News for 18 March 2013

All the news for Monday 18 March 2013


Title hopes vanish in four seconds



Four seconds from time and Australia ensured that Malaysia will have to wait another year to try land the Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy that has eluded them for the last 22 years.

Malaysia went down 3-2 in a keenly contested final, but there was no shame in defeat as they matched the world number two side blow for blow.

Two hours before the final, the Azlan Shah Stadium was packed to the brim with more than 15,000 fans, while those who could not squeeze in, made themselves comfortable at the big screen set up just outside the Stadium.

The atmosphere was electrical, with marching bands, vuvuzelas and cheering fans celebrating hours before Malaysia entered the pitch to play the World No 2.

For the record, this is only the fourth final which Malaysia is playing in, after 22 Editions and 30 years. The other three were in 1985, 2007 and 2009; and only produced silver medals.

Malaysia lost to India, Australia and India again in the other three finals.

And Faizal Saari did not disappoint his fans, as it was only the fourth minute, and Malaysia won back-to-back penalty corners, when Faizal flicked home the lead and his sixth goal of the tournament.

Malaysia were in control of the match, with Faiz Helmi and Faizal making inroads, while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin could hardly move due to tight marking.

But Just as the Malaysian players were getting comfortable, Australia won their first penalty corner of the half, and Nicholas Budgeon equalises in the 29th minute, while Craig Boyne makes it 2-1 for the Aussies off a field goal in the 30th minute.

Malaysia equalised in the 49th minute as Mohd Marhan Jalil's cross was met at the far post for a simple tap in by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

It was heading till extratime but Trent Mitton broke the hearts of thousands of Malaysians.

RESULTS:

Final


Malaysia 2 Australia 3

Third-Fourth:

New Zealand 1 South Korea 2

Fifth-Sixth

India 4 Pakistan 2.

Player of Tournament: Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (Malaysia)
Man of Match of Final: Trent Mitton (Australia)
Top Scorer: Faisal Saari & Rupinder Pal Singh
Best Goalkeeper: S. Kumar
Raja Ashman Fairplay:Korea

Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site



Korea take Bronze



Korea took bronze in the Azlan Shah Cup when they edged New Zealand 2-1 this evening.

It was a commendable performance from the Koreans who staved off a late fightback by the Black Sticks.

It was a rather dull affair as bot teams just stroked the ball around, both not showing any interest in the match.

Korea took the lead in the 33rd minute through a penalty corner converted by Hyun Hye Sung.

New Zealand got the equaliser in the 41st minute through Stephen Jenness but Korea disputed the goal and that led to a temporary suspension of play.

But common sense prevailed and the Koreans decided to play on.

Korea regained the lead in the 58th minute when Nam Hyun Woo converted a penalty corner.

And the Koreans survived two late penalty corners to take the bronze.

Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site



India take fifth spot


PIC COURTESY OF SPORTS MEDIA GROUP.COM.AU

India defeated Pakistan 4-2 to take fifth spot in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup this afternoon.

They had defeated Pakistan 3-1 in the league match and for Pakistan it was the successive time they finished last, as they were seventh last year.

Though the match was played in humid conditions, both teams displayed early aggression and did not hold back.

Off their first penalty corner in the 8th minute, Pakistan took the lead through Muhammad Imran who opted to push his flick low on the keepers right instead of his normal left direction.

India hit back in the 16th minute through Rupinder Pal Singh from a penalty corner.

Just when it looked that the two teams will walk off the pitch on level terms, India scored their second as Akashdeep Singh put the final touches to a pass from Mandeep Singh, just 35 seconds from the hooter.

India went 3-1 up in the 43rd minute as Malak Singh deflected he ball past Imran but Pakistan reduced the deficit three minutes later, also through a deflection by Khasif Shah.

India were awarded a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute which was duly converted by Rupinder Pal, who has scored six goals in the tournament.

Official Sultan Azlan Shah Cup site



Broken dreams

Aussies sink Malaysia with late winner

By JUGJET SINGH



Australia’s Daniel Mirecki tries to get past the Malaysia defence in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final in Ipoh yesterday. Australia won 3-2. Pic by Muhaizan Yahya

MALAYSIA gave their all, but world champions  Australia survived the onslaught and lifted their seventh Sultan Azlan Shah Cup title  with a  last minute strike  to win 3-2.

The score had stood at 2-2 and the clock was showing three more seconds to sudden-death extra-time, but it was not to be as Australian Trent Mitton broke the hearts of more than 20,000 fans in and around the stadium.

Two hours before the final, the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium was packed to the brim with more than 15,000 fans, while those who could not squeeze in, made themselves comfortable at the big screen set up just outside the stadium.

The atmosphere was electrical, with marching bands, vuvuzelas and cheering fans celebrating hours before the Malaysia team entered the pitch.

Malaysia were playing in their fourth final after 22 editions and 30 years. The national team have never won the final, finishing second best in 1985, 2007 and 2009 after losing to India, Australia and India.

Yesterday, Faizal Saari did not disappoint his fans when in the fourth minute Malaysia won back-to-back penalty corners. Faizal flicked home the lead and his sixth goal of the tournament.

