Reuters - Tue, 09 Mar 14:27:00 2010
England will face Germany in the semi-finals of the Hockey World Cup in Delhi after the Germans hammered New Zealand 5-2.
Olympic champions Germany kept their hopes of a third World Cup alive after completing the six-team pool A league with 11 points following their third victory, to qualify for the last-four for the 11th straight time as the only unbeaten team in the competition.
Goals from Christoph Menke, Florian Fuchs and Philip Witte put the Germans in control before second-half strikes from Shea McAleese and Nicholas Wilson pulled New Zealand back into contention at 3-2 down.
But penalty corners from Moritz Furste and Matthias Witthaus finished the tie in the last ten minutes to seal top spot for Germany and a last-four showdown with European champions England, who finished second in Pool B after a 2-0 defeat to Spain in their final match.
"If we go on like this anything is possible," Germany's man of the match Matthias Witthaus told official broadcasters, referring to the prospect of winning a third straight World Cup.
England slipped to a 3-2 defeat to Germany last time the two teams met at November's Champions Trophy in Melbourne, but having beaten the Germans 5-3 to lift the EuroHockey Nations Championship in August Jason Lee's men will be looking for victory.
The Netherlands reached the men's hockey World Cup semi-finals despite losing 2-1 to South Korea as they edged out their opponents on goal difference.
Ronald Brouwer handed the Dutch a perfect start with a goal after only 25 seconds but after Hyun Woo Nam equalised with a penalty corner four minutes before half-time, Jong Ho Seo edged the Koreans in front.
Yet the Dutch hung on to avoid the two-goal deficit that would have sent them home to set up a semi-final against Australia.
"It was a very, very tough match for us," Netherlands' man of the match Rob Reckers said. "We really hard to work hard for it but we knew one goal difference was enough for us."
Canada play Argentina in the day's last match.