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 March 7, 2002 | 2040 IST

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Australia, Germany to clash in final

Germany kept alive their hopes of winning their first hockey World Cup, beating Korea 3-2 in an epic semi-final, at the Bukit Jalil stadium, in Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday.

In the final, their first since losing to Pakistan in 1982 in Bombay, they will meet Australia, who routed defending champions the Netherlands 4-1 in the other semi-final.

Australia were streets ahead of Holland, and once they took the lead through Scott Webster in the eight minute there was nothing the Dutch could do to stop them.

Jamie Dwyer made it 2-0 in the 11th minute with a crisp shot from the top of the cricle.

In the second session, Mathew Smith made it 3-0 from a penalty-corner flick before aime Dwyer could complete the rout in the 50th minute with another brilliantly executed field goal. He ran into the circle and reverse stick flicked over goalie Guus Vogel.

The defending champions managed to get a consolation goal seven minutes from the end through Menno Booij.

Germany and Korea teams came up with an exhibition of fast hockey, and in the end it was Germany's ability to capitalise on even the half chance that made the difference.

Korea took the lead in the fifth minute through Yeo Woon Kon, but the Germans replied within two minutes, with Bjorn Emmerling scoring from a penalty-corner variation.

For the remainder of the half, both defences gave little away and the teams crossed over 1-1 at the breather.

However, Christoph Bechmann put the Germans ahead in the 40th minute, tapping hom a cross on the far post.

Yung Seok Kim brought the Koreans on level terms in the 46th minute after working his way into the German circle and blasting a shot past keeper Clemens Arnold from an acute angle.

But Matthias Witthaus clinched the issue for Germany 14 minutes from the end, deflecting a ball into goal as Korean keeper Kim Yoon came off his line to intercept a long pass from midfield.

The Koreans had not been given a ghost of a chance against the pre-tournament favourite after they lost to Australia and England in their last two preliminary round matches, but they came up with a fine show and went down fighting.

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