Korper sends Austria through to semis with Germany, Iran and Austria

©: Frank Uijlenbroek/world Sport Pics



Austria and Germany both advanced to the World Cup semi-finals alongside Iran and Australia at the Max-Schmeiling-Halle in Berlin following their quarter-final victories.

Micahel Korper scored a glorious winner for the European champion Austrians to earn a 2-1 win over Poland in a cagey last eight game.

"Defence was the most important part of our game. If we get that right, then we knew we could build from there," Korper said afterwards.

The first half was scoreless. That changed in the 24th minute when Sebastian Eitenberger pounced on a loose ball looped in a shot. Poland were dragged back into the game through the sheer determination of Krystian Makowski from a penalty corner which he won himself.

But Korper had the final say: "I hadn't scored today [in the earlier match] so I desperately wanted to score this time. I had come close in the first half but that one felt good."

Germany had a 3-0 win over Switzerland to stamp their final four ticket. There was a hint of nervous tension among the German team as they took to the field without Mats Grambusch.

But eight minutes in, Marco Miltkau found the net to put his side ahead after good attacking play by Dan Nguyen created space and wrong-footed Lars Kleikemper in the Swiss goal.

The second German goal came from the slickest of passing moves. The ball was swept from one end of the pitch to the other and Martin Haner was on hand to deflect it past Kleikemper into the corner of the goal. Christopher Ruhr completed the win.

Speaking after the game Fabian Pehlke praised both his own team and the opposition. "The Swiss made us work very hard and we had to be patient. But it was great to play in front of such a crowd. The enclosed space of an indoor arena such as this makes for a very special atmosphere."

Belgium could not find the form of the Euros and were undone 4-2 by Australia in their quarter-final. Iran, meanwhile, had the most emotional victory of the lot when they beat the Czech Republic in a shoot-out after a 2-2 draw in normal time.

On Saturday, Germany will play Iran at 4.30pm (CET) while Australia face Austria at 6pm in the second final four encounter with the arena already sold out.

All games are available to stream live on Youtube on the FIH channel.