News for 01 July 2013

All the news for Monday 1 July 2013


Australia crowned champions of World League Semi-Final

Hockeyroos earn 3-0 win against England to claim the title



Australia is the champion of the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final in London (Photo: STANISLAS BROCHIER )

FINAL GAME
England – Australia 0-3 (0-2 halftime)


Australia played spoiler to host England’s hope to end the Investec Hockey World League with a fairy tale ending, stealing the title from the English in a 3-0 win. Both teams were already qualified for both the 2014 Hockey World Cup and Round 4 of the Hockey World League, but pride and bragging rights was on the line.

In the end, England might have put a little too much energy in their upset victory against Argentina yesterday as they simply lacked the spark they had yesterday allowing the Aussies to control most of the game.

Australia spent the first ten minutes in the English end so it seemed inevitable that they would take the early lead. And sure enough, just 12 minutes into action Ashleigh Nelson put the Hockeyroos on top with a goal by the post after a nice feed from Georgie Parker. Kellie White doubled the lead with 12 minutes to go in the half with a nice reverse shot. The Australians showed no signs of letting up and England actually got off easy with the 2-0 deficit at the break as it could have been at least three after a Hockeyroo penalty corner was disallowed.

England perked up a bit in the second half, but Australia’s game plan changed to focusing on defense giving the English very little space to even threaten for the win. Emily Smith provided the only offense of the half for the Australians with a close range goal to bring the final score to 3-0.

Australia’s win is a minor surprise. They entered the event as the third highest-seeded team, ranked sixth in the FIH World Ranking behind #2 Argentina and #4 England. Ultimately, the top three teams still finished with the medals around their necks, just in a different order than expected.

The result at the other Semi-Final tournament in Rotterdam also produced a similar result with #5 Germany topping the top-ranked Dutch.

FIH site



Argentina's last-minute goal sinks China

New Zealand now guaranteed a place in 2014 World Cup



Argentina took third place at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament (Photo: STANISLAS BROCHIER )

THIRD PLACE
Argentina – China 3-2 (0-0 halftime)


China had its 2014 Hockey World Cup fate in its own hands today in the third place game of the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament but ultimately could not overcome World #2 Argentina in the make-or-break match, falling 3-2 China must now rely on the Continental Championship in Asia to earn its spot in The Hague. Thanks to the result World #3 and fourth-place finisher from Rotterdam New Zealand is into the 2014 Hockey World Cup. Argentina was already qualified before today’s game.

Carla Rebecchi was the hero for Argentina scoring the bookend goals in the game. She gave Argentina some much-needed momentum with the opening goal six minutes into the second half and then scored the game winner on a last minute marker that flattened the Chinese team and dashed their hopes to be the second team to upset Las Leonas at the tournament.

The first half was a tepid affair with solid scoring chances coming few and far between. But the second half was an entirely different story as the teams matched each other stride for stride and goal for goal. No sooner had Rebecchi scored her first goal of the game than Hongxia Li erased the lead with a penalty flick of her own. It was Li’s sixth goal of the event.

Three minutes later Luciana Aymar struck with the key, go-ahead 2-1 goal, but it was again quicky erased by a determined Chinese side that saw Meiyu Liang equalize the game yet again this time with a mere five minutes left.

Everyone was ready for the shootout showdown when Rebecchi scored the heart breaking goal for the Chinese, sending the Argentina bench into a frenzied celebration.

New Zealand is the beneficiary from today’s match. They finished in fourth place at the other Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament and needed Argentina to finish in the top-three to become the lucky loser of the fourth-place teams. China is still in relatively good position to make it to the 2014 Hockey World Cup with their high finish here in London, but their place in The Hague is not secure yet.

FIFTH PLACE
Italy – United States 0-6 (0-1 halftime)


Powered by five, second-half goals, the United States earned a 6-0 win against Italy in the fifth-place game at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament.

The U.S. held a slim 1-0 lead at the break as the game looked like it could tilt either way. But the Americans’ offense erupted in the second half, paced by Paige Selenski, who netted the natural hat trick, scoring an amazing three goals in a 10 minute span. The goals lifted the U.S. to a solid 5-0 lead and left no doubt about who would claim bragging rights in the placement game. The goals also bumped Selenski up to being the second-highest scorer at the event with five goals.

