Sports HWL Final

Players in action during a Hockey World League quarterfinal match between India and Belgium at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar Dec. 6, 2017. India beat Belgium and will face Argentina in the semi-finals. (IANS photo)

BHUBANESWAR — Argentina defeated England 3-2 to set up a semi-final against hosts India, while Germany edged past the Netherlands 4-3 via a penalty shootout to advance at the Hockey World League Final here Dec. 7.

For Olympic 2016 champions Argentina, Lucas Vila (21st minute), Matias Parades (29th) and Juan Gilardi (34th) scored as they raced to the semi-finals where they will Dec. 8 meet India, who held off Belgium in an exciting encounter Dec. 6.

David Condon (29th) and Adam Dixon (60th) responded for England but it was not enough to stop Argentina at the Kalinga Stadium.

In the other semi-final Dec. 9, Australia will meet Germany, who saw off the Dutch. The match between Germany and the Netherlands saw six goals being scored in the regulation time.

Julius Meyer gave the Germans the lead in the 12th minute but riding on goals from Mirco Pruijser (21st) and Bjorn Kellerman (27th), the Dutch came roaring back.

Florian Fuchs and Constantine Staib scored in the third quarter as Germany held the 3-2 lead until Pruijser's strike at the death took the game to the shootout.

Billy Bakker and Robbert Kemperman failed to score for the Dutch in the shootout as Fuchs was the only one who flopped for Germany, who prevailed.

On facing India, Argentina's forward Vila, who played his 200th international game Dec. 7, said: "It is going to be a tough contest. We saw their match yesterday against Belgium. They got it right and played an aggressive game. We have to smart while controlling their counter-attack."

Villa felt that set-piece specialist Gonzalo Peillat will be their go-to-man against India. "We have to make the best of our penalty corners. Peillat will be key tomorrow." 

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