News for 02 June 2013

All the news for Sunday 2 June 2013

Japan secure World League Semi-Finals

A win against Russia secures the elusive ticket to the next round for Team Japan

Japan defeated Russia to secure their place in the World League Semi-Finals (Photo: FIH / Dmitry Ryazhski)

The second-but-last round of matches at World League Round 2 in Elektrostal saw Ukraine defeat Austria in a shoot-out and Egypt battle past the Czech Republic to confine the Czech to last place in the tournament. The highlight of the day was the match between tabletoppers Russia and Japan, with Japan claiming a narrow win that confirmed them as one of the two missing World League Semi-Finalists.

At the end of Day 4, Japan are still at the top of the table on twelve points, trailed by Russia on nine, Austria on six, Ukraine on five and Egypt on four, while the Czech Republic are without points after their first four matches. For Russia to still make it through to the Semi-Final events next month, they would need to finish first in the final ranking by winning their match against the Czech Republic tomorrow with a sufficient number of goals while hoping for Japan to lose against Austria.

Today, Ukraine and Austria took to the field first on another nice warm and sunny day in Elektrostal. Austria scored first as Patrick Schmidt finished of a quick attack in the sixth minute but Ukraine replied in the very next attack with Artem Ozerskyi finding the net for the equalizer.

For the remainder of the first half, play moved back and forth between the equal opponents but neither could apply pressure in the circle, and the scoreline stayed at 1-1 into halftime. After the break, Ukraine returned with more resolve than Austria and attacked relentlessly, while Austria struggled to reply appropriately.

Nonetheless, it was the Austrians who scored next to take the lead again, against the run of play. Following this goal, the match became increasingly hectic and both coaches were highly excited, pacing the sideline. Ukraine were the more dangerous team, and with five minutes on the clock, they managed to pull level as Dmytro Luppa sank a straight flick to the bottom left of the goal on a penalty corner.

This goal eventually forced the match into a shoot-out, the second of the event and the second for Austria who had walked away victorious from their shoot-out with Egypt two days ago. This time however, the decider went the other way, and it was the Ukraine who snatched a win after a dramatic shoot-out which included a re-take and two penalty strokes.

The subsequent match between Egypt and the Czech Republic also started with an early goal, as Amr Sayed converted a penalty corner in the fourth minute. Egypt were in firm control of the match and their prime penalty corner expert Hamada Atef piled on a second goal midway through the first half until the Czech started finding their feet and fought back with a goal from Tomas Vohnicky.

The teams thus went into halftime at 2-1 in the Egyptians advantage, but a double hit just after the re-start practically settled the match, as two goals from team captain Waleed Mohamed in just under a minute took the scorelone to 4-1. A beautiful goal from the far right by David Vacek brought the Czechs a little closer again, but it was an uphill battle.

Taking advantage of a moment of confusion in the Czech defense, Ahmed Abd Elmaksoud broke through, scoring from the circle to restore a three goal lead, and while Martin Capouch still added one for the Czech Republic, the Czechs couldn't catch up with Egypt anymore. This results confines the Czech Republic to last place in the tournament's final ranking ahead of the last round of matches.

The day concluded with the most important match, the encounter between the Russian hosts and Team Japan, a decisive match in the race for the World League Semi-Finals.

Japan got off to a good start with a 10th minute goal from Heita Yoshihara but Russia caught up with a goal from Dmitry Azarov little later, with Azarov's goal coming as the last rebound at the end of a series of shots that were valiantly warded off by Japanese goalkeeper Katsuya Takase, and the tied score stayed up until halftime.

Playing the more controlled and calm hockey in the face of hectic Russian attacks, the Japanese pulled ahead again with a penalty corner conversion by their set piece expert Manabu Hatakeyama, with a low flick beating the keeper.

Knowing they are under pressure to win the tournament if they want to go through, Russia played aggressive attacking hockey after the Japanese regained the lead, and had a string of opportunities but the Japanese defense warded off attempt after attempt. Shinji Kawauchi eventually finished off a quick counter-attack, catching the Russian defense off-guard, to make it 3-1. With only minutes to go  the match, Russia ran out of time to reply, and Japan secured the win and the elusive ticket to the Semi-Final.

FIH site

Unfriendly fans!

UNRULY: Football supporters spoil a different game


MALAYSIA hammered China's Liaoning Club 5-0 in their final friendly at the National Hockey Stadium yesterday, but the win was marred by unruly football fans who disrupted the match after an argument with the umpire.

Malaysia were comfortably leading 5-0 with nine minutes to go, when China's Korean coach Kim Young Soo, who doubled up as an umpire, was verbally abused by football fans who were at the hockey stadium waiting for the Johor-Pahang FA Cup semi-finals to start at the adjacent football pitch.

Kim went to the sidelines to confront the football fans, who had uttered derogatory words, and there was almost a fist-fight but it was stopped by Malaysian players and assistant national coach Arul Selvaraj.

The China coach then pulled back his men, and had to be convinced that the situation was under control before he asked them to resume playing.

"I was at the sidelines umpiring when one of the fans uttered derogatory words towards my players and pointed his index finger.