Malaysia were in control of the match, with Faiz Helmi and Faizal making inroads, while Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin could not make much penetration due to tight marking.

But just as the Malaysian players were getting comfortable, Australia won their first penalty corner of the half, and Nicholas Budgeon duly equalised in the 29th minute.

Craig Boyne made it 2-1 for Australia off a field goal in the 30th minute.

But Malaysia kept on fighting and won two penalty corners in the first five minutes after the breather but Razie Rahim flicked it wide to the left, and then Faizal flicked it wide to the right.

The crowd were solidly behind their men in yellow, and in the 49th minute, a Marhan Jalil cross was cooly converted by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, and it was game on again.

Australia used their might, their height and all they had, but Malaysia kept repulsing them.

But with three seconds left on the clock, Malaysia were dealt a cruel blow as a powerful drive taken by Mitton grazed the post before sailing in for their seventh Sultan Azlan Shah Cup title.

RESULTS: Final -- Malaysia 2 Australia 3; 3rd-4th: New Zealand 1 South Korea 2; 5th-6th: India 4 Pakistan 2.

New Straits Times



Malaysia play bridesmaid role again despite fighting display

By S. RAMAGURU



Champions: The Australian players and officials celebrating their victory after the prize presentation ceremony last night. — RONNIE CHIN / The Star

IPOH: Malaysia again ended up as bridesmaid in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup when they lost 3-2 to Australia in the final at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium last night.

And the defeat came at the very last second of the match as the Australians staged a fightback to score the match winner through Trent Mitton. It was Australia’s seventh title in the series while for Malaysia it was their fourth final defeat.

The Malaysians can take heart that they were never outclassed by the Australians.

It didn’t take long for Malaysia to get into the lead. They earned a penalty corner in the second minute but that only resulted in another when the save was deemed a foul.

The second attempt in the third minute saw Faizal Saari’s drag flick powerful enough to beat Australian goalkeeper Andrew Charter.

The Malaysians continued to attack as the Australians regrouped in defence and then started launching attacks from deep defence.

It was not until the 29th minute that their efforts paid off. They earned their first penalty corner and Nicholas Budgeon’s drag flick was strong to beat S. Kumar in goal.

Before the Malaysians can settle down the Australians struck again. This time it was Craig Boyne who delivered the killer blow in the 30th minute. Malaysia again started off strongly in the second half and had two penalty corners within the first five minutes. The Australians saved both attempts.

But in the 49th minute the Malaysians drew level when Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin scored with a field attempt.

Both sides had chances to get the goals but for most parts the defence stood out with their timely interceptions.

Then came the death knell for the Malaysians at the very end of the game with Trent Mitton scoring the winner.

South Korea finished in third place after overcoming New Zealand 2-1 in the classification match earlier.

South Korea took the lead in the 33rd minute through a penalty corner converted by Hyun Hye Sung. Then, New Zealand got the equaliser in the 41st minute through Stephen Jenness but Korea disputed the goal and that led to a temporary suspension of play for five minutes.

But good sense prevailed and the game resumed which saw the Koreans regain the lead in the 58th minute when Nam Hyun Woo converted a penalty corner.

That, however, proved to be the winner as the Koreans survived two late penalty corners to clinch the bronze medal.

Before that India defeated Pakistan 4-2 to take fifth spot. They had also defeated Pakistan 3-1 in the league match and for the Pakistanis it was the second successive year that they had finished last in the tournament.

Pakistan took the lead through Mohamed Imran in the eighth minute but that only served to spur the Indians as they started to dominate the play. Two minutes later Rupinder Pal Singh scored from the penalty corner and he also went on to score the fourth goal in the 62nd minute to take his tally in the tournament to six goals.

Akashdeep Singh and Malak Singh scored India’s second and third goals in the 35th and 43rd minutes respectively while Kashif Shah was on target for the Pakistanis in the 46th.

The Star of Malaysia



A Trent Mitton Stunner Secures the Kookaburras a 7th Title

Kookaburras defeat Malaysia in 2013 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Final


Australia left it until the dying seconds of the final to claim their seventh Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, with Trent Mitton hitting the backboard with just four seconds left on the clock.

The final started in ideal fashion for hosts Malaysia, playing in their fourth final and seeking their first win, when they scored in the fourth minute from a drag flick by penalty corner specialist Faizal Saari.

On the quarter hour mark Daniel Beale chased a through ball into the circle and was involved in a sickening collision with the Malaysian goalkeeper S. Kumar. Both players stayed down for several minutes before Beale was helped from the field; he did recover to play his part in Australia’s victory.

In the 28th minute Australia pulled level from a penalty corner of its own. Their conversion rate had been poor in the past three games but on this occasion Nick Budgeon made no mistake arrowing the ball between the postman and the post itself.

Five minutes later they hit the front with Craig Boyne becoming the last of the five debutants at this tournament to score. Beale smashed a through ball into the circle S. Kumar rushed out of his goal to intercept but failed to clear and Boyne was first to the loose ball and drilled it into the empty goal.

Malaysia came out searching for a quick equalizer after the half time break, Razie fired wide from a penalty corner and soon after were denied again after Simpson lost possession and Saari was body-checked.