The Americans will look to build on the momentum from the strong finish at this event with their next test being the Pan American Games, where they will look to secure a berth to the 2014 Hockey World Cup. 17th-ranked Italy can hold their heads high despite today’s loss. They entered the event as the Cinderella team and finished well above expectations and opened many people’s eyes about the level of women’s hockey in the European nation.

SEVENTH PLACE
South Africa – Spain 3-2 (3-1 halftime)


Lilian Du Plessis scored twice to lift South Africa to a 3-2 win against Spain in the seventh-place game at the Investec Hockey World League Semi-Final tournament in London.

Du Plessis’ pair of goals came in the first half and helped lift the South Africans to a 3-1 lead at the break. Spain came out firing in the second half and closed the gap to one and had several chances to put in the equalizer, but a series of near misses allowed the South Africans to hold on for the narrow 3-2 win.

The win was South Africa’s first of the event and ends the tournament on a high note as they will now turn their focus to earning a World Cup berth through the Africa Cup. Spain finishes the event in last place without a victory, despite some strong performances. Spain’s final record is two draws and three losses.

FIH site



Hockeyroos outplay England in Investec World League gold medal match

JONATHAN COOK in London


Australia won the Investec World League Semi-Final tournament's gold medal match with a 3-0 demolition of world number four England in the final at the University of Westminster in Chiswick, London Sunday night.

Goals by Ashleigh Nelson and Kellie White in the first half were complemented by Emily Smith's strike with 10 minutes to go.

It was a clinical performance in which the Hockeyroos of Oz were lethal in and around the strike zone, setting up gilt-edged chances that not even the outstanding England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch could repel.

Australia's high press stifled any hope England had of creating sufficient attacking moves to win this match, their forwards in particular cutting out any hope of quality ball to the England midfielders and forwards.

With such a young group, nine new players since the Olympics and seven eligible for the Junior World Cup in Germany in July, the future bodes well for the Aussies.|

Australia, England and bronze medallists Argentina have now qualified for the 2014 Hockey World Cup in The Hague, The Netherlands in June next year.

The team that finished fourth, China, join the top three in qualifying for the eight-nation women's World League Final tournament that takes place in Argentina in December.

For the seventh-placed Investec South Africa women's hockey team the focus now turns to the Africa Cup of Nations in Nairobi, Kenya in September/October, the winner of whom will qualify as the African continent's representative at the 2014 World Cup in The Netherlands.

CLASSIFICATION MATCHES
Final:Australia 3 England 0; (3/4) Argentina 3 China 2; (5/6) USA 6 Italy 0; (7/8) South Africa 3 Spain 2

FINAL CLASSIFICATION
1 Australia
2 England
3 Argentina
4 China
5 USA
6 Italy
7 South Africa
8 Spain

SA Hockey Association media release



Hockeyroos win final of World League

Victory over hosts England completes fine week in London


The Hockeyroos turned it on to win the final of the Investec World League round three tournament in style with an uncompromising, first class performance that the hosts England struggled to cope with. 

A commanding and highly exciting 3-0 win in the ‘Ashes’ clash was the reward for their efforts, although it might have been more had the Hockeyroos not had two goals disallowed on appeal. 

Ashleigh Nelson (WA) and Kellie White (NSW) combined to put the Hockeyroos ahead early in the first half as White set up Nelson on the back post, before White herself doubled Australia’s lead after good work by Eddie Bone (ACT). The margin of victory might have been even greater had Jodie Schulz and Casey Eastham not had goals disallowed on appeal either side of half time but Emily Smith (NSW) gave the score the polish it deserved with a goal ten minutes from full time after being set up by Emily Hurtz (NSW). 

The result completes a hat-trick for Adam Commens’ Hockeyroos, who went into the tournament looking to seal qualification to the fourth round of the World League and the 2014 World Cup, as well as bag victory in the final itself.

Speaking afterwards, Head Coach Adam Commens said winning the gold medal was an important milestone in the team’s progression in world hockey. “It was really good to win,” he said. “This really gives us a lot of belief that we belong in the top echelons of world hockey. We played fantastically well, we moved the ball well, and we countered well. We were consistent throughout and they [England] only had one shot at goal and no penalty corners.

