‘“Hard and uncompromising” was how Renee Taylor summed up Australia’s 2-0 win over co-hosts Spain to reach their third World Cup semi-final in a row.
It was a penalty corner double from Taylor which saw them through to a date with the Netherlands on Saturday.
Australia struck inside three minutes and apart from some brief moments from Spain never looked like relinquishing a lead in another World Cup match lacking quality.
Taylor sent her flick between Spain goalkeeper Georgina Oliva and Xantal Gine, her first goal for nearly three years as she marked her return from hip surgery in style.
The hosts’ best moments came after a quick passing interchange saw Laura Barrios on goal but Jocelyn Bartram was wise to the danger. Meanwhile Melanie Garcia was also called into action to prevent Hannah Cullum-Sanders scoring her first senior goal.
Australia maintained their stranglehold until the break and doubled the lead in the 41st minute as Taylor netted into the corner.
Taylor, 25, said: “It is incredible. I am so glad we stepped up. We played the way our Head Coach used to play – hard and uncompromising.
“We are really looking forward to playing the Dutch, you enter these tournaments to play the very best so bring it on.”
The match marked Jane Claxton’s 200th international, while defeat for Spain means that Georgina Oliva is expected to retire from international hockey.
Earlier, India closed their World Cup with a victory over Japan and a tie for ninth place with a 3-1 victory.
South Korea tied for 13th place after beating Canada on shoot-outs.