[img_assist|nid=8244|title=Rabobank World League semi final|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=150|height=150]As in the women’s quarter finals of the Rabobank world league semi finals all of the top seeds went through. So, Australia will play The Netherlands and Belgium the Blacksticks in a mouthwatering tie for a place in the final. The schedule for Friday is as follows:-
Placement: Ireland vs. Spain – 12:30
Placement: India vs. France – 14:30
Semi-Final: Belgium vs. New Zealand – 17:00
Semi-Final: Australia vs. Netherlands – 20:00
The coverage on teh FIH youtube channel is brilliant live but you also have the chance to watch the highlights after work as well!
Netherlands – France 8-4 (3-2 halftime)
The Netherlands made their home fans happy at the Rabobank Hockey World League tournament in Rotterdam after cruising through the semi-final round with a 8-4 win against France. Jereon Hertzberger scored a hatrick along the way and there were some brilliant attacks by the Dutch who seemed on occasion to have more than 11 players on the pitch! In fact they did and a yellow was shown to the captain. France fought valliantly and punched way above their weight.
The competition was set-up by the FIH to allow the lower seeded hockey nations to have a taste of good quality tournament hockey in the hope that they will take the experience back with them and improve. I think France will do just this and could be a team to watch in the next seven years.
Australia – India 5-1 (4-1 halftime)
It was Jamie Dwyers 300th game and the 100th time India had met Australia and the game lived up to its billing when in the 20th minute the teams combined for an amazing four goals in a two-minute span. Australia’s Matt Ghodes and India’s Chinlensana Singh exchanged two quick goals. But before India even had a chance to celebrate the 2-1 score, a long pass intended for Jamie Dwyer bounced off Sardar Singh for the own goal. Less than 30 seconds later Russell Ford added the 4-1 goal to the mix.
For India, it was a disappointment to be ousted in the quarterfinal after their last major campaign at the 2012 Champions Trophy finished in a top-four finish. However, there is a silver lining for the Indians, they will host the Hockey World League Round 4 tournament in Delhi this winter and will have a chance to earn a stronger finish there.
Belgium – Ireland 6-3 (2-1 halftime)
Belgium continued their charge right into the semi final and will look forward to facing New Zealand. Boon’s fantastic diving goal sums up the Belgiums at this tournament, skillful, athletic and committed! Again Ireland will take a lot away from the competition and I am sure they will be pleased with the amount of goals they have managed to score. Is it too early to tip Belgium as the winners?
New Zealand – Spain 1-0 (1-0 halftime)
Unlike the other three games this was a real cat and mouse affair. New Zealand dominated the game early on and were rewarded when Hugo Inglis was fed a picture perfect pass on a breakaway and scored the 1-0 goal. After this the teams cancelled each other out and the score remained 1-0 to see New Zealand progress.