Dutch to face Belgium in World Cup final
NETHERLANDS battled past twotime defending champions Australia in a penalty shoot-out to set up an all-European World Cup final against Belgium in Bhubaneswar, India After the scores were level at 2-2 in regular time, the Dutch won 4-3 in the sudden death shoot-out.
The Dutch looked in control when they took a 2-0 half-time lead, courtesy of goals from Glenn Schuurman and Seve van Ass.
Australia’s Tim Howard converted a penalty corner in the 45th minute to set up an intense finale before Eddie Ockenden equalised with less than 30 seconds left on the clock.
Earlier, Belgium had thrashed England 6-0 to reach their first World Cup final. It was England’s third straight World Cup semi-final defeat as they struggled to create chances at the Kalinga Stadium.
Thomas Briels-led Belgium improved on their previous best fifthplace finish achieved four years ago in The Hague.
In the last few years Belgium have built a reputation as a team with attacking flair but their displays in the tournament so far have shown they also boast a disciplined defensive unit.
With 2017 World Goalkeeper of the Year Vincent Vanasch, the Red Lions defence have conceded just five goals in six matches.