Australian Team
Defending champions Australia to face Argentina in the semifinals of the World CupHockey World Cup

The hosts Netherlands are set to lock horns with England, while Australia will face Argentina, who will be playing in their first semifinals in the Hockey World Cup at The Hague on Friday.

England finished second in Group A, while the Dutch remained unbeatable and finished the group stage at the top. In the last group match, Netherlands were held for a draw by New Zealand, which left their coach Paul van Ass fuming.

The last time these two teams met, Netherlands hammered England 9-2 in the semis of the London Olympics. English captain Barry Middleton rejected claims that it would be a revenge-match and said they are just concentrating on winning the contest.

"We are not going out for revenge," Middleton said. "We just want to get to the final."

England's hopes of reaching the last-four were severely dented when they were trashed by Australia, but they defeated Belgium in the must-win encounter to finish runners up in Pool A.

Middleton said the team performed quite well against the Red Panthers and looking to carry momentum against the Netherlands in the semis to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986, when they won the silver medal.

"Against Belgium, we played to our potential, put ourselves out there and took the fight to them," added Middleton. "We need to do that against the Dutch. You don't get many chances to be in a World Cup or Olympic semi-final, so you need to leave without any regrets. If we get chances, we have to take it to them."

In another semifinals clash, Argentina will meet the defending champions Australia at the Kyocera Stadium. The Argentines thrashed South Africa in their last game, but they were reduced to nine-man when Juan Lopez, Manuel Brunet and Matias Paredes were shown yellow cards in quick succession.

Argentina's Agustin Mazzilli after the match said that they can't afford to be complacent against the champions. He pointed out that they have defended quite well in the tournament so far and they have to continue doing that against the Kookaburras.

"Our team is successful because we have a good defence and Gonzalo is exceptional at the corners," Mazzilli said. "We must make sure that we are disciplined and don't lose players to cards. We will not be able to afford to go to nine men against Australia."

Australia ousted India in their last encounter, but their star players, skipper Mark Knowles, Jamie Dwyer, Matthew Swann and Kieran Govers picked injuries. Dwyer, Swann and Govers are cleared to take the field in the semifinals, but Knowles is doubtful for the encounter.

Knowles crashed into the Indian defender in the last group game and picked a neck injury. The Aussie skipper is suffering from sore neck and headache.

Schedule of Play

Netherlands vs England (Men) Starts at 3:15 pm CET, 6:45 pm IST

Australia vs Argentina (Men) Starts at 6:00 pm CET, 9:30 pm IST

Where to Watch Live

The first match, between Belgium and England, is scheduled for a 11:00 am local time (2:30 pm IST) start, with Netherlands vs Argentina match set for a 7:45 pm local time (11:15 pm IST) start. Live coverage in India is on Ten Sports, with live streaming option HERE. Viewers in the US can catch the action on ESPN 3 or via live streaming option HERE. The UK viewers can watch the matches on Sky Sports 3, while they can also catch the action live online HERE.