- Associated Press - Friday, June 13, 2014

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - Defending champion Australia has beaten Argentina 5-1 at the field hockey World Cup and will face host nation the Netherlands in the men’s final.

The result was never in doubt as Australia scored early and often in Friday’s semifinal, with Kieran Govers drag-flicking in the first at 4 minutes and Jeremy Hayward scoring twice.

“We just put the pressure on,” said Hayward. “A couple of drag-flicks, good to get them away. Hope we can get some in the final as well.”

All Australia’s goals came on penalty corners except Jacob Whetton’s strike at 33 minutes, when he controlled a pass from Mark Knowles and fired it in from behind the penalty spot.

With the score at 5-0, Argentina’s Gonzalo Peillat pulled one back for Argentina, also on a penalty corner.

The Netherlands beat England 1-0 on a first-half penalty corner and will play their first World Cup final since winning their third and last title on home soil 16 years ago.

The Dutch dominated England, especially in the first half, when Mink van der Weerden showed why he’s considered the best penalty corner specialist in the world with a score four minutes before halftime, high into the right corner.

Half a dozen good chances were missed to put the game away, notably at 43 minutes when Rogier Hofman hit the post.

With the score close, England began to threaten in the final 15 minutes. With a late penalty corner, drag-flick specialist Ashley Jackson’s shot was blocked just as it left his stick in a daring charge by Dutch defender Sander de Wijn.

Hayward said the prospect of playing the Dutch in front of a crowd of 15,000 orange fans Sunday was appealing.

“They’re always going to be cheering the home side, but we’ll take it on,” he said.

In the women’s final on Saturday, Australia will also play The Netherlands.

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