“It’s really satisfying to win the tournament, although to win World League round four [in Argentina in November], we’ll need to be better than over here because there are other top sides around the world.

“We’ve improved a lot over the last couple of years and I was particularly impressed with the younger players we brought here to London. And, we’ve got some very good players back at home, too. Anna Flanagan, Georgia Nanscawen, Emily Smith, Karri McMahon, Jane Claxton, Jordyn Holzberger and Jade Warrender are all Junior World Cup players, although Jade Warrender had to withdraw from this squad with her injury, so I think it augurs well for our junior team that we’ve got good players coming through.”

From the start the Hockeyroos’ high-tempo pressing game plan was clear for all to see and it paid dividends in the 12th minute when Ashleigh Nelson knocked the ball home at the back post to give Australia the lead. It was a goal from a very similar position as that from which she scored in the semi-final against China the day before and it came as the result of good work by Kellie White, who squared the ball after getting in behind the English defence on the baseline.

Some good Australian defensive work thwarted a surging run from England youngster Lily Owsley before White netted a goal of her own for 2-0. In almost identical fashion to White’s earlier run, Eddie Bone cut in behind the English defence before pulling the ball back to White on the penalty spot, who finished clinically with an upright shot on her reverse.

As the first half progressed Australia’s dominance appeared to be rewarded again as Jodie Schulz fired home what might have been the Hockeyroos’ third goal but on closer inspection the ball ricocheted into the net off the body of an England defender after hitting her dangerously high. An appeal to the video umpire by England resulted in the goal being disallowed.

Georgia Nanscawen had an early second half effort blocked by England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch before, at the other end, her Hockeyroos opposite number Rachael Lynch watched as a tomahawk from the top of the circle sailed safely over the top.

A series of Australian penalty corners failed to extend the Hockeyroos’ lead but it looked as if Casey Eastham might have done so when she squeezed a shot into the goal. However, another successful video referral appeal by England showed Georgie Parker’s tackle on Kate Walsh in the build-up to be illegal and it remained 2-0 to the Hockeyroos.

It was only a matter of time, though, and when it came, Australia’s third goal from Emily Smith was thoroughly deserved. With her back to goal, she got off a low shot around the corner and into the goal after Emily Hurtz’s pinpoint pass.

In what was fast becoming a feature of the match, Australia’s defence twice used the video referral system to good effect in the closing stages, resulting in the overturning of two penalty corner awards to help retain an impressive clean sheet as they closed out the 3-0 win.

It was a third clean sheet of the tournament for the team that has conceded just three goals in six matches in London. At the other end, their 18 goals scored was the highest tally of any side in the competition.

For Flanagan, Nanscawen, Smith, McMahon, Claxton, Holzberger and Jade Warrender, a return to Australian shores will be short lived as they prepare to head back to Europe with the Jillaroos team for the Junior World Cup. The squad departs on 17 July with Australia’s first match against India on 27 July.

The next opportunities to see the Hockeyroos in action are the International Super Series Hockey 9s in October, the Oceania Cup in late October/early November and the fourth and final round of the World League in Argentina in December. 

INVESTEC WORLD LEAGUE FINAL

HOCKEYROOS   3 (2)

Ashleigh Nelson 12 (F)                  
Kellie White 23 (F)                          
Emily Smith 60 (F)                                                           

ENGLAND            0 (0)

TV replay
Watch the Hockeyroos' 3-0 win over England on Fox Sports at the following times.
Monday, 1 July - 8am AEST on Fox Sports 3 AND 5pm AEST on Fox Sports 2
Tuesday, 2 July - 10:30pm AEST on Fox Sports 2

Final Standings
1. Australia (qualified for World Cup 2014)
2. England (qualified for World Cup 2014)
3. Argentina (qualified for World Cup 2014)
4. China
5. USA
6. Italy
7. South Africa
8. Spain

Hockeyroos Squad v England, 1 July
(Listed alphabetically by surname)
Name (Hometown, State) Caps/Goals (updated)