Marhan burst through minutes later for Malaysia only to be denied by Chris Bausor. Wave after wave of attacks came from the hosts and Australia repelled them. That was until 14 minutes from time when Marhan squared across the circle and picked out Tengku, who equalized for Malaysia, sending the 15,000 strong crowd into rapture.

Five minutes later Australia thought they had scored when Hammond picked out a run from Gohdes and he deflected past Kumar, but the eagle-eyed umpire saw it come off the foot of Gohdes.

With five minutes left on the clock Whetton picked out Mitton in the circle but the advancing Kumar denied him. From the corner Malaysia deflected the ball onto its own goalpost.

Australia forced a penalty corner through Beale, but Budgeon pushed his drag flick wide. Extra time beckoned.

Then with only seconds remaining Hammond picked up the ball in centre field. He hit a crash ball into the circle, Mitton was on hand to deflect it past Kumar and with four seconds on the clock the siren sounded and Mitton was swamped by his team mates.  Australia as the only unbeaten team in the tournament had left it late but were the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Champions for 2013.

An added bonus was Trent Mitton being named Player of the match.

The Team of the Tournament was named after the final with Kookaburras Matt Gohdes, Trent Mitton, Jacob Whetton and Glenn Simpson named in the Sultan Azlan Shah eleven.

Australia 3 defeat Malaysia 2 (half time 2-1)

Australia goals: Nick Budgeon (28m PC), Craig Boyne (31m FG), Trent Mitton (70m FG)
Malaysia goals: Faizal Saari (4m PC), Tengku (53m FG)

Hockey Australia media release



Australia beat host Malaysia to win Azlan Shah Cup



IPOH - World champions Australia won their seventh Sultan Azlan Shah Cup title on Sunday, defeating hosts Malaysia 3-2 in an exciting final as South Korea placed third. The final went down to the wire with Trent Mitton scoring the winner in the game's dying moments, leaving Malaysia runner-ups for a fourth time.

But the home team could take heart from a spirited performance which began with them taking an early lead courtesy a penalty corner by Faizal Saari, Malaysia's second of the match, in the third minute of play.  The Australians fought back hard and put their opponents under pressure, as Nick Budgeon scored from their first penalty corner in the 29th minute.

A minute later Craig Boyne added a second off a field attempt to give his team the first-half edge. Ahmad Tajuddin Jalil scored the equaliser in the second half, but the match ended with heartbreak for the home team in the 70th minute.

Mitton was named the man-of-the-match for the final, while Malaysia's Faizal and India's Rupinder Pal Singh were the tournament's top scorers with six goals each. Malaysia coach Paul Revington said the last-minute loss was "disappointing" but added the team put up a "good effort (while) playing one of the best teams in the world".

South Korea took bronze after edging out last year's winner New Zealand 2-1. The Koreans took the lead in the first half through a penalty corner converted by Hyun Hye-Sung. New Zealand got the equaliser in the second half through Stephen Jenness, but the Koreans secured their third-place finish thanks to another penalty corner by Nam Hyun-Woo. South Korea team manager Shin Seok-Kyo said it was a good finish after a poor start to the tournament earlier in the week. "We are still early in our preparations, and this will help us with the younger players coming through the ranks," he added. India defeated Pakistan 4-2 to take fifth spot. Pakistan took the lead through M Imran from their first penalty corner attempt, but India hit back through Rupinder from a penalty corner.

Then Akashdeep Singh netted a field goal, and Malak Singh increased the lead. Pakistan's second goal came from Syed Kashif Shah before Rupinder scored again. In the preliminary round, India already beat their archrivals, who also came last in 2012.

Final standings

1    Australia

2    Malaysia

3    South Korea

4    New Zealand

5    India

6    Pakistan

The Nation



Australia crowned Azlan Shah champions for 7th time

IPOH (Malaysia): Australia extended their domination in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament as they bagged their seventh title after a 3-2 win over hosts Malaysia in the summit clash on Sunday.

In an action-packed final match, Australia's Trent Milton fired in the winning goal from a pass by Robert Hammond just ahead of the final hooter to stun the 15000-odd Malaysian supporters.

With attack as the watchword, Malaysia pressed for an early goal and Saari Faizal struck from the team's second penalty corner in the fourth minute.

Stung by the early goal, the Australians struck back and the first move had an air of the typical Aussie assurance. Daniel Mirecki dived for his life to get his lunging stick but not good enough to get the angle right.

Not long after, Daniel Beal found himself in a collision course with Malaysian goalkeeper Kumar and had to be helped out. However, Kumar quickly recovered from the huddle and got back into action.

With Jacob Whetton well bottled up by Malaysian defender Razie Muhammad, the man who did the star turn against New Zealand was not his usual self, much to the team's chagrin.

Daniel Beal was back in the field and the Aussies tried all their might to get back into the thick of action.

The first penalty corner came their way in the 27th minute when Daniel Beal found his way into the D and the obstruction earned the team the much-needed penalty corner. The drag flick of Nicholas Budgeon was a screaming winner all the way.

Buoyed by the strike, the spring in the Aussie attack gained huge strides. A scrimmage inside the Malaysian D and a quick one-two between Daniel Beal and Craig Boyne found the latter smartly tapping into the goal.

