Bhubaneswar, Dec. 13:
Two-time defending champions Australia are well on course to create a rare history as they defeated France 3-0 to progress to the semi-finals of the men’s hockey World Cup on Wednesday.
World No. 1 Australia scored all their goals from penalty corners through Jeremy Hayward (4th minute), Blake Govers (19th) and skipper Aran Zalewski (37th) at the Kalinga Stadium.
However, the final scoreline was far from convincing from Australia’s point of view, especially against a side which ranked lowest in the tournament at 20th.
The Frenchmen played good hockey in bits and pieces but were undone by the Kookaburras’ vast experience and skills.
Despite the loss, the Frenchmen would return home with pride, especially with the superb show here that includes a shocking win over Olympic champions Argentina in the pool stages.
Australia will play the winner of Thursday’s last quarter-final between India and Netherlands in the semi-finals on Saturday.
England stunned Olympic champions Argentina 3-2 to book their place in the semi-finals.
England, who conceded the lead in the 17th minute, staged a superb come back to make their third successive semi-final appearance in the history of the tournament.
England scored three field goals through Barry Middleton (27th minute), Will Calnan (45th) and Harry Martin (49th), while Gonzalo Peillat (17th, 48th) struck both the goals for the losers at the Kalinga Stadium.
Argentina, the bronze medallist in 2014, had themselves to blame for the defeat as they missed chances galore and got into panic mode after conceding the third goal.
Both Argentina and England were levelled 1-1 till 45th minutes but three goals in the last quarter changed the whole scenario.
Will Calnan made it 2-1 for England before Peillat drew parity in the 48th minute. But a minute later Martin shocked the Los Leones with a field strike to hand England the decisive lead.