Kookaburras set for German World Cup test

Australia's hockey men are ready for never-say-die opponents in their World Cup semi-final after old rivals Germany pulled off an extraordinary comeback to set up a last-four date with the Kookaburras in India.

The Germans had been practically down and out at 2-0 behind with just two minutes and 20 seconds left on the clock in their quarter-final with England on Wednesday.

Yet even though the superbly organised English defence hadn't given up a goal in the entire tournament until that point, the Germans showed remarkable resilience to eke out two late goals to level the tie at 2-2 before going on to win the penalty shoot-out 4-3.

It set up a repeat of the 2021 Olympic semi-final between Australia and Germany, with the Kookaburras hoping to repeat their 3-1 victory that took them to the gold medal match in Tokyo.

German captain Mats Grambusch, who scored the goal that got his team back into the game against England, admitted he was then left "shaking" after watching his brother Tom flick home a penalty stroke with just one minute and 40 seconds left to convert a lost cause into a shoot-out.

"It was a crazy match for sure, we were behind for most of the match, but it shows the character of the team," said Grambusch, looking forward to Friday's rematch with the team that dealt the brothers Olympic heartbreak.

"Our parents must be watching this match and be extremely happy," added Tom.

The Australia-Germany hockey rivalry has been intense, with the teams set to meet for the 46th time since 1990 at the Kalinga Stadium.

It's so close between the two teams that Germany lead the head-to-head 21-20.

The encouraging news for the world No.1-ranked Kookaburras, though, is that their recent record against the Germans has been exceptional, having won seven of the last nine matches over the past seven years while drawing the other two.

Fourth-ranked Germany haven't beaten the Kookaburras since a Champions Trophy semi-final in 2014, two years after they'd also beaten Australia at the last-four stage in the London 2012 Olympics.

The other semi-final will be a battle of the Low Countries, with the Netherlands beating South Korea 5-1 on Wednesday to set up a repeat of the 2018 final against the current holders Belgium.