The exasperated Malaysians were clearly feeling the heat with the respite coming in the form of half-time whistle.

Malaysia found the equalizer through Ahmed Tajudin in the 48th minute making good use of the cross from Jalil Muhammad Marhan.

The Times of India



Australia's stunner stumps Malaysia

s2h team


Joel Carrol came up with a stunner of a shot that went into the goal between otherwise impregnable and inimitable goalie Kumar Subramaniam and the right post just a couple of seconds left in the clock for the game to stretch into the extra time, and with that the crowd was silenced and the Cup went to Australia, seventh time, highest by any side in the annals of the world's oldest invitational tournament.

For the Australians, who used body ruthlessly to push and shovel smaller in physique but higher on spirit Malaysians, changed the game plan in the last 5, 6 minutes, using long shots and pushes, clinical interceptions inside the D, did not wait for the extra time, unlike the hosts who seemed ready for it and were just relaxed to defend those last few seconds.

They paid for it

Malaysia really played best of their game. They surprised Australia with a penalty corner conversion by Faizal Saari, whose stature is fast emerging as a star in Malaysia, and then when the Malaysians conceded two goals in three minutes around lemon time, it was expected one-sided ride for the mighty Aussies.

However, when Tengku Tajuddin equalized, the things took a turn in favour of the hosts, but they missed out three penalty corners subsequently, leaving scope for last minute reversals, which it turned out to be.

By and large, Malaysians, often the whipping boy of the tournament against home crowd, for once shed the sluggish approach to game, instead showcased great athleticism and fitness levels to match the young but well-grind Aussie machine.

Stick2Hockey.com



Australia triumphs; India finishes fifth

Australia extended its domination in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament, by bagging its their seventh title, after a 3-2 win over host Malaysia in the summit clash here on Sunday.

South Korea beat New Zealand 2-1 to clinch the bronze medal, while India bested Pakistan 4-2 to avoid the wooden spoon.

In an action-packed final match, Australia’s Trent Milton fired in the winning goal from a pass by Robert Hammond just ahead of the final hooter to stun the 15000-odd Malaysian supporters.

With attack as the watchword, Malaysia pressed for an early goal and Saari Faizal struck from the team’s second penalty corner in the fourth minute.

Australia’s penalty corner came its way in the 27th minute and the drag flick of Nicholas Budgeon was a screaming winner all the way.

Buoyed by the strike, the spring in the Aussie attack gained huge strides. A scrimmage inside the Malaysian D and a quick one-two between Daniel Beal and Craig Boyne found the latter smartly tapping into the goal.

Malaysia found the equaliser through Ahmed Tajudin in the 48th minute before Milton came up with the winner.

Earlier, drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh struck twice as India finished fifth. He scored through a penalty corner in the ninth minute and from a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute.

India's other field goals came from Akashdeep Singh in the 35th minute and Malak Singh in the 44th minute of the fifth-sixth place classification match.

For Pakistan, who ended the tournament at the last spot, skipper Muhammad Imran scored in the seventh minute through a penalty corner while Kashif Shah Syed found the target in the 46th minute.

The Hindu



Korea down NZ to grab bronze


South Korea players celebrate after beating New Zealand 2-1 in Ipoh yesterday. Bernama pic

SOUTH Korea claimed the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup bronze medal when they beat last year's champions New Zealand 2-1.

South Korea took the lead off Hyun Hye Sung in the 33rd minute, but New Zealand equalised through  Stephen Jenness in the 41st minute.

The winner was delivered by Nam Hyun Woo in the 58th minute.

In an earlier match, India beat Pakistan 4-2 to claim fifth spot, and it was their second win against their neighbours, as they also won 3-1 in the group stage.

Pakistan took the lead through Muhammad Imran off their first penalty corner in the eighth minute, after the flicker opted to push low on the keeper's right instead of his normal high left.

But India hit back in the 16th minute through Rupinder Pal Singh, also off a penalty corner.

Just when it looked that the two teams would  walk off the pitch on level terms, India scored their second as Akashdeep Singh put the final touches to a pass from Mandeep Singh, just 35 seconds before the hooter.

India went 3-1 up in the 43rd minute as Malak Singh deflected the ball past Imran but Pakistan reduced the deficit three minutes later, also through a deflection by Khasif Shah.   India were awarded a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute which was converted by Rupinder Pal, who scored a total of six goals in the tournament.

New Straits Times



Black Sticks Men miss out on bronze



The Black Sticks Men have finished the Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament fourth having lost 2-1 to Korea last night in Ipoh, Malaysia.

The Kiwis were competitive with equal possession and opportunities throughout the game, but in the end the only goal came from Stephen Jenness in the second half.

“We weren’t at our best, the team are disappointed not to have come away with a win. However, a lot of positives can be taken from this tournament, this was a young developing group and we have seen significant improvement in defence right across the field which is really pleasing,” said head coach Colin Batch.

The Black Sticks had their fair share of possession and constructed strong attacks throughout the game. In the 23rd minute, Andy Hayward took a superb drag flick, but it was spectacularly saved high to the goalkeeper's right. Unfortunately, similar chances in both halves were either saved or just missed their mark.

