Kookaburras steal late win in World League

Australia has won the World Hockey League Semi-Final in Antwerp with a win over hosts Belgium. (AAP)

Australia has won the World Hockey League Semi-Final in Antwerp with a last-gasp 1-0 win over hosts Belgium.

A last-gasp goal has proved yet again the Kookaburras can work well under pressure as next year's Olympics campaign draws nearer.

With Rio qualification secured and their eyes already turning to the ultimate goal of securing Australia's first Olympic gold in 12 years, the men's national team took care of business against Belgium to win the World Hockey League Semi-Final tournament in Antwerp.

Albeit, a little late in proceedings.

Defender Chris Ciriello fired home the only goal of Sunday's final in the last play of regular time to stun the tournament hosts.

The short-corner specialist flicked low and hard with two seconds remaining, securing a 1-0 win after a tense and dogged clash.

"We didn't plan to bring it down to the wire like that," coach Graham Reid said.

"But it's always good to win.

"I felt that our second-half performance was pretty tops - the pressure that we had on them. Our defence was really good.

"We created a lot more of the opportunities but unfortunately didn't put the ball in the net."

Kookaburras teenager Blake Govers finished as the tournament's top scorer with seven goals and was named best junior player, having only made his senior international debut in May.

"He's had a good start to his career," Reid said.

"He's the sort of guy who listens, he's very coachable. And, of course, he'll come away from this tournament with lots of good memories and lots to learn."

The title continues the world and Commonwealth champion Kookaburras' sustained global dominance as they work towards the ultimate prize of a gold medal in Rio next year.

They qualified for the Olympics last week after India - who locked in their spot in Rio when they won the 2014 Asian Games title - progressed to the semis.

They will have the chance to meet Belgium again in the World League Finals tournament at the end of the year in India, a tournament which will also feature Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Argentina, India and Canada.

Source: AAP

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