News for 12 May 2013

All the news for Sunday 12 May 2013

Belgium qualified for Round 3; France and Canada in close fight for 2nd place

2013 Hockey World League Round 2, Saint-Germain – Men – Day 4

Yan Huckendubler

World League Round 2, Saint-Germain - Canada vs Belgium (Photo: marineandrieux)

With their decisive win over Canada (5-2), Belgium have a clear lead at the top of the standings and, pending an improbable miracle, are qualified for the next round of the Hockey World League. France struggled to take the better of Scotland, but their narrow win (2-1) is enough to set-up a torrid last match against Canada, with the winner grabbing 2nd position in the competition and a possible qualification for the next round.

Poland earned their first win of the week against Portugal (9-1) but still need to face Belgium on Sunday and could very well finish behind lower ranked Scotland in the standings.

Poland vs. Portugal: 9-1 (half-time: 4-1)

Day 4 of the Hockey World League Round 2 in Saint-Germain started under a timid sun that could not warm up a temperature unseasonably cool for the season. Both teams needed a few minutes to find their rhythm, then traded shots on goal at both ends but with no real danger for keepers Paulo Nogueira for Portugal and Lukasz Domachowski  for Poland.

Poland progressively became more threatening, and Szymon Hutek, Karol Majchrzak and Krystian Makowsk scored within a few minutes of each other, pushing the score to 3-0 after 15 minutes of play.  This sudden burst of goals took some wind out of the Portuguese sails and pace of play went down a notch.

Portugal had a few opportunities on a series of penalty-corner but could not capitalize and Polish Captain Dariusz Rachwalski promptly added a 4th goal. In the last second of the period, Carlos Silva scored a superb penalty-corner for Portugal, shaving the post out of reach of the Polish keeper, but Poland reached the break with a comfortable 4-1 lead.

Poland benefited from an own goal by a Lusitanian defender early in second period, virtually putting the contest out of reach for Portugal. They never gave up but could not prevent Poland to control play. The Poles added 4 more goals but were denied multiple times by Paulo Nogueira, excellent in the Portuguese goal.

Poland finally earned their first win of the competition on the final score of 9-1.

Canada vs. Belgium: 2-5 (half-time: 1-3)

The crowd was waiting with anticipation this match between two serious contenders for a ticket to the next round of the Hockey World League, still unbeaten in this competition. Belgium immediately staked their claim on the match, Tom Boon opening the scoring in the first minute of play on a cross from the left. They kept pushing to try and make an immediate break, but the Canadians held tight and even threatened the Belgian goal a few times. However, the next chance was for Sebastien Dockier, exploiting well a messy situation in the circle to establish a 2-goal lead for Belgium.

Ensued a period of Canadian domination, rewarded by a goal by Iain Smythe after some hard work by Matt Guest progressing along the back line. Pushed around at the beginning of the period by the experienced Belgians, the Canadians were now holding their ground tightly, well backed by Dave Carter in good form in goal. Mark Person had an opportunity on a cross that rolled in front of goal, but his spectacular dive was just short. Florent Van Aubel was more realistic at the other end, scoring a 3rd goal for Belgium just before half-time, reached on the score of 3-1.

Belgium immediately pushed forward in second period, expertly forcing an early penalty-corner converted by Tom Boon, his 12th goal of the competition. Canada survived 2 more penalty-corners in quick succession and reacted well, Scott Tupper scoring at the other end after a mistraped penalty-corner that nevertheless came back quickly to him in the circle.

Play was flowing back and forth in attractive way. Canada was sometimes stretched and committing unforced errors, immediately exploited by Belgium for some swift counterattacks that often forced Dave Carter to rush out of his goal. With time passing, and a few Canadian players temporarily out of commission with injuries, Belgium controlled more and more the proceedings. They did not score more goals… until the final seconds of the match, when Sebastien Dockier pushed the score to 5-2 for a 5th Belgian win, and a sure qualification for the next round of the Hockey World League.