Started

Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 182/10
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 255/61
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 9/0
Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW) 172/41
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 93/15
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC) 85/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 18/2
Claire Messent (Berwick, VIC) 61/15
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 107/18
Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA) 35/3
Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD) 76/37

Used Sub
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 10/0
Emily Hurtz (Camden, NSW) 72/28
Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD) 17/1
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 118/45
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 59/19
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 47/6

Unused Sub
Toni Cronk (Sydney, NSW) 135/0

Hockey Australia media release



Australia beat England to win Investec World League



The final of the Investec World League was played out to a packed crowd at Chiswick between Australia and England.  The Pool B opponents had met earlier in the week when the match ended in a close 1-1 draw, but both sides knew that this fixture would be played out until there was a victor. Unfortunately for England they came up against an Australian side in fantastic form and goals from Ashleigh Nelson, Kellie White and Emily Smith assured the Hockeyroos first place and a 3-0 victory.

Reflecting on the match and the tournament as a whole, England Head Coach Jason Lee said, “We are disappointed with the loss today, but overall I think we can be really pleased with how the tournament and the week has gone. Three months ago we were slightly worried about World Cup qualification but I like the fact that we have smashed that. I think the team has grown through the tournament, we just didn’t have enough fitness to get us through today, but that will come in time. I’m very pleased with how they did; I thought their commitment was brilliant and their skill level was great.” Holcombe’s Maddie Hinch was voted best player of the tournament following her heroic efforts in England’s goal all week.

Australia started the match with a push back that led to an impressive run at goal, but a well timed interception from Reading’s Susie Townsend meant that play turned over to England’s favour. However, this success was short lived, as Australia were energetic and bold in their play, keeping tight to their opposition and making speedy runs at goal.

They made their breakthrough in the 12th minute when Ashleigh Nelson slotted the ball past the England defenders, to give the Hockeyroos a 1-0 lead.

Australia grew in stature after scoring their first goal and continued to fight hard and put pressure on England, with both their clever attacking and fierce defending. England newcomer Lily Owsley managed to make a break for the goal but was unable to capitalise on a rare defensive slip by Australia. Moments later the Hockeyroos were back down their attacking end where Kellie White slid a second goal past Holcombe’s Maddie Hinch to take a 2-0 lead into the break.

The play continued in much the same fashion for the majority of the second half; Australia picking off balls and intercepting passes and generally dominating possession. But England never stopped fighting, and were almost rewarded by efforts from Reading’s Alex Danson and Leicester’s Nicola White who both came close.

In the 60th minute England found themselves three goals down as Australia dealt their final blow. Emily Smith put herself in a great position to receive a pass coming into the circle and she pushed her shot home with great accuracy to make it 3-0.

Despite all efforts, including using a kicking back with three minutes to go, England were unable to get a consolation goal and the game played out with the scoreline unchanged.

Speaking after the game, Kate Walsh said “It’s never nice to lose a match, especially in a final, but hats off to Australia; I thought they played a fantastic tournament. Around the circle they looked like Aussie teams of old. Overall we developed through the tournament like Jason said, and as a young team going forward I think we have a bright future. The Europeans is on the horizon and I’d certainly like to go and get something better than a bronze medal this time; I’ve got five of them already!”

Next up for the England women is the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships in Boom, Belgium. The tournament runs from 17-25 August; England will face Germany, Spain and Scotland in Pool B and it will be shown on the BBC Red Button, iplayer and online.

England 0 (0)

Australia 3 (2)

Ashleigh Nelson, FG, 12
Kellie White, FG, 23
Emily Smith, FG, 60

England Hockey Board Media release



New-look squad look to the future

By Mike Haymonds


ENGLAND'S women fell to typical Australian tenacity in the final of the Investec World League at Chiswick yesterday.

But, despite being outplayed 3-0, Jason Lee's new-look squad can hold their heads high.

Perhaps expectations were raised too high after England had disposed of the world champions Argentina 4-2 to qualify for next year's World Cup at The Hague.

In the final analysis that was all that really mattered after a tough week of competition.

But Lee will have to look at the way his side were unable to break down a tough Australian side that put the squeeze on with a constant high press that captain Kate Walsh desperately tried to penetrate.

