Aussies, Germany WC hockey final today

NEW DELHI: Two-time defending champions Germany will play Australia in a third straight field hockey World Cup final tomorrow.

Germany outplayed England 4-1 and Australia posted a 2-1 victory over the Netherlands in the semi-finals yesterday at Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

Germany, champions in 2002 and ''06 and bidding to become the first team to win three in a row, avenged a loss to England in last year''s European Cup final, thanks to a fast start.

Jan-Marco Montag gave Germany the lead in the sixth minute and Oliver Korn deflected in a cross from the right to make it 2-0 in the 10th.

England halved the deficit through a penalty-corner conversion by Richard Smith in the 18th, but Germany took a 3-1 cushion into half-time, thanks to Martin Haner''s 31st-minute goal from another penalty corner.

Linus Butt scored from a penalty corner in the 60th to cap the scoring.

"It was a tough match out there, the scoreboard doesn''t quite reflect what happened on the field," Germany coach Markus Weise said. "We were clinical in the execution of our game plan, but a coach is not always pleased."

England coach Jason Lee believed his side''s problem was a lack of experience.

"Experience was a huge factor," he said. "This was only our second appearance in the World Cup semi-finals, while Germany''s been there 11 times.

England were last in the World Cup semis in 1986, but still has a chance to add to their silver medal from that year. They will meet the Netherlands for the bronze medal before the final.

In the second semi, Luke Doerner converted Australia''s first penalty corner to open the scoring in the 27th minute and Glenn Turner''s flash strike in open play doubled the lead in the 55th.

The Netherlands finally replied three minutes later with a penalty stroke conversion by Taeke Taekema, but the equaliser remained elusive despite repeated attacks.

The Kookaburras will be seeking to add to their 1986 title in their fourth final. They haven''t beaten Germany at the World Cup since the 1994 bronze medal game.

Earlier, four-time champions Pakistan slumped to their lowest finish at a World Cup, coming last after losing 3-2 to Canada in the play-off for the final two positions in the 12-nation tournament.