Canada were never overwhelmed but, just like France two days before, could not close the gap with the more experienced Belgians.

Scotland vs. France: 1-2 (half-time: 0-1)

Before the match, French Captain Frederic Verrier was recognized for his 100th Cap for France.

Les Bleus, playing in white for once, immediately showed their attacking intents, Matthieu Durchon forcing James Cachia in the Scottish goal to perform an acrobatic double save on a high shot. The Scots were also in an attacking mood and play was flying back and forth at high speed, much to the pleasure of the large local crowd on hand despite the cool temperature.

France earned a penalty-corner after 15 minutes but over-complicated their option and the Scots managed to clear the ball. Les Bleus were less fancy but equally unsuccessful on their 2nd attempt a few minutes later. Scotland also had a chance on a penalty-corner of their own but Martin Zylbermann did two superb saves on a succession of shots from close range.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 25th minute by Tom Genestet, collecting the rebound from another unsuccessful French penalty-corner and slotting the ball high in goal over James Cachia. Score remained unchanged until half-time, with a meagre one-goal lead for France and the feeling that the result could go either way.

France immediately tried to increase their lead at the beginning of second period, pushed forward once again by the devastating rushes of veteran Matthieu Durchon, but Scotland held tight. Play became balanced for a long period, very much in midfield with few circle penetrations at either end. The best chance was for Scotland on a penalty-corner but France was saved once again by an acrobatic diving save of Martin Zylbermann.

With time passing and the result still very much in doubt, the crowd became anxious and the players nervous, especially after a sequence when France could not do much even with a 2-man advantage. The last ten minutes of play were fairly messy, with unforced errors on both sides. The Scots desperately pushed to force equalization, but left space in their defense in the process and Martin Genestet was at the conclusion of a swift counter-attack to establish a more comfortable 2-goal cushion. The relief of the crowd was short lived, Alan Forsyth scoring on the next action with a spectacular diving deflection.

The Scots however ran out of time and France were relieved to finish unscathed and to collect the 3 points of the win, setting up a torrid decisive match against Canada for the second position in the competition, and a possible qualification for the next round of the Hockey World League.

Schedule for Sunday May 12:
13h00: Belgium vs. Poland
15h30: Scotland vs. Portugal
18h00: France vs. Canada

FIH site

Scotland lose to hosts France

Following their victory against Poland on Thursday, Scotland were unable to add more points to the table as they narrowly lost 2-1 to hosts France in the FIH World League Round 2.

Scotland showed great resistance in the first half with James Cachia making a great double save early on. France eventually broke the deadlock 26 minutes in through Tom Genestet, who collected a rebounded shot from a penalty corner and hit one high in to the back of the net.

Both sides continued to press deep and create opportunities but couldn’t find goal as the score remained 1-0 at half-time.

France got off to a good start in the second period, pushing forward with dangerous runs from veteran Matthieu Durchon, but Scotland held tight to deny them a second goal.

Scotland began to push forward in search of a comeback and were awarded a penalty-corner, but a diving save from Martin Zylbermann kept them from finding the equaliser.

The Scots continued to attack and put France on the back foot, however space was left in their defence in the process and Martin Genestet was able to slot one in on the counter-attack.

Scotland did not give up and managed to bring some hope back in to the game as Alan Forsyth scored a fantastic diving goal in the 67th minute. Despite their efforts, Scotland could not find another late goal as France held on for a 2-1 win.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

'Pakistani factor'

TNB CUP: KLHC coach not ready to celebrate despite two-goal advantage


KLHC’s Kelvinder Singh in a tussle with two Sapura players in the first leg semifinals of the TNB Cup on Friday. KLHC won 3-1.

KUALA Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) have a two-goal cushion over Sapura in the TNB Cup semi-finals, but are wary of the "Pakistani factor" in the return leg today.