But her vital role came in keeping the score down by winning two big video referrals against what looked at first to be good Australian goals.

Australia led after 12 minutes when Ashleigh Nelson tapped home a cross to beat England's player of the tournament goalkeeper Maddie Hinch.

Kellie White scored in the 23rd minute and the game was finished off by an Emily Smith strike on the hour.

Lee said: "Today we were outrun.But we can be very optimistic for the next 12 months."

ENGLAND'S  men in the equivalent tournament in Malaysia drew for the second time, 2-2 against Pakistan. They also won a point against South Africa ina 3-3 draw, with Richard Smith scoring a last-minute penalty corner goal. They play the hosts tomorrow.

Daily Express



Lee positive after World League final defeat to Australia


Eurosport - England hockey coach Jason Lee

England head coach Jason Lee was determined to accentuate the positives after a comprehensive defeat by Australia in the final of the hockey World League in London.

Goals from Ashleigh Nelson, Kellie White and Emily Smith secured a 3-0 victory for the Hockeyroos but Lee was content to finish second in the eight team tournament - and guarantee qualification for next year's World Cup in Holland.

"We are disappointed with the loss but overall I think we can be really pleased with how the week has gone," he said.

"Three months ago we were slightly worried about World Cup qualification but I like the fact that we have smashed that.

"I think the team has grown through the tournament, we just didn’t have enough fitness to get us through but that will come in time.

"I’m very pleased with how they did; I thought their commitment was brilliant and their skill level was great.”

Australia disappointed at the London 2012 Olympics but England captain Kate Walsh is predicting they will be a force to be reckoned with on the road to Rio - with the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow the next targets.

In the meantime Walsh is looking to the forthcoming European Championships with confidence.

"It’s never nice to lose a match, especially in a final, but hats off to Australia; I thought they played a fantastic tournament," she said.

"Around the circle they looked like Aussie teams of old. Overall we developed through the tournament like Jason said, and as a young team going forward I think we have a bright future.

"The Europeans is on the horizon and I’d certainly like to go and get something better than a bronze medal this time; I’ve got five of them already."

Yahoo EuroSport



Birthday hat trick for Selenski in Team USA’s 6-0 shutout victory over Italy

The U.S. finishes fifth; Paige Selenski scores three consecutive goals in second half


LONDON, England – The U.S. Women’s National Team recorded five second half goals en route to a 6-0 shutout performance over No. 17 Italy on the final day of competition at the World League Semi-Final in London. Paige Selenski (Shavertown, Pa.) celebrating her 23rd birthday, recorded a hat trick with three consecutive goals in a span of 10 minutes.

While the top three finishers from both World League Semi-Finals automatically earn a ticket to the World Cup event in The Hague, Netherlands next year, there is a good chance that a fifth place finish for Team USA at this tournament may be enough to qualify. 

“I’ve been pleased with our performances throughout the week,” said U.S. head coach Craig Parnham. “We have created a number of opportunities and in previous games we have not been able to capitalize, but today we created opportunities and scored. It is very pleasing to finish the tournament with a game like we had today.”

Jill Witmer (Lancaster, Pa.) deflected a ball sent into the circle by Katie Reinprecht (Perkasie, Pa.) to jumpstart the scoring for Team USA in the 11th minute. Italy found very few chances to put the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Alesha Widdall (Whitney Point, N.Y.) with their best opportunity on a penalty corner in the 35th minute. Despite numerous shots, breaks and opportunities for Team USA, the first half finished with a small one goal advantage in favor of the U.S.

Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, N.C.) tallied her second goal of the tournament in the 43rd minute. Kasold’s first goal was scored during pool play on the second day of competition against Italy. Selenski recorded a hat trick with three consecutive field goals in the 45th, 47th and 55th minute to put the U.S. ahead, 5-0. Shannon Taylor (Midlothian, Va.) closed out the scoring for the U.S. on a penalty corner in the 65th minute.

“Today was a combination of a lot of hard work and the team did a tremendous job,” said Parnham. “There is a real solid work ethic and a hunger to learn and we are excited about the future of this group. They have a lot of potential.”

Team USA will have to wait to find out if they have qualified for the World Cup from this tournament. World Cup qualification is based on world rankings and finished positions at both World League Semi-Finals as well as the Continental Champions.

