Ciriello strikes late to give Australia victory over Belgium in FINTRO Hockey World League
Barry Middleton celebrates 350th cap with a goal as GB secure third place ahead of India
Ireland’s Green Machine take fifth place to boost their Olympic hopes
Australia, Belgium, Great Britain & India qualify for the Hockey World League Final
A dramatic late goal from Chris Ciriello gave Australia a 1-0 win over host nation Belgium to secure a first place finish at the FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp.
Ciriello – who scored a hat-trick in the final of last year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup – struck with a blistering overtime penalty corner drag-flick to give the Kookaburras a hard-earned win in a fantastic and hugely competitive match with the Red Lions.
Despite the defeat, it was a memorable day for Belgian captain John-John Dohmen, who played his 300th game for his country and was also named FINTRO Best Player. Australia’s Blake Govers, who celebrates his 19th birthday on Monday, was named as the HERO Best Young Player and also took the HERO Top Scorer Award with seven tournament goals. Ireland’s David Harte was named FINTRO Best Goalkeeper.
In the 3-4 play-off match, team captain Barry Middleton celebrated his 350th international appearance with a goal as Great Britain powered to a convincing 5-1 win over India to claim third place.
Australia, Belgium and Great Britain all achieved qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the event in Antwerp, with fourth placed India having already booked their Olympic ticket last year thanks to their triumph at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.
Earlier in the day, Ireland’s Green Machine increased their chances of becoming the first Irish team, in any sport, to qualify for the Olympics since 1948 by claiming a fifth place finish with victory over Malaysia. Ireland will have to wait until the completion of this year’s Continental Championships before they find out if they have done enough to earn their ticket to Rio.
In the 7-8 play-off match, goals from Simon Brisac-Martin and Hugo Genestet helped France to a 2-1 victory against Pakistan.
To see an updated infographic explaining the qualification process for the men’s competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, click here.
To see an updated infographic explaining the qualification process for the men’s Hockey World League Finals, click here.
FINTRO Hockey World League Semi-Finals – Men
3. Great Britain
FINTRO Best Player Award: John-John Dohmen (BEL)
HERO Best Young Player Award: Blake Govers (AUS)
FINTRO Best Goalkeeper Award: David Harte (IRL)
HERO Top Scorer: Blake Govers (AUS) – 7 goals