"I confronted him, as it was uncalled for in a friendly," said Kim.

The Ultras Malaya supporters had entered the hockey stadium and with drums, cheered the Malaysian team, but after the incident, they brought out several flares and lighted them.

In the four-match series, Malaysia won 2-1, 4-2, lost 4-3 and finally got their act together yesterday.

The goals were scored by Chua Boon Huat, Izwan Firdaus, Faizal Saari, Razie Rahim and Firhan Ashaari.

"The four matches were fantastic, as even though we played against a club side from China, they had 10 national players and their fitness was at its best.

"We learned much from these matches, and tomorrow we will head to South Africa for another four matches against the national side," said coach Paul Revington.

Malaysia are preparing for the World League Semi-finals in Johor Baru from June 29, which offers a chance to qualify for the World Cup next year.

New Straits Times

Unruly supporters disrupt hockey friendly


Malaysia’s Muhd Marhan Jalil (left) vying for the ball with China’s Liaoning Club’s Sun Long (centre) during their friendly match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Unruly football fans almost caused the Malaysia-Liaoning Club hockey friendly at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday to be abandoned.

The fans, believed to be members of the Ultras Malaya Supporters Club, were on the way to watch the FA Cup semi-final second-leg match between Pahang-Johor Darul Takzim at the adjacent stadium later in the night, heckled China’s Liaoning Club coach Kim Yong-soo and his players.

They also used flares and bombarded Yong-soo, who was umpiring the friendly, with foul language. The South Korean was so incensed that he confronted the fans and a fight almost broke up.

The Chinese team were on the verge of walking out of the pitch with nine minutes of the game remaining. Play was stopped for a few minutes as the Malaysian officials, particularly national assistant coach S. Arul Selvaraj, intervened and persuaded the Liaoning side to continue the match. The police were also around to prevent an ugly incident.

When the match resumed, Arul replaced Yong-soo as the umpire.

Yong-soo said that he was annoyed as foul language was used against him and his players.

“They call us names and I confronted them for using such words,” added Yong-soo.

Malaysia, parading all the key players, triumphed 5-0. With the win, the Malaysians were 3-1 victors in the four-match series. They won 2-1 and 4-2 in the opening two matches but lost 4-3 on Friday.

In yesterday’s match, Malaysia scored through Chua Boon Huat (fourth minute), Izwan Firdaus (30th), Faizal Saari (50th), Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (58th) and Mohd Firhan Ashaari (60th).

The Malaysians, who are preparing for the World League semi-finals in Johor Baru from June 29-July 7, will leave for South Africa today for a four-match Test.

Star of Malaysia

Services rain 28 goals on Goa

V Anand

PUNE: Services started their campaign in the national hockey championships on a winning note Saturday, defeating Goa 28-0 in their Pool C league match at the Shiv Chattrapati Sports Complex here.

Services scored through Siraju A P (7th, 13th, 25th, 26th, 32nd, 61st minutes), Ved Prakash (16, 69), Sanwar Ali (22, 31, 33, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57), Ignace Tirkey (23, 28), Lovepreet Singh (29, 34, 38, 49), Johnny Jasrotia (48), K. Hera Singh (54, 59), Rajesh Kumar (58) and S. Arumugam (62, 64).

In another Pool C match, Sports Authority of India (SAI) edged past Bihar 9-0.

Namdhari XI continued their winning streak, defeating Sashastra Seema Bal 8-2 to register their third consecutive win in Pool F.

Gurpreet Singh scored five goals for Namdhari XI followed by Gurpreet Singh (1), Harpal Singh (1) and Manpreet Singh (1) while Arif Ansari and Vinay Biswakarma scored a goal each for Sashastra Seema Bal.

In Pool B, Chhattisgarh beat Tripura 7-3. Pareek Ravi and Ajajus Salam scored two goals each for Chhattisgarh.

In Pool H, Assam hammered Rajasthan 10-0 while Tamil Nadu drew 2-2 with Chandigarh in the same pool.


Pool B: Chhattisgarh 7 (Pareek Ravi 2, 52, Sushil Kumar 10, Rajesh Nirmalkar 25, Jahangir Khan 35, Ajajus Salam 56, 58) Tripura 3 (Khursheed Ahmad 23, 46, Own Goal 60). Pool C: SAI 9 (Pal Raju 1, Sunil Yadav 7, Neeraj 10, 19, 45, 63, Kamlesh Yadav 34, Fazal Mabood 56, Deepak Yadav 60) Bihar 0, Services 28 (Siraju A.P. 7, 13, 25, 26, 32, 61, Ved Prakash 16, 69, Sanwar Ali 22, 31, 33, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57, Ignace Tirkey 23, 28, Lovepreet Singh 29, 34, 38, 49, Johnny Jasrotia 48, K. Hera Singh 54, 59, Rajesh Kumar 58, S. Arumugam 62, 64) Goa 0.