KLHC, who are the holders of the TNB Cup, looked jaded in the first leg on Friday but still managed to beat Sapura 3-1.

KLHC coach K. Dharmaraj warned that with Sapura having Pakistani penalty corner flicker Kashif Ali, it would be foolish for them to celebrate before the second leg is over.

For the record, Kashif never really had the chance to show his prowess in the first leg, as Sapura were unlucky not to have won even a single penalty corner.

"Although I am glad with the two-goal cushion, I am not happy with the way my team played overall as they are capable of much better hockey," said Dharmaraj.

The coach also felt that his players lost their sharpness after a two-week break.

"This, to a certain degree, cooled down some of them and it showed in their slow approach.

"Now, we need to play at a higher level and also not give away too many penalty corners, to have a chance of defending our title... possibly against Tenaga."

The second leg semi-final will be purely academic for Tenaga Nasional, who have virtually qualified for the final after hammering Maybank 6-3 in the first leg.

Sapura manager S. Kuhan, a former national skipper, lamented that they did not get a single penalty corner in the first leg.

"It was really disappointing that we were not awarded a single penalty corner. However, the two goal-cushion is not really big, and we have nothing to lose but to go on the offensive from the start to erase it."

TODAY: Semi-finals Second Leg: TNB Cup -- Tenaga (6) v Maybank (2) v (6pm), KLHC (3) v Sapura (1) (8pm).

President's Cup: Ipoh CC (3) v TNB Thunderbolts (6) (6pm), UiTM (2) v Sunday 2030 (1) (8pm).

Note: First leg scores in parenthesis. All matches at Pitch I and II of National Stadium Bukit Jalil.

New Straits Times

KLHC need early goal to ease into final

Reports by S. RAMAGURU

Blending well: KLHC foreign player Wassim Ahmad. — SHAHRUL FAZRY ISMAIL / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: KL Hockey Club (KLHC) need to get off to a strong start in the second leg semi-finals of the Premier Division in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) if they want to ease into the final over a desperate Sapura at the National Hockey Stadium today.

The defending champions hold a two-goal advantage after winning the first leg 3-1.

But if Sapura score an early goal, the game may change into a bitter battle for both.

KLHC manager George Koshy said they have to go all out to try and wrap up the tie in the first half.

“Why make it difficult and give them any chance for a comeback. It is in our hands to win the match and we have all the right players to do it. We need to play like we did in the second half of the first leg,” said George.

The first leg saw both teams making a fight of it but Sapura failed to capitalise on their early goal as KLHC fought back to win 3-1.

Sapura team manager Louis Gregory admits that they have an uphill task and they have only one option – take the fight to the champions.

“We cannot afford to sit back and hope to break through with counter attacks. We have to play an open game. Of course, we may start off a bit cautiously but at the end of it we must go forward and get the goals” said Louis.

KLHC are on the threshold of a unique record if they make the final on May 19 as it will be their fourth in a row and it will allow them to snatch a record 13th trophy in the MHL since 2006.

Sapura, who were overall champions in 2005 and 2006, have good Pakistan players to bank on. Kashif Ali is their top scorer with 17 goals but he can only be effective if the team earn penalty corners.

There was none in the first leg and their only goal was scored by Joel van Huizen.

KLHC also have good foreign players in Pakistan’s Mohamed Imran, Akhtar Ali, Mohamed Umar Bhutta Fareed Ahmad and Wassim Ahmad and Australia Timothy Beavin. These players have blended well with the locals and it has seen them chalk up an unbeaten record thus far.

Today’s match is most likely to be a formality for the champions unless Sapura can find something extra to turn the tables on the champions.

The Star of Malaysia

Firhan out of action in match against Maybank

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaga Nasional will rest striker Mohamed Firhan Azhari for the second leg semi-final match against Maybank today.

The former national junior has six demerit points and a green card in today’s semi-final could cost him a place in the final.

Furthermore, Tenaga are practically through to the final following their 6-2 win in the first leg on Friday.