Korea took the lead in the 33rd minute through a penalty corner converted by Hyun Hye Sung. The Black Sticks got the equaliser in the 41st minute through Jenness but Korea regained the lead in the 58th minute when Nam Hyun Woo converted a penalty corner and took the score to 2-1.

New Zealand were awarded two late penalty corners, but both were successfully defended. With four minutes to play, the Black Sticks replaced the goalkeeper with an additional field player but even desperate measures could not produce an equalizer to send the game into extra time, and the Koreans took the bronze. 

“An area that has been a real strength over the week has been our penalty corner attack, but last night a combination of our execution not being quite as accurate and Korean defence picking which shot was going to be delivered, meant we struggled to convert,” said Batch.

Captain Dean Couzins, who has lead the team well throughout the week,  was solid in defence and Arun Panchia and Stephen Jenness were other stand outs.

In a dramatic gold medal match, Australia scored four seconds before full-time winning 3-2 and denying Malaysia (ranked 13th), in front of a home crowd of 15,000, the chance to win the trophy that Malaysia last had in their cabinet 22 years ago.

Korea 2 (Hyun Hye Sung, Nam Hyun Woo)
New Zealand 1 (Stephen Jenness).
Halftime: 0-1 (Korea lead)

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks men lose controversial match

FRED WOODCOCK



BLACK STICKS MISS OUT: The New Zealand men's hockey team has been shunted into fourth place at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Getty Images

The New Zealand men's hockey team has been shunted into fourth place at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after losing a testy playoff 2-1 to South Korea this morning (NZT).

Controversy surrounded the first two goals, one to each team, before Korea settled a niggly match with a winner 12 minutes from time, sealing third place at the six-team international tournament in Malaysia.

The Koreans lost the plot when New Zealand were controversially awarded an equaliser six minutes into the second half, acting petulantly and at one stage looking as though they might leave the field and not return.

But after a lengthy delay they played on, later scoring the winner to consign New Zealand, the defending champions, to fourth.

Pre-tournament calls for the use of video referrals fell of deaf ears, and the system would have been put to good use in this match.

Korea's opening goal, two minutes before halftime, would most probably have been ruled out. Alex Shaw appeared to be deliberately obstructed by Hyun Woo Nam at a penalty corner, allowing Hyun Hye Sung an uncontested shot which he converted.

There was a brief protest but New Zealand took the decision to award the goal brilliantly, in comparison to their opponents' behaviour shortly after halftime.

After a melee in the circle resulting from a penalty corner, Stephen Jenness equalised, but Korea were livid on two counts; Cory Bennett appeared to accidentally kick the ball at one stage and the same player was forced to jump over the goalkeeper, Lee Myung Ho, to avoid collecting him, with Ho claiming obstruction.

The match was delayed for several minutes as the Koreans carried on, and when it did resume there was clear tension between the two sides.

But Korea had the final say when Nam struck his third goal of the tournament, from another penalty corner, reward for the fact they had more possession (56-44) and created seven shots at goal to New Zealand's four.

New Zealand had a couple of penalty corners late in the match which they couldn't convert. They ended the tournament with a two-win, four-loss record, having beaten Korea and India while losing to Malaysia, Pakistan, Australia and Korea.

Coach Colin Batch had selected a development-type side, with only three players in the 18-man squad over the age of 23.

Australia scored a late winner to beat the hosts 3-2 in the final, while India defeated Pakistan 4-2 in the playoff for fifth and sixth.

Stuff



Korea settle for bronze in Sultan Azlan Shah hockey

IPOH (Malaysia): South Korea came up with all guns blazing to beat New Zealand 2-1 and clinch the bronze medal in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday.

For the winners, Hyan Hye Sung struck a penalty corner goal in the 32nd minute and seasoned Nam Hyun Woo slotted home from another penalty corner in the 57th minute.

For New Zealand, Stephen Jenness scored a field goal in the 40th minute of the third-place match.

The Korean attack came in waves mainly from the flanks with the defence assisting the forwards with snap crosses interspersing well with the long clearances.

The variation and guile with which the Koreans employed in their penalty corners had the unsettling effect on the New Zealand defence.

Not surprisingly, New Zealand fell close to the breather. This time penalty corner specialist Nam Hyun Woo sold a dummy as Hyan Hye Sung gleefully pounced on the offering to hit the boards with a thud in the 32nd minute.

New Zealand looked a pale shadow of a team which lost out to Australia in a crunch game, allowing Korea all the avenues to orchestrate their attacks.

The Koreans could have the luxury of having an extra man upfront with the defence adroitly manned by Nam Hyun Woo, Hyan Hye Sung and Hong Eun Seong.

New Zealand put the contest on level terms from their third penalty corner. From a skirmish inside the D, New Zealand's Stephen Jenness, who took the push, was on hand to deflect it in, in the 40th minute.

Play was held up for two minutes with the Koreans showing their dissent, but the replays showed the fairness of umpire Ben de Young's verdict.

The Times of India



India fifth at the expense of Pakistan

s2h team


Young India team avoided woodenspoonist of the 22nd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, defeating Pakistan comprehensively 4-2, goals coming at regular intervals.

