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Commonwealth Games: England, India into hockey semi-finals

England will face reigning champions Australia in the semi-finals of the men's hockey event at the Commonwealth Games after a routine 3-1 win over Canada on Thursday (July 31).

GLASGOW: England will face reigning champions Australia in the semi-finals of the men's hockey event at the Commonwealth Games after a routine 3-1 win over Canada on Thursday (July 31).

Just needing to avoid a heavy defeat to seal their passage into the last four, two goals from Ashley Jackson and another from captain Barry Middleton put England 3-0 up before Canadian captain Scott Tupper fired home a late consolation.

"I feel we got total control and dominated the whole game. It was a bit frustrating that they had so many defensive players but we still managed to create a lot chances to score," said England coach Bobby Crutchley.

"It's going to be a very tough game, we played them before and we are ready for it," he added on facing Australia next. "Australia don't have many weak spots. They are very offensive as a team and let you create opportunities to score, which is dangerous because it distracts you from other aspects like the defence."

Australia, who have won every single Commonwealth title since it was entered into the Games in 1998, rounded off a 100 percent record in Group A with a 5-0 thrashing of hosts Scotland.

India sealed the last place in the semi-finals as they beat South Africa 5-2 to finish second in Group B. Goals from Raghunath Ramachandra, Rupinder Singh, Ramandeep Singh and Birendra Lakra saw India cruise into a 4-0 lead at half-time and, despite a more careless second-half performance, they held on to progress.

They will next face New Zealand, who ensured they finished top of Group B by hammering Malaysia 6-1 to also round off four wins from four matches.

"In the second-half you can say we were lazy, we were more defensive. The way we played in the first half, attacking, we need to do that over both halves," said Rupinder Singh. "The tournament starts now for us because the next match is very important. If we win against New Zealand, it's great. If we lose, then the last few days mean nothing."

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