Pool F: Namdhari XI 8 (Gurpreet Singh 7, Gurpreet Singh 26, 54, 60, 66, 68, Harpal Singh 35, Manpreet Singh 70) Sashastra Seema Bal 2 (Arif Ansari 15, Vinay Biswakarma 57). Pool H: Assam 10 (Pawan Malik 7, 14, 24, 29, 33, 41, Karanbir Singh 17, Sanjay 50, Rishi Kumar 51, 69) Rajasthan 0. Tamil Nadu 2 (Vinod Rayer 22, 40) Chandigarh 2 (Lovedeep Singh 29, Ravinder Singh 60)

Times of India

Services beats Goa in Hockey India Senior Men National Championship

PUNE: Services were off to a winning start as they defeated Goa 28-0 in their first league match of Pool C played at Shiv Chattrapati Sports Complex on Saturday.

Services scored through Siraju AP (7, 13, 25, 26, 32, 61 min), Ved Prakash (16, 69 min), Sanwar (Ali 22, 31, 33, 51, 52, 53, 56, 57 min), Ignace Tirkey (23, 28 min), Lovepreet Singh (29, 34, 38, 49 min), Johnny Jasrotia (48 min), K Hera Singh (54, 59 min), Rajesh Kumar (58 min) and S Arumugam (62, 64 min), while Goa failed to score any goal.

In the other match of Pool C, Sports Authority of India edged past Bihar 9-0.

Namdhari XI continued their winning streak on the fifth day as they defeated Sashastra Seema Bal 8-2 to register third consecutive win in Pool F.

Gurpreet Singh scored maximum five goals for Namdhari XI followed by Gurpreet Singh, Harpal Singh and Manpreet Singh, while Arif Ansari and Vinay Biswakarma scored a goal each for Sashastra Seema Bal.

In Pool B, Chhattisgarh beat Tripura 7-3. Pareek Ravi and Ajajus Salam scored two goals each for Chhattisgarh.

In Pool H, Assam hammered Rajasthan 10-0 while Tamil Nadu drew 2-2 with Chandigarh in the same Pool.

Times of India

HI mulls tier system to stop the goal glut

Tushar Dutt

PUNE: It looked like a cricket match score when the board displayed 30-0 during defending champions Punjab's league match against Gujarat in the ongoing senior national hockey championship on Friday.

In a 70-minute match, Punjab's 30 goals suggests that they scored a goal every 2.33 minutes, which is not possible even for the defending champions unless their opponents are below par.

The Nationals boasts of 38 teams but the standard of matches at the league level are a sham. Not just Punjab, on Friday, as many as 79 goals were scored by stronger teams over lackluster opponents.

On Saturday too, Services Sports Control Board hammered in 28 goals and conceded none against Goa.

Punjab coach, Sanjeev Kumar, felt there should be two groups of teams — weak and strong — so that the competition has some balance. Kumar suggested, "I feel, like Ranji Trophy, there should be two groups, where both strong and weak teams compete separately in two different groups during the league phase, while the group toppers meet directly in the quarterfinals."

Newly-appointed Hockey India selector and Air India player Arjun Hallappa echoed Kumar's opinion. "If there are divisions like elite and plate in hockey, the competition in tournaments like senior nationals will be better than what it is today," Hallappa said.

When TOI contacted Hockey India's general secretary Narindra Batra, he agreed to the fact that most of the matches in the ongoing nationals are ending one-side.

At the same time, he also said that Hockey India had planned to introduce a tier system this year itself, but couldn't do so because of hectic schedule. "We had planned to introduce the tier system from this year itself, but due to the hectic national and international calendar, we couldn't do so," Batra said.

"Next year onwards, we will have the tier system for the Nationals. The groups could be elite/plate or Group A, B or C, but division of strong and weak teams will be done for sure," he added.

Batra said teams' positions in this year's Nationals will be considered for next year's grading.

Times of India

Kerugoya girls’ win Aberdare region girls’ hockey School games to storm nationals


Kerugoya girls’ hockey team successfully defended their title after they won the Aberdare Region Secondary School Championships at Murang’a Teachers Training College.

Kerugoya, who are the reigning East African champions edged out Limuru 1-0 in a tight final to claim the title and qualify for term one ‘A’ National Championships to be staged at Nakuru High on June 17-23.

Everline Njogu scored the all-important goal that handed Kerugoya ticket to Nationals.

Karima finished third overall following 2-0 victory against Mary Hill in play-off during the games played last Sunday.

Hockey contest or girls was very tight with only 10 goals being produced in five matches that started at semi-final stage.

In semis, Kerugoya beat Mary Hill 1-0 while Limuru defeated Karima 2-1.

Kerugoya’s coach Joseph Maina said that the competition was very tough for his team that has dominated Aberdare region for over six years.

“We expected such kind of resistance from our opponents because as champions we were the team to beat,” he said.

“I’m glad that we have qualified for the Nationals and we’re going to train hard and strengthen our areas of weakness before we travel to Nakuru,” he added.

Mang’u maintained its stronghold in Aberdare after they beat emerging forces Kiambu 3-1 in boys’ hockey final to qualify for Nationals.

Mang’u defeated Kiamutugi 4-1 while Kiambu breezed past Nyahururu 2-1 in semis fixtures to advance. Nyahururu edged Kiambu 3-2 in play-off.

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