Playing its second match in 18 hours, after forgetting the last match's 2-minute torrid time in which it conceded a stroke and thus failed to play for the bronze, India showed their grit and determination, which combined with class fitness, to outwit Pakistan, who had to bow down.

As happened when they met in the league, both teams struck early goals, but what ulmately counted was India could sustain their aggressive posture throughout the match, Pakistan could do so in patches only.

India came out strongly after the lemon time, which left Imran Md.'s Pak in tatters.

Captain Imran Md. struck off the team's first goal in the 8th minute, but the lead did not last. Within two minutes Rupinder replied through a penalty corner. At the closing moments of break time, Akashdeep converted a long pass 2-1.

On return, Malak Singh deflected a Gurmail Singh's long hit in the 46th minute, but within three minutes action replay saw Pak narrowing the score to 3-2. The threatening Kasif Shah's goal rendered only a stat, as Indians' sustained attack got them first a penalty corner, which was changed to stroke on perusal and discussion between two umpires, which Rupinder converted for his sixth goal, and is definitely in line for top scorer's award.

Pak finished last last year year also in the 7-nation event, and they need to soul search what ails them for such dismality.

Stick2Hockey.com



Rupinder double helps India beat Pakistan 4-2

IPOH (MALAYSIA): Drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh struck twice as India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 in a thrilling match and avoided the wooden spoon in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday.

Rupinder scored through a penalty corner in the ninth minute and from a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute. India's other field goals came from Akashdeep Singh in the 35th minute and Malak Singh in the 44th minute of the fifth-sixth place classification match.

For Pakistan, who ended the tournament at the last spot, skipper Muhammad Imran scored in the seventh minute through a penalty corner while Kashif Shah Syed found the target in the 46th minute.

Both sides played a fast-paced attacking hockey entertaining the good number of holiday crowd that turned up to watch the inconsequential match.

With the win, the Indian side, mainly comprising junior players, stamped their authority over Pakistan in the tournament having won the league encounter also 3-1.

Both sides had a swift exchange of attacks as soon as the match started and Pakistan went into the lead through skipper Muhammad Imran from the first penalty corner of the match.

The Indian answer came fast, just two minutes later, with a similar effort from Rupinder, a high scoop into the net from the second of the four penalty corners the team forced in the first half.

India distinctly enjoyed the edge and territorial advantage early into the match, with Dharamvir Singh and Nithin Thimmaiah taking turns to test the Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt.

But, India had the misfortune of losing Mandeep Singh, who was stretchered out following a collision with Pakistan midfielder Shehzad Aamir.

Pakistan gained in confidence in the later part of the first half as they got three penalty corners in quick succession. The team clearly relied on Muhammad Imran but the percentage of his penalty corner conversions on Sunday was much below the high standards he has set for himself.

Pakistan got five penalty corners, four in the first half, in the whole match.

For a change, Kashif Shah Syed took the team's fifth penalty corner with the effort good enough to test P Sreejesh under the Indian the bar.

Just at the stroke of half-time, Akashdeep Singh gave India the lead after a coordinated attack. He tucked it in neatly while sprawling to meet a Manpreet Singh spot-on cross.

India stepped up the pace in the second half and twice had the Pakistan defence in knots but just could not translate the fine moves though Dharamvir and Akashdeep into more goals

In the 62minute, Dharamvir received a long cross into the circle and drew the goalkeeper out but his goal-bound shot hit defender Muhammad Ateeq's foot and the umpire blew for a penalty corner before changing it to a stroke after discussing with the other umpire.

Rupinder made no mistake from the spot to score his second goal and the team's fourth goal.

Manpreet Singh, who played his heart out in the absence of Mandeep Singh, was adjudged man-of-the-match.

The Times of India



Pakistan finish sixth in Azlan Shah after losing to India

KARACHI: Pakistan wrapped up a dismal Azlan Shah Cup campaign as they finished at the bottom after suffering a 4-2 defeat against India on Sunday in Ipoh, Malaysia.

Pakistan threw away a lead and Rupinder Pal Singh’s two goals ensured victory and the fifth spot for the men in blue.

The Greenshirts took the lead through Muhammad Imran from their first penalty corner attempt, but India hit back through Rupinder from a penalty corner.

Then Akashdeep Singh netted a field goal, and Malak Singh increased the lead. Pakistan’s second goal came from Syed Kashif Shah before Rupinder scored again.

In the other matches, world champions Australia won their seventh title, defeating hosts Malaysia 3-2 in an exciting final as South Korea placed third.

The final went down to the wire with Trent Mitton scoring the winner in the game’s dying moments, leaving Malaysia runner-ups for a fourth time.

But the home team could take heart from a spirited performance which began with them taking an early lead courtesy a penalty corner by Faizal Saari, Malaysia’s second of the match, in the third minute of play.

The Australians fought back hard and put their opponents under pressure, as Nick Budgeon scored from their first penalty corner in the 29th minute.

A minute later Craig Boyne added a second off  field attempt to give his team the first-half edge.

Ahmad Tajuddin Jalil scored the equaliser in the second half, but the match ended with heartbreak for the home team in the 70th minute.

Mitton was named the man-of-the-match for the final, while Malaysia’s Faizal and India’s Rupinder were the tournament’s top scorers with six goals each.

