A 4-2 win over Belgium earned Australia’s men their first appearance in the semi-finals at the Indoor Hockey World Cup on day three of the International Hockey Federation (IHF) event at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin.
Tomorrow Australia will meet Austria, 2-1 winners over Poland.
The other semi-final will match Iran – who beat the Czech Republic 2-1 on a shoot-out after a 2-2 draw – against European champions Germany, 3-0 winners over Switzerland.
The high point of the evening’s drama came when Iran’s winning shoot-out attempt was scored by Abbas Ardoei after first Lukas Plochy and then Martin Seeman had failed to score for Czech Republic.
Germany had finished top of Pool A thanks to a 10-2 win over Trinidad and Tobago, while Australia secured second place with a 6-1 win over Kazakhstan.
The Czech Republic drew their last Pool A match 3-3 against Poland.
A 2-2 draw with Switzerland earned Austria top place in Pool B, with Iran taking second place with a 4-3 win over Russia.
Belgium progressed in third place after an 8-2 win over South Africa.
In today’s women’s competition an 8-4 win over the United States earned defending champions Netherlands top place in Pool A and a quarter-final tomorrow against the Czech Republic, fourth-placed in Pool B after a 2-1 defeat by Ukraine.
That victory earned Ukraine second place in Pool B behind European champions Germany, who were surprisingly held to a 2-2 draw by Australia and now face Poland.
Viktoria Huse and Anne Schröder established a 2-0 advantage for the home favourites, but two goals in the final four minutes from Tegan Boucher and Lauren Austin denied Germany what would have been a fifth successive victory at this year’s championships.
Australia will face Belarus, who claimed second place in Pool A after beating Poland 2-1, while Switzerland will face Ukraine.
Netherlands made it five wins from five matches thanks in part to a hat-trick from Donja Zwinkels.
The result left the Americans just outside the quarter-final qualification positions due to their inferior goal difference to Poland, meaning that USA were relying on the Poles to slip up in their later match against Belarus.
While Poland lost, their effect on the goal-difference was not enough to give the United States a place in the quarter-finals.
Switzerland claimed a third place finish in Pool A thanks to their third win in succession, overpowering bottom-of-the-table Kazakhstan 4-0 thanks to goals from Karin Bugmann, Alexandra Wälti, Stephanie Wälti and Tamara Trösch.
The opening Pool B match of the day saw Czech Republic fall to defeat against Ukraine, with captain Yana Vorushylo and Oksana Ponomarenko scoring the goals that left the Czechs in real danger of missing the quarter-finals.
A win for Namibian against bottom-of- the-table Russia would have been enough for them to leapfrog Czech Republic into fourth position.
Although the Namibians lead for long periods of the match, Russia always remained within touching distance and eventually secured a 5-5 draw thanks to Svetlana Eroshina’s late strike.