India to play Pakistan for the bronze medal

An in-form Netherlands stands in the way of Australia winning a record fifth straight Champions Trophy hockey after convincing semifinal victories in Melbourne on Saturday.

Netherlands and Australia progressed to Sunday's final with relative ease, with the Dutch downing Pakistan 5-2 and Australia proving too good for India 3-0.

If Australia's Kookaburras can win the final they will become the first team to win the Trophy title for five straight years, however midfielder Kieran Govers said they would remain focused just on Sunday's match.

Australia had plenty of early chances via several penalty corner attempts, with its first goal coming off a rebound that was swooped on by five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer.

The Kookaburras continued to be relentless, with the ball constantly being forced back into India's circle, putting the defence to work.

Despite India's best efforts the pressure eventually broke it, with Dwyer receiving a penalty stroke for a heavy tackle, making no mistake with the conversion for his second goal.

The trend continued after half-time, with Jacob Whetton involved in Australia's third goal after working the ball into the circle, with Govers finishing off to put the result beyond doubt. Netherlands gave itself a chance to win its first Champions Trophy since 2006 after outclassing Pakistan.

Pakistan's Shakeel Abbasi said the players were disappointed, however he was confident his team could respond.

The Dutch began in terrific form, with Pakistan looking shell-shocked.

It wasn't long until the Dutch confirmed their dominance with Bakker scoring the first of his two goals only two minutes into the match.

Netherlands continued to attack with Severiano van Ass making it 2-0 at the 20 minute mark. Pakistan was given a gift minutes later when an own goal was scored by defender Bob de Voogd.

However, a second Bakker goal gave the momentum before half time with a commanding 3-1 lead.

The Dutch powered on in the second half with two more goals before Abbasi scored a late consolation goal.

India and Pakistan will play off for the bronze medal. Pakistan has not won a Champions Trophy medal since 2004, while India has only won one medal, bronze, back in 1982.

In Saturday's qualification matches, Belgium dominated England 4-0 for its first ever Champions Trophy win, while Germany held off a determined New Zealand to win 6-4.

Fuerste gets award

India captain Sardar Singh missed out on the FIH Player-of-the-year award which was won by Germany’s Moritz Fuerste.

Fuerste, captain of the German team that won the Olympic Games gold medal, was picked as the most outstanding player from a field that included Australia captain Jamie Dwyer, Robert van der Horst of the Netherlands, Fuerste’s teammate Tobias Hauke and Sardar. He received his award on the field during the Champions Trophy matches here.

The German celebration was doubled when Fuerste’s teammate Florian Fuchs was selected as the Young Player of the Year. The other finalists for the award were Simon Gougnard of Belgium, England’s Harry Martin, Argentine Gonzalo Peillat and Pakistan’s Muhammad Rizwan Jr.

The results: Semifinals: Netherlands 5 (Bakker 2, 32, van Ass 20, Verga 46, Kemperman 61) bt Pakistan 2 (own goal 23, Abbasi 70); Australia 3 (Dwyer 6, 18, Govers 44) bt India 0.

5th to 8th positions: Belgium 4 (Truyens 27, 60; Charlier 57, Luypaert 70) bt England 0; Germany 6 (Miltkau 40, 60, Grambusch 43, Matania 52, Ruehr 61, 68) bt New Zealand 4 (Burrows 7, Wilson 20, Jenness 51, Haig 64).

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