Malaysia coach Paul Revington said the last-minute loss was “disappointing” but added the team put up a “good effort (while) playing one of the best teams in the world”.

South Korea took bronze after edging out last year’s winner New Zealand 2-1.

The Koreans took the lead in the first half through a penalty corner converted by Hyun Hye-Sung.

New Zealand got the equaliser in the second half through Stephen Jenness, but the Koreans secured their third-place finish thanks to another penalty corner by Nam Hyun-Woo.

South Korea team manager Shin Seok-Kyo said it was a good finish after a poor start to the tournament earlier in the week.

“We are still early in our preparations, and this will help us with the younger players coming through the ranks,” he added.

Dawn



Pakistan finish last after defeat by India


Members of Indian hockey team. PHOTO: azlanshahcup.com

IPOH: India defeated Pakistan 4-2 in Ipoh to take the fifth spot in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday afternoon, reported Azlan Shah’s official website.

Like the previous year, Pakistan finished last in the hockey tournament.

Despite the humid conditions, both the teams played aggressively from the beginning and did not hold back.

Pakistan took the lead in the eight minute, off a penalty corner, when Muhammad Imran maneuvered the ball past the opponent’s keeper.

India hit back in the 16th minute as Rupinder Pal Singh used the penalty corner in his team’s favour.

India then took the lead and scored their second with the help of Akashdeep Singh. The team went 3-1 up in the 43rd minute as Malak Singh deflected the ball past Imran.

Pakistan reduced the deficit three minutes later, making a comeback.

India, however, were awarded a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute which was duly utilised by Rupinder Pal, who has scored six goals in the tournament.

The Express Tribune



Winning against Pakistan showed mental strength of boys: Michael Nobbs

IPOH: Indian hockey coach Michael Nobbs on Sunday said that the victory against arch-rivals Pakistan twice in a span of seven days was very pleasing.

India defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 in a thrilling encounter and avoided the wooden spoon in the fifth-sixth place classification match of the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday.

"It showed the mental strength of the boys and in a testing time for the characters, they came out victorious," said Nobbs after the match.

The coach picked up Manpreet Singh and drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh as the best of the lot.

Nobbs said that the team has been continuously playing since last November and the players deserve a break now.

"The players have had a long drain, which started from November. Now the players deserve a break."

Asked to comment on the last-minute controversial penalty stroke, which helped Malaysia eke out a 2-2 draw against India on Saturday, Nobbs said, "The video replays convinced me that the umpire had made a mistake."

India were leading 2-1 until the last minute on Saturday when the umpires, after awarding a penalty corner to Malaysia, consulted and changed their decision into a penalty stroke, which Faisal Saari converted into a goal to deny India a win.

For Malaysia, there was not much at stake, having already made it to the final of the tournament even before taking on India. However, India had to pay a huge price, for a win would have meant playing for the third-fourth place and a possible podium finish.

The Times of India



Best of Azlan Shah List

s2h team


India's Manpreet Singh is the only player in the Azlan Shah XI selected after the tournament by an expert committee.

Kumar Subramaniam GK, Malaysia
Muhammad Imran, def, Pakistan
Mohd Razie Rahim, def, Malaysia
Nam Nyun Woo, deff, South Korea
Deavin Timothy, def, Australia
Shafqat Rasool, MF, Pakistan
Manpreet Singh, MF, India
Glenn Simpson, MF, Australia
Matt Gohdes, Forward, Australia
Jacob Whetton, Forward, Australia
Faisal Saari, forward, Malaysia

Top scorers Jointly Faisal Saari of Malaysia and Rupinder Pal Singh of India with 6 goals
Best Goalkeepr: Kumar Subramaniam, Malaysia
Man of the match: Trent Mitten
Most outstanding player: Md Razie Rahim
Fair play Trophy: South Korea

Stick2Hockey.com



Manpreet named in Sultan Azlan Shah XI

IPOH (Malaysia): Indian midfielder Manpreet Singh was on Sunday named in the Sultan Azlan Shah XI on the concluding day of the tournament which was won by Australia.

Another Indian, drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh ended the tournament as joint top-scorer with Malaysia's Faizal Saari on six goals.

India finished fifth in the six-team tournament after defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 4-2 in the fifth-sixth place classification match today.

Outstanding player of tournament award was bagged by Malaysia's Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim. Korean team was adjudged the winner of the fair play award.

Sultan Azlan Shah XI:

Goalkeeper: S Kumar (Malaysia) Defender: Imran Muhammad (Pakistan), Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim (Malaysia), Nam Hyun Woo (South Korea), Timothy Deavin (Australia),

Midfielder: Shafqat Rasool (Pakistan), Manpreet Singh (India), Glenn Simpson (Australia)

Forwards: Matt Ghobes (Australia), Jacob Vhetton (Australia), Faizal Saari (Malaysia).

The Times of India



Hampstead & Westminster and Surbiton reach Men's Cup final


Chris Grassick, Surbiton 2011-12

A tense penalty shootout decided the Men’s Cup semi-final between Hampstead and Westminster and Cannock, with Hampstead running out 4-1 winners after the match had been tied at 2-2 at the end of normal time.

