Australia beat Netherlands to play Germany in final

NEW DELHI: Australia defeated the Netherlands 2-1 on Thursday to qualify for a third successive final against defending champions Germany in the men''s field hockey World Cup.

The Kookaburras recorded their 10th win in a row over the Dutch in major competitions to set up Saturday''s title clash between the top two teams in the sport.

Luke Doerner and Glenn Turner scored once in each half, before Taeke Taekema converted a penalty stroke 12 minutes from the end to narrow the margin.

Doerner and Taekema, the two leading penalty corner specialists, head the goal-scorers list in the tournament with seven goals apiece.

Germany won the last two World Cup finals against Australia in 2002 and 2006, before adding the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

The Germans, hoping to become the first team in history to bag a hat-trick of titles, outclassed England 4-1 in the other semi-final to avenge their defeat in the European Cup final last year.

Germany took a 2-0 lead by the 11th minute as Jan-Marco Montag converted a penalty corner and Oliver Korn deflected in a pass from the right.

England, playing their first World Cup semi-final since 1986, made it 1-2 in the 19th minute with their lone penalty corner of the match when Richard Smith scooped the ball into the net.

Martin Haner and Linus Butt scored on either side of the break to seal the emphatic win for the champions.

The Germans, with just three players who helped win the last World Cup at home in Moenchengladbach in 2006, remain the only unbeaten team in the current tournament with four wins and two draws.