Tenaga coach Nor Azlan Bakar said that they will not take it easy today but with the final in mind, they have to rest key players.

“We need Firhan for the final and it is a big risk playing him in the second leg. We do have a good lead but we will not be complacent. Maybank can be difficult opponents if they get an early goal.

“Our plan is to go all out and secure another win. There can be no room for mistakes and I will not risk playing a defensive game,” said Nor Azlan.

The good thing for Tenaga is that they have several players with the ability to score goals other than Firhan.

Faizal Saari is the top scorer with 16 goals. He will be well motivated to add to that tally as it will help him in his bid to be the top scorer of the tournament for a third time.

Then there is players like midfielder Faiz Helmy, who scored two goals in the first leg, Shahril Saabah, Mohamed Amin Rahim and Amir Farid.

The Tigers need to start off with an early goal and keep that momentum going, otherwise it will be a lost cause.

Maybank will be banking on their Pakistani players Shakeel Abassi, Shafqat Rasool, Mohamed Waqas and Mohamed Ifran to deliver.

Nor Azlan knows the pitfalls teams face in the unpredictable knockout stage.

“We must score early to kill off the game and make the final comfortably. We have enough experience players to do that.

“I am looking forward to making the final which will be my first as a coach. Hopefully it is just another 70 minutes away.”

The Star of Malaysia

Senior women's hockey camp commences at Patiala

NEW DELHI: The national women hockey team's core probables commenced their training camp at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala on Sunday to prepare for the FIH World League Round 3 (semifinal) to be held at Rotterdam, Netherlands from June 13 to 23.

The three-week long training camp will go on till June 4. India qualified for the FIH World League Round 3 (Semifinal) by finishing on the top of the table of the Round 2 tournament held at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in February.

FIH World League Round 3 (semifinal) is a qualification tournament for the FIH Women World Cup 2014 to be held at The Hague, Netherlands.

Besides India, the other participating teams in the tournament will be the hosts Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Korea, Japan, Belgium and China.

The 33 senior women core probables:

Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita, Rajni Etimarpu.

Defenders: Pinki Devi, Deep Grace Ekka, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur, Kiran Dahiya, Preety Sunlia Kiro, MN Poonamma, Deepika, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu, Pooja.

Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Amandeep Kaur, Chanchan Devi, Navjot Kaur, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Monika, Lily Chanu, Rashmi Singh, Roselin Dung Dung.

Forwards: Soundarya Yendala, Anupa Barla, Rani, Lilima Minz, Punam Barla, Asunta Lakra, Sunita Lakra, Anuradha Devi.

The Times of India

Senior women's hockey camp starts in Patiala

Patiala, - The women's national hockey camp for the FIH World League Round 3 (semi-final) started at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) here Sunday.

The tournament will be held at Rotterdam, Netherlands June 13-23. The three-week-long training camp will continue until June 4

India qualified for the FIH World League Round 3 (semi-final) by finishing on the top of the table of the Round 2 tournament held at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi in February.

FIH World League Round 3 (semi-final) is a qualification tournament for the FIH Women World Cup 2014 to be held at The Hague, Netherlands.

Alongwith India other participating teams in the FIH World League Round 3 (Semi-Final) in the Rotterdam, will be the hosts Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, Korea, Japan, Belgium and China.

The 33 senior women core probable for the preparatory camp are:

Goalkeepers: Yogita Bali, Savita, Rajni Etimarpu.

Defenders: Pinki Devi, Deep Grace Ekka, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur, Kiran Dahiya, Preety Sunlia Kiro, M.N. Poonamma, Deepika, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu, Pooja.

Midfielders: Ritu Rani, Amandeep Kaur, Chanchan Devi, Navjot Kaur, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Monika, Lily Chanu, Rashmi Singh, Roselin Dung Dung.