Andrew Smith put Hampstead ahead after eight minutes and that’s how it stayed until 11 minutes from the end when Peter Jackson dug out an equaliser from a short corner.

Matt Plunkett then put the final within Cannock’s grasp as he gave them the lead on 62 minutes. But Chris Bowen equalised for Hampstead just a minute later and the match headed to extra time.

Neither side could find the target in the added-on time and so it was decided on flicks. Will Naylor, Sam Pike, Neil Hamilton and Jack Beard all found the target with their flicks and keeper Ian Scanlon did his part, saving one of the Cannock shots.

In the other semi final a Chris Grassick hat-trick fired Surbiton into the final as they beat Oxted 6-1.

After 20 minutes, it was honours even after Jonathan Wilkes-Green had cancelled out Fergus Dunn’s opener for Surbiton.

But Grassick (pictured) struck twice before the break and James Tindall notched another to leave Oxted with a mountain to climb in the second half.

They couldn’t break through the Surbiton ranks and by the time Grassick scored his third and Alexander Penney struck a sixth in the 56th minute, it was game over.

The final will be played on May 4 and whoever wins will break Beeston’s stranglehold on the competition after they retained the cup for three years running.

Hampstead and Westminster will hope that they can finally take home the silverware after having to settle for runners-up medals in the 2011/12 and 2009/10 seasons.

Men’s Cup, semi finals: Hampstead and Westminster 2, Cannock 2 (Hampstead and Westminster win 4-1 on pen flicks); Surbiton 6-1 Oxted.

England Hockey Board Media release



Maritzburg Gollege 150th Winter Sports Festival

JONATHAN COOK


Maritzburg College, KwaZulu-Natal’s oldest boys' school, is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2013 and just one exciting aspect of the celebration is the 150th Winter Sports Festival.

The festival, over the Easter school holidays, incorporates three stand-alone tournaments, the Maritzburg College 150th Rugby Festival, from 30 March to 3 April, at which 10 first XVs from leading rugby-playing schools will be playing; the Nomads Hockey Festival, from 30 March to 1 April, which is a long-established annual festival for 12 of South Africa's leading first teams; and the annual Husqvarna Skonk Nicholson Rugby Festival, from 5 April to 6 April, which features eight teams in the U14 age-group, and eight teams in the U16 age-group.

(The Maritzburg College 150th Winter Sports Festival is but one of 30 special events that are part of the school’s year-long sesquicentennial celebrations, which have been five years in the planning).

Nomads Hockey Festival


The Nomads Hockey Festival, from 30 March to 1 April, is the oldest and most prestigious schools’ hockey festival in the country and will see a host of the very best South African schoolboy hockey players in action.

Millfield, arguably the top sports school in the UK, will be attending and their match against the host school, with whom they have a fierce rivalry in cricket and hockey, is sure to be a highlight.

Tradition rivalries spanning decades, such as that between Maritzburg College, King Edward VII School (KES) and Jeppe High School for Boys, as well as Hilton College and Michaelhouse, also give fans of schoolboy hockey much to look forward to.

Participating schools

30 March to 1 April (first teams only): Grey High School, Hilton College, Jeppe High School for Boys, King Edward VII School (KES), Maritzburg College, Michaelhouse, Millfield (UK), Pretoria Boys High School, Selborne College, St Andrews (Bloemfontein), St Johns College, Wynberg Boys’ High School.

Maritzburg College media release



Hockey and rugby sevens venues to be approved next month, claims top Rio 2016 official


Leonardo Gryner in front of Rio 2016 logo

A decision on where to hold the hockey and rugby sevens during Rio 2016 will be officially rubber-stamped by the world governing bodies next month, chief operating officer Leonardo Gryner has claimed.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) recently met Rio 2016 to discuss their Olympic venue after it was moved from its scheduled home on the Olympic Park to the Deodoro Zone on the outskirts of the city.

The plans were met with disapproval from the FIH, who believed having the venue so far away from where most of the action at the Games will be taking place will have a negative impact on attendances and exposure.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) are also in talks with the Organising Committee after their Olympic venue of the Estádio São Januário, home of football club Vasco da Gama, to the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, only for that plan face difficulties.

But Gryner insists that there should be no concerns for either of the two sports at Rio 2016.

"With hockey, we obviously had difficulties with the plan in our Bid Book where it was on the Olympic Park because we found there was not enough room on the Park," Gryner told insidethegames.

"We therefore decided to move to the Deodoro Zone where a new centre will be built to meet all the requirements of the FIH.

"This will become an Olympic Training Centre for hockey after the Games, which is important for the legacy of hockey and to the FIH.

"We have had positive talks with the FIH about this and that is likely to be approved next month.

"With rugby sevens, we original proposal to stage it in the Estádio São Januário but the necessary guarantees were not provided last year.

"We have talked about the Estádio Olímpico João Havelange but we have not confirmed anything yet because we are still talking with the IRB (International Rugby Board) about it.

"But we are confident that we will confirm our plans with the IRB next month too.

"So we are in good shape and there will be no problems with either of these two sports.

"We are in good shape to deliver all the sports on time ahead of the test events in 2015 and we are on track to host a great Games."

Inside the Games