The Netherlands overcame a determined Canadian team to advance to the semi-final ©International Hockey Federation

Defending Hockey World League Final champions The Netherlands booked their place in the semi-final stage of the tournament in the Indian city of Raipur after overcoming a resilient Canadian team.

The Dutch were viewed as the overwhelming favourites to advance to the last four of the competition having finished top of Pool B with two wins and one draw, while their opponents had been on the receiving end of three straight defeats in Pool A.

Having conceded 16 goals in their three pool matches, the Canadian team produced a vastly improved defensive display to frustrate the recently crowned European champions in the early stages of the tie.

Constantijn Jonker eventually gave the Dutch the lead after striking home in the 25th minute of the match and attempted to press home their hard fought advantage.

However, Canada threatened to draw level on several occasions but they were left to rue poor finishing and a superb performance from The Netherlands’ goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak, who pulled of a string of fine saves to preserve the narrow lead.

Dutch progression to the last four was sealed by Roel Bovendeert, who found the net in the dying minutes to secure a 2-0 victory.

"The Canadians did very well out there, and I am very happy with the win because they had some good opportunities and our goalie was amazing today”, said Seve van As afterwards.

“They are a tough team and they deserve to be here at the Hero Hockey World League Final, so I am really happy that we won.”

Australia overcame Germany in the second quarter-final of the day
Australia overcame Germany in the second quarter-final of the day ©International Hockey Federation

The Netherlands will face a semi-final clash with Australia, after they saw off the challenge of Olympic champions Germany in the second last eight tie of the day.

The Pool A runners-up got off to a blistering start against their European opponents as Jeremy Hayward scored from a penalty corner after four minutes of the match and Jamie Dwyer doubled their advantage with their next attack.

Germany were handed a route back into the tie having been awarded a penalty stroke but Oscar Deecke saw his effort saved by Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter.

It proved to be a pivotal moment as Matthew Dawson flicking Australia into a 3-0 half-time lead from a penalty corner soon after.

Christopher Rühr reduced the arrears in the 40th minute, but Glenn Turner prevented any prospect of a German comeback with a late strike to give his team a 4-1 victory.

Pool A winners Britain are scheduled to face hosts India in tomorrow’s quarter-final matches, with their clash followed by Belgium’s match with Argentina.

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