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Hockey World League: England to meet New Zealand in semifinals

New Delhi: New Zealand notched up a thrilling 4-3 quarterfinal win against Argentina via the sudden death after the 70th minute scoreline read 1-1 to qualify for the semifinals of the Hockey World League Final
IANS January 16, 2014 6:53 IST
IANS
New Delhi: New Zealand notched up a thrilling 4-3 quarterfinal win against Argentina via the sudden death after the 70th minute scoreline read 1-1 to qualify for the semifinals of the Hockey World League Final here Wednesday.

The Black Sticks will take on World No.4 England in the last four clash at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium Friday after the Englishmen edged Belgium 1-0 in the first eight clash.

The first shootout of the tournament took place after Kane Russel, for the Kiwis, and Matias Paredes, for the Los Leones, hit a goal each to end with a 1-1 scoreline in regulation time. Both teams scored two goals each in the penalty shootout to take the game to sudden death.

Agustin Mazzilli of Argentina and Kiwi Hugo Inglis scored in sudden death. Lucas Vila failed to score for Argentina and it was Blair Hilton who became the hero of the hour as he took the ball wide around Argentine goalkeeper Joaquin Berthold and scored to put New Zealand in the semis.

Earlier, England showed resilience to soak up sustained pressure from Belgium to become the first team to secure a semifinal berth. Unbeaten in the tournament, England looked uncomfortable at the start but a series of saves by goalkeeper George Pinner kept them in the hunt.

Tom Carson thought he had broken the deadlock early on but a video referral resulted in the goal being disallowed. Both teams played with well-structured defensive passes and so there was little significant goal-mouth action at either end of the pitch.