Team USA departs for the U.S. tomorrow and will begin preparations for the Pan American Cup in Mendoza, Argentina in late September. The Pan Am Cup is America’s continental qualifier for the 2014 World Cup.

USFHA media release



Investec South Africa hockey women beat Spain for seventh place

JONATHAN COOK in London



Sulette Damons (far right) salutes the second goal of fellow South Africa striker Lilian du Plessis (far left) as Spaniards (from left) Maria Lopez (1), Anabel Flores (15) and Lola Riera (17) look on during the Investec World League playoff at University of Westminster in London Sunday afternoon. South Africa beat Spain 3-2. Photo: STANISLAS BROCHIER

There was satisfaction for the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team in putting together a good performance in beating Spain 3-2 after leading 3-1 at half-time in the playoff for seventh and eighth places in the Investec World League Semi-Final tournament at Chiswick’s University of Westminster ground in London Sunday afternoon.

After Spain had taken the lead in the eighth minute through Maria Romagosa, South Africa scored three times from field play through an excellent brace of goals by striker Lilian du Plessis in the 19th and 29th minutes before Kelly Madsen ensured the 3-1 half-time lead with her superb strike in the 33rd minute, which came two minutes before the break.

Spain pulled a goal back in the 66th minute from field play when Anabel Flores got her shot over the goalline and the final four minutes saw frenetic action but the 3-2 scoreline remained the same.

Reflecting on seventh place in a tournament where SA had set their sights on a top-four finish, co-captain Marsha Cox said consistency had been a problem. “We are happy to get our first win but it has been a disappointing tournament for us as the nature of these events means that you have got to perform in each match.”

In the Pool B round, world number four and World League finalists England’s 4-1 win over SA was “flattering” last Saturday, according to England head coach Jason Lee, then world number 11 South Africa had enough opportunities to beat world number 15 Spain last Sunday instead of the 2-2 draw, and had enough chances in their final Pool B encounter against World League finalists Australia last Tuesday, the world number six nation eventually winning 1-0.

It was effectively the draw with Spain that denied SA their wish of a quarter-final encounter against world number seven China rather than London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallists Argentina.

Yet in the quarter-final, SA ran world number two and London 2012 Olympic Games silver medallists Argentina close before losing 3-1. The frustration grew when world number 17 Italy beat South Africa 3-1 on a penalty shootout in the playoff for fifth to eighth positions on Saturday, this after the final score had read 1-1.

SA trailed at half-time in four of their six matches and while they did concede 13 goals in the six matches, it was their inability to net more than eight goals in the six matches that was their downfall.

Yet there were encouraging passages of play Sunday and it bodes well as South Africa now set their sights on qualifying for the World Cup, which will come to fruition should they win the Africa Cup in Nairobi, Kenya in the first week of October.

SA Hockey Association media release



Black Sticks Women qualify for World Cup


Gemma Flynn congratulated by her team mates. Photo: www.photosport.co.nz

Argentina’s win against China and bronze medal at World League Round Three in London overnight has secured the Black Sticks Women a spot in the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

New Zealand finished in fourth place at World League Round Three in Rotterdam last weekend and due to the team’s World #3 ranking, the Black Sticks are now qualified. If Argentina had have lost, then the Kiwis would have needed to beat Australia at the Oceania Cup in Taranaki in October.

“It is great to have qualified, it relieves a bit of pressure from the team and we can now plan our pathway to the World Cup and focus on our preparation,” says head coach Mark Hager.

Australia have also qualified by winning World League Round Three in London. 

“It is fantastic that both Australia and New Zealand will be there – it shows the strength of the region and how competitive we are against other nations,” says Hager.

The Black Sticks will now have a break from national trainings, returning to their regions of origin to prepare for the Ford National Hockey League starting on the 10th August. The League is compulsory for all Black Sticks and is the key selection event with Hager and men’s head coach Colin Batch naming their 2013/2014 squads after the tournament.

The 2014 World Cup is in The Hague in June next year from 31st May to 15th June. Korea, Australia, Germany, Holland, England and Argentina have already secured their spot with the remaining five nations qualifying through either the Continental Championships or via world rankings.

