first_imgEngland upset Argentina 3-2 in a pulsating quarter-finals at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar to enter the semi-final of the Hockey World Cup 2018 while Australia notched up an easy victory against the underdogs of the tournament, France.While England vs Argentina turned out to be a cracker as expected, France had a tough time containing a rampant Australian side and lost 3-0 to bow out of the tournament after dream run to quarters.France, ranked 20 in the world, were highly unlikely to even make it to the quarters but they upset Argentina in the pool stage to eventually make it through. However, Australia proved to be way too strong for them.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.Hockey World Cup 2018: FULL COVERAGE | FULL SQUADS | SCHEDULE | TABLEThe Frenchmen played good hockey in bits and pieces but were undone by the Kookaburras’ vast experience and skills. Australia will play the winner of Thursday’s last quarter-final between India and Netherlands in the semi-finals on Saturday.Four minutes into the match, Australia earned their first penalty corner when the ball found Francois Goyet’s foot and Hayward made no mistake in converting the opportunity to hand his side the early lead.Australia continued to dominate the proceedings with repeated forays as the French defence found itself in shambles to keep the Kookaburras at bay.Soon after the start of the second quarter, Jake Whetton earned Australia its second penalty corner and Govers fully obliged by smashing his flick into the back of France’s net to take a 2-0 lead.advertisementJust at the stroke of half time, France earned their first penalty corner which they wasted as Australia went into the halfway break with a comfortable 2-0 lead.Seven minutes into the third quarter, Australia tripled their lead when Zalewski converted Kookaburras’ third penalty corner with a variation.The Australians kept up the pressure on the France defence and secured another penalty corner in the 41st minute but this time they failed to make use of the chance.The final quarter witnessed a neck-and-neck fight between the two teams as France tried hard to forge a comeback into the match but the Australians defended in numbers to deny any inroads.The Kookaburras too tried to extend their lead over their less-fancied opponents but failed to create any real scoring opportunities.Thank you for the great memories @FF_HockeyWhat a team!Odisha #HWC2018 BhubaneswarFIH/@GettySport pic.twitter.com/XQ9miZlKNmInternational Hockey Federation (@FIH_Hockey) December 12, 2018ENGLAND BEAT ARGENTINAVeteran dragflick expert Gonzalo Peilat (17th, 48th minutes) converted a couple of penalty corners for Argentina. England, who were impressive with their free flowing attacks and well organised defence, scored field goals through Barry Middleton (27th), Will Calnan (44th) and Harry Martin (49th).It was an end-to-end affair with plenty of scoring chances for both teams although England enjoyed a slightly upper hand for the most [email protected] have persisted past some of the world’s best teams on their way to a berth in the Semi-Finals of the OHMWC Bhubaneswar 2018. Congratulations on making it to the Semi-Finals!#IndiaKaGame #HWC2018 #DilHockey pic.twitter.com/2xFPVw3bsUHockey India (@TheHockeyIndia) December 12, 2018Although England dominated the opening quarter, Peilat gave Argentina the lead with a powerful dragflick. England goalkeeper George Pinner had dived the correct way but was beaten by the sheer power in Peilat’s shot.England almost struck back in the next minute but an excellent save by goalkeeper Juan Manuel Vivaldi at his near post maintained Argentina’s lead.There were chances at both ends and Vivaldi was soon forced to make another good save to keep Argentina ahead. But the relentless England pressure finally bore fruit when Middleton scored a field goal with an excellent finish after a well worked build-up.Calnan, who had to sit out for a while after picking up a yellow card, made amends soon after coming back in when he beat Vivaldi at his near post with a powerful finish.England had a narrow escape a couple of minutes into the final quarter when the umpire initially awarded a penalty stroke to Argentina which was changed to a penalty corner for the South Americans after a review.But if the English players had heaved a sigh of relief, it turned out to be temporary as Peilat scored with another powerful dragflick.England struck back at the other end in the very next minute when Martin scored to make the issue safe for the European powerhouse.advertisementArgentina seemed to disintegrate under pressure in the closing minutes with two of their players sent off for yellow card offences as England clinched a well deserved victory.(With inputs from agencies)Also Read | Hockey World Cup 2018: India aim for rare semi-final berth vs NetherlandsAlso Read | For India, Hockey World Cup 2018 starts now: Coach Harendra SinghAlso See: Sardar Singh exclusively on Hockey World Cup 2018last_img read more