Kookaburras through to World Cup semi-final

The Kookaburras are now just two wins away from claiming a third straight World Cup after comfortably dispatching France 3-0 in their quarter-final in India.

Jeremy Hayward and Blake Govers both finished penalty corners to give the Australian men's team a two-goal lead at halftime in Bhubaneswar.

The Kookaburras then showed why they are world No.1 with a dominant third quarter, ending in a third goal for captain Aran Zalewski on Thursday (AEDT).

Australia now await the winner of the final-eight clash between host nation India and Netherlands, the 2014 World Cup runners-up, who meet on Friday.


Their 12th straight World Cup semi-final will be staged at midnight on Sunday, with the victor to advance to the final the following day.

Earlier on Wednesday night, one of the Kookaburras' biggest threats in world No.2 Argentina were knocked out following a 3-2 upset loss to England.

France's captain Victor Charlet (right) walks past as the Kookaburras celebrate Blake Govers' goal.

France's captain Victor Charlet (right) walks past as the Kookaburras celebrate Blake Govers' goal.Credit:AP

France, the world No.20, were lucky to only be down by two at the main break after both Flynn Ogilvie and Jake Whetton found woodwork in open field.

But Australia had no such issues in set pieces, where Hayward slapped home powerfully in the fourth minute for the early lead.

Govers then doubled the advantage with a similarly fearsome flick not long after the first break for his sixth goal – an equal tournament-high.

France's best chance came in the 22nd minute when Aristide Coisne nudged past an advancing Tyler Lovell, but Hayward cleared the ball off the line.

Australia flexed their muscle by upping the tempo in the second half, with their possession increasing from near-even to almost 60 per cent by the final break.

Any hopes of a French comeback were put to bed when Zalewski finished off a rehearsed set play in the 37th minute that included a fake by Govers.

Zalewski, who was named man of the match, praised France for their effort.

"It was really hard for us to break them down and we were lucky we only won on three penalty corners tonight. So really clinical in that area," Zalewski said.

"It's not a team we've played very often and they've improved tremendously.

"I think they're ranked 20th in the world but I can honestly say they played much higher than their rank and we saw that this tournament."

Zalewski admitted both India and Netherlands would pose differing challenges.

"Obviously India with their counter-attack and the crowd is going to be a real challenge," he said.

"But Holland, they've been really consistent for a very long time and we know how skilful they are. So they both bring different challenges.

"We'll just have to prepare accordingly whoever wins."


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