The Black Sticks Women have also qualified for World League Round Four in Argentina in December. The teams confirmed are Argentina, Australia, England, China, Germany, Netherlands and Korea.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Argentina help Black Sticks qualify for World Cup

Argentina's win against China and bronze medal at the World League Round Three in London overnight has secured the New Zealand women's team a spot in the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

New Zealand finished in fourth place at the World League Round Three in Rotterdam last weekend and due to the team's World No3 ranking, the Black Sticks are now qualified. If Argentina had lost, then the Kiwis needed to beat Australia at the Oceania Cup in Taranaki in October in order to qualify.

"It is great to have qualified, it relieves a bit of pressure from the team and we can now plan our pathway to the World Cup and focus on our preparation,'' said head coach Mark Hager.

Australia have also qualified by winning World League Round Three in London.

"It is fantastic that both Australia and New Zealand will be there - it shows the strength of the region and how competitive we are against other nations,'' said Hager.

The Black Sticks players will now return to to their regions to prepare for the Ford National Hockey League starting on August 10.

The New Zealand Herald



Germany & Argentina power to victories

Pool A begins to take shape at the HWL Semi Final in Johor



RISING STAR: Christopher Ruehr is congratulated by team mate Martin Zwicker after netting a late double in Germany's 5-0 victory over Korea. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

POOL A: London 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Germany produced a stunning second half performance by scoring five unanswered goals to record a 5-0 win over Korea. Prodigious 19 year old Christopher Ruehr scored a late double following an own goal and penalty efforts from Moritz Fürste and Christopher Zeller.  The result puts Germany level on points with Argentina, who were also big winners thanks to a 7-1 triumph against Japan earlier in the day.  

Korea – Germany 0-5 (0-0)

London 2012 Olympic Gold medallists Germany produced a stunning second half performance by scoring five unanswered goals to record a 5-0 win over Korea. Prodigious 19 year old Christopher Ruehr scored a late double following an own goal and penalty efforts from Moritz Fürste and Christopher Zeller. 

There was very little to choose between the two teams for the majority of the first half, with both Korea and Germany showing excellence in defence to deny any clear goal-scoring opportunities. Korea had arguably the best of the early chances with a penalty corner, but Germany keeper Nico Jacobi palmed the high flick away to safety.

Jacobi was certainly the busier of the two keepers in the first half and was called into action to deny efforts from You Hyo Sik and Korean captain Lee Seung Il, while Germany’s Florian Fuchs came within a whisker of touching home a superb pass from strike partner Christopher Zeller.  2012 FIH Player of the Year Moritz Fürste hit an effort into the keeper's pads on the stroke of half time, but the teams went into the break with the score locked at 0-0.

Germany took the lead early in the second half thanks to an own goal, with a cross from the left hitting a Korean stick before dribbling over the line. The goal sparked the Germans into life, and they added another two goals thanks to penalty corner efforts from Fürste and Zeller. Zeller’s effort was an absolute belter, with Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho wafting at thin air as the ball rocketed into the roof of the net. 

Despite the comfort of a three goal cushion, the Olympic champions of 2008 and 2012 showed no desire to rest on their laurels and set about adding to their tally. They came close in the final ten minutes when a shot from the left rattled the post before teenager Christopher Ruehr grabbed two superb goals late in the match. The first of those was certainly the goal of the game, with the youngster creating space for himself before launching a glorious backhand effort that flew just under the crossbar.

Argentina – Japan 7-1 (3-0)

Argentina became the first team to win a match at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia with a comprehensive 7-1 victory over Japan. Goals from Facundo Callioni (2), Matias Paredes, Gonzalo Peillat, Lucas Villa, Guillermo Schickendantz and Agustin Mazzilli ensured that the in-form South Americans moved onto four points, temporarily putting them at the top on Pool A ahead of the later game between Korea and Germany.

The first 15 minutes of the match were evenly contested, with both teams having an equal share of possession while goal-scoring chances were limited to a couple of penalty corners at either end.

Eventually though, Argentina started to take control of the game and created a decent scoring opportunity through Juan Martin Lopez, who fired a shot into the pads of Japan keeper Katsuya Takese.

