semi-final and placing matches have been announced, as follows, for the London 2012 Olympic Games men’s hockey tournament.

Thursday August 9

08:30 Men’s 9-10  Argentina vs New Zealand
11:30 Men’s 7-8  Pakistan vs Korea
15:30 Men’s SF Australia vs Germany
20:00 Men’s SF Netherlands vs Great Britain

Saturday August 11

08:30 11-12 South Africa vs India
11:30 5-6 Spain vs Belgium
15:30 Men’s Bronze Medal Match  
20:00 Men’s Gold Medal Match<--break->

Netherlands 4-2 defeat of Korea in the first match of the day asssured the Dutch top spot in pool B and also made Germany’s final pool game with New Zealand largely inconsequential with Germany already guaranteed the other semi-final spot from pool B. The teams produced a 5-5 draw in the final match of the evening.

Great Britain held on for a draw with Spain to clinch the second semi-final place from pool A. Australia finished first in the pool with a 7-0 destruction of Pakistan. The Kookaburras shared the goals around with Chris Ciriello netting twice (1 PC, 1 FG) 

South Africa took a 2-0 lead against Argentina but eventually lost 6-3. 19-year-old Gonzalo Peillat scored a hat-trick of corners for Argentina.  

Argentina skipper Matias Vila said: “Gonzalo has come from the under 21 national team. He gained his place here not only for the corner but he is also a strong player. Argentina always has strong players in the under 21s, but a player has to take his opportunities. Now Gonzalo has shown everyone what he can do and he will have a long career.”

[img_assist|nid=5364|title=Goalscorer|desc=Tom Boon has a slide – hockeyimages.co.uk|link=node|align=left|width=220|height=146]South African find themselves, as in Beijing, playing for the wooden spoon. “At Beijing we were a long way of the mark. Here we are nearer, but we still find ourselves in the same position,” said captain Austin Smith. “In a lot of the games we have taken the lead and let it slip. Today the last 15 minutes of the first half was very poor. It’s frustrating.”

India, meanwhile, completed a miserable round of pool games , losing their fifth in a row this time to Belgium 3-0. Oepn-paly goals came from Jerome Dekeyser, Jeffrey Thys and Tom Boon.

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