Forwards: Soundarya Yendala, Anupa Barla, Rani, Lilima Minz, Punam Barla, Asunta Lakra, Sunita Lakra, Anuradha Devi.

News Track India


UP moves to second spot

Ashwin Achal

THE RIGHT MOVE: Abhishek Singh of Uttar Pradesh set up the only goal with a low pass, in the match against Punjab on Saturday. Photo: K. Murali Kumar

A gritty Uttar Pradesh team held on to a slim lead against Punjab, and moved to the second spot in the 64th Senior National hockey championship here on Friday.

In another match, Karnataka brushed aside Manipur to go to the top of the standings. The top two teams at the end of the league stage will compete in the final of the Rangaswamy Cup on May 16.

The Punjab unit fired in fits and starts and fell short.

Early in the game, Sanjeev Kumar intercepted a lazy clearance attempt by Uttar Pradesh’s Mahendra Nath. Sanjeev took the short, clear path to goal, but was foiled by goalkeeper Ashish Mishra.

Late in the first-half, Uttar Pradesh broke free. At the end of a brisk run down the flank, Abhishek Singh scooped a low pass to Prem Kumar, who banked it in. Uttar Pradesh now has four points from two matches, while Punjab (three points from two matches) will need an improved display if it is to qualify for the final.

Karnataka, meanwhile, faced no difficulty in its 4-1 victory against Manipur. Captain Deepak Bejiwad, who has proved deadly from penalty corners, took centrestage again by converting two attempts.

The results: Uttar Pradesh 1 (Prem Kumar) bt Punjab 0; Karnataka 4 (Deepak Bejiwad 2, Bijju Yirkal, Naveen Kumar) bt Manipur 1 (S. Tarun); Mumbai 7 (Roshan Keishan 2, Ravi Pareek 2, Victo Singh 2, Laxman Rao) bt Jharkhand 5 (Deepak Soreng 3, Dilbar Toppa, John Minz).

The Hindu

Karnataka drub Manipur in National Hockey Championship

Sunil Subbaiah

BANGALORE: After two successive draws, Karnataka snatched victory defeating Manipur 4-1 in the National Hockey Championship for the Rangaswamy Cup at the KSHA stadium on Saturday.

Karnataka made the most of playing against weaker opponents, taking their overall tally to five points from three outings and keeping themselves in the hunt for the title.

For the hosts, goals came from skipper Deepak Bijawad (1, 29), Bijju Yirkal (10) and Naveen Kumar (37).

As for the visitors, they looked set to give the hosts a tough fight when they fought back to equalise in the seventh minute when skipper P Adeba scored off a penalty corner. But once Karnataka went on the offensive, Manipur were forced to fall back and defend.

Deepak put the hosts ahead with a low drag-flick in the very first minute. In the 10th minute, he helped them regain the lead when he directed a neat cross for Bijju to score off the second penalty corner.

Deepak returned to score in the 29th minute off another penalty corner as Karnataka went into the breather with a 3-1 advantage. Naveen completed the rout in the 37th minute, sounding the board off Syed Naeemuddin.

Karnataka could have won the contest even more convincingly had they not wasted numerous scoring chances in the second half.

Earlier, Prem Kumar's 28th-minute goal turned out to be the match-winner as Uttar Pradesh edged past former champions Punjab.


Karnataka: 4 (Deepak Bijawad 1, 29; Bijju Yirkal 10; Naveen Kumar 37) bt Manipur: 1 (P Adeba 7); Uttar Pradesh: 1 (Prem Kumar 28) bt Punjab: 0; Mumbai: 7 (Roshan Keishan 8, 27; Ravi Pareek 11, 59; Victo Singh 45, 60; Laxman Rao 56) bt Jharkhand: 5 (John Minz 10, Dilbar Toppa 13; Deepak Soreng 17, 23 68).

Sunday's fixtures: 2.30pm: Manipur vs Punjab; 4.30pm: Mumbai vs Uttar Pradesh.

The Times of India