Australia hockey
Australia have been the best team in the Hockey World League semi final.Reuters

The Hockey World League Semifinal, which started on 20 June, and had 10 teams divided into two groups, has come down to the business end of the tournament with the top four teams having made it through to the last four.

Australia, India, Great Britain and Belgium are the four teams that have progressed through to the semifinals of the competition.

Undoubtedly, Australia are the top favourites to clinch the title and also secure a berth for the Rio 2016 Olympics. Australia have been ruthless so far in the Hockey World League, as they have thrashed top teams like India and Pakistan en route to the semifinal.

The Australians face a stern test against Great Britain, who have enjoyed decent success in the tournament. Great Britain have also been a good offensive unit, scoring 17 goals in the competition so far. So the Great Britain vs Australia clash calls for a high-scoring game, with the Aussies shading it in terms of being favourites.

Great Britain defeated Asian giants Pakistan in the quarterfinal 2-1, and this will give them the much-needed confidence to face the mighty Aussies. Australia cruised their way through to the semis after defeating Ireland 4-1.

Great Britain and Australia are two teams who have not lost a single game in the tournament.

In the other semifinal, hosts Belgium are set to take on India, who secured their berth in the final four after a thrilling encounter against Malaysia, where the team in blue emerged victorious 3-2. Jasjit Singh's brace in the final quarter of the game helped India defeat Malaysia.

Belgium were also put to the test by France in their quarterfinal, as the game finished a tantalising 5-4 in favour of the Belgians. The tempo of the game was set early on as Belgium took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter and France responded with two goals in the second quarter.

At the end of the 46th minute, Belgium were 5-3 ahead and the game was in their hands, but a 54th minute strike from France brought the match close.

France looked for that elusive goal in the final few minutes to take the game to a penalty shootout, but Belgium stood strong and emerged victorious to set up a date with India.

Complete Semifinal schedule

July 3

Semifinal: India vs Belgium – 6:30 pm local time* (10pm IST, 5:30 pm BST)

Semifinal: Australia vs Great Britain – 9pm local time* (12:30am IST, 8pm BST, 5am ACT)

Venue – Antwerp, Belgium

*Match timings have been taken from FIH official website.
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