Netherlands to face NZ in HWL final

New Delhi: The Netherlands will face underdogs New Zealand in the summit clash of the Hockey World League on Saturday after the two teams eked out hard-fought wins over world champions Australia and England here on Friday evening.
The Netherlands defeated Australia 4-3 in a thrilling second semifinal after New Zealand pipped England 7-6 via penalty shoot-out in a keenly contested first semi.
The first semifinal went into the penalty shoot-out after both teams finished at 3-3 in regulation time.
Australia will now face fourth-ranked England in the third-fourth place play-off match on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Indian hockey team pulled off a sensational come-from-behind 5-4 win over Olympic champions Germany after Mandeep Singh slammed a brilliant hat-trick in their fiercely-contested fifth-eighth place classification match on Friday.
Ranked 10th in the world, India rode on Mandeep’s (18th, 41st, 53rd) three field goals and Rupinderpal Singh’s two perfect strikes from penalty corners to set up the fantastic win against the Germans, against whom India last won way back in 2004 in the Champions Trophy in Lahore, Pakistan.
India will now face Belgium in the fifth-sixth play-off on Saturday, while Germany will take on Argentina to avoid the wooden-spoon. Earlier, Belgium defeated Argentina 3-1 in penalty shoot-out after both teams were locked at 1-1 after the regulation 70 minutes of play. (PTI)

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