India hockey
India take on Belgium in the second semi final on Saturday.Reuters

After a gruelling round robin stage and an entertaining four quarter finals of the Hockey World League Final, the semi finalists of the competition have been decided with the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and hosts India as the remaining contenders for the title.

Two exciting clashes have been set in Raipur with the first semi final between two heavyweights of world hockey, Australia and the Netherlands on Friday, while India are set to take on Belgium on Saturday.

All the teams that have qualified for the last four played some terrific hockey in their respective quarter final matches to book their semi final berth. Australia defeated the might of Germany with relative ease as they hammered four goals past the Germans, who only scored a solitary goal.

Australia's opponent in the semi final, the Netherlands played some clinical hockey to defeat Canada 2-0. But, the Oranje are going to be aware of the tough task against Australia, who have some world class players including the likes of Jamie Dwyer.

The first semi final is expected to provide huge entertainment with players such as Roel Bovendeert, Jeremy Haward, Matthew Dawson among other stars to feature on Friday. With such players battling it out for place in the prestigious final, the crowd in Raipur is expected to be treated to a major spectacle.

However, fans in Raipur will be more interested in the second semi final on Saturday, which features the home team against Belgium. India, who had not registered a single victory in the HWL Final round robin stage, surprised Great Britain with some quality and solid hockey to eliminate GB from the competition on Thursday.

India's players seem to have struck form at the right time in the business end of the competition and a victory over Great Britain, who had defeated Australia earlier in the competition, must have given the home team a huge boost ahead of their clash with Belgium.

India need to play similar hockey if they are to defeat Belgium, who knocked Argentina out of the competition on Thursday as the game ended 2-1 in favour of the European side.

Hockey World League semi final schedule

December 4

Australia vs Netherlands

Time 6:30pm IST, 1pm GMT

December 5

India vs Belgium

Time 6:30pm IST, 1pm GMT

TV listings – India (Star Sports), BT Sport (the UK) Australia (Fox Sports), Canada (ATN), Pakistan (PTV)

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