The opening goal of the game arrived in the 20th minute, with Argentina’s Facundo Callioni getting a brilliant touch on a cross from the right to guide the ball into the roof of the net.

The South Americans doubled their advantage when Matias Paredes volleyed home after Lucas Rossi forced two excellent saves from Japan shot-stopper Takese, before Callioni produced another world class finish with a diving deflection on the stroke of half time.

Argentina continued their good form in the second half, with Guillermo “Willy” Schickendantz forcing  a fine save from Takese with a slap-shot just before the fourth goal came courtesy of a trademark penalty corner from Gonzalo Peillat.

The fifth goal was arguably the goal of the tournament so far, with Manuel Brunet escaping his marker down the right before sending a stunning pass to the predatory Lucas Villa, who chipped the ball over the onrushing Takese.    

With the score at 5-0, Japan coach Kang Keon Wook decided to replace goalkeeper Takese with Akira Morishima, who produced a number of high quality blocks before eventually being beaten by a terrific Schickendantz penalty corner drag flick, giving the 34 year old his first goal of the tournament. 

Argentina’s final goal came from the stick of Agustin Mazzilli, who fired in a reverse stick effort from the tightest of angles ahead of a consolation penalty corner goal from Katsuyoshi Nagasawa.

The result gives Argentina a huge boost in confidence ahead of Tuesday’s final pool match against Korea.

FIH site



Malaysia beat South Africa, Pakistan & England draw

Host nation go top of Pool B in Johor Bahru



Pakistan & England could not be separated in Pool B of the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

POOL B: Malaysia’s passionate and vocal fans went home happy on Sunday evening when their team recorded an impressive 6-4 victory over South Africa. The win sends the host nation to the top of Pool B with one match to play before the quarter finals.  Malaysia will be aiming to take the fine form into Tuesday’s match against England, who drew with Pakistan earlier in the day.

POOL B:

South Africa – Malaysia 4-6 (1-2)


Malaysia’s passionate and vocal fans went home happy on Sunday evening when their team recorded an impressive 6-4 victory over South Africa. The win sends the host nation to the top of Pool B with one match to play before the quarter finals. 

Just as they did in their tournament opener against Pakistan, Malaysia started the match in electric fashion. It took just four minutes for the home side to take the lead, with Faizal Saari flicking a powerful penalty corner into the net.

South African captain Austin Smith almost tied the scores with a penalty corner of his own, but Malaysia goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam pulled off a remarkable glove save to ensure that his side maintained the advantage.

Azlan Misron was guilty of wasting a glorious chance, swinging and missing the ball with an open goal in front of him. However, Malaysia were soon two to the good when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim slammed another penalty corner past South Africa keeper Erasmus Pieterse in the 15th minute.

South Africa grew in confidence as the half progressed, and pulled a goal back nine minutes before half time through a thunderous Jethro Eustace penalty corner, and drew level shortly after half time Wade Paton thumped a blistering shot into the net via the right shoulder of Subramiam.

Despite sacrificing a solid lead for the second time in two matches, Malaysia regrouped and went on the offensive. They were rewarded when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim claimed his second penalty corner of the game in the 46th minute. This was followed by a stunning three goal burst in four minutes, with brothers Faizal Saari and Mohd Fitri Saari scoring either side of a strike from Miguel da Graca to take the score to 5-3 in Malaysia’s favour.

Malaysia added a sixth goal seven minutes from the end of the match when Muhammad Marhan Mohd Jalil drilled a shot through the legs of Pieterse before South Africa’s Timothy Drummond competed the match scoring from open play in the 69th minute of the match.

Malaysia will be aiming to take the fine form into Tuesday’s match against England, who drew with Pakistan earlier in the day.

Pakistan – England 2-2 (1-2)

Pakistan and England played out their second draw of the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, with the match scoring finishing at 2-2.  The result means that both teams have two points from their two matches in Pool B, with South Africa and Malaysia playing their second match in the final game of the day.

The first half was hugely enjoyable, with both teams determined to play exciting, attack-focussed hockey in front of the fans here at the Johor Bahru Hockey Stadium.

The first real chance of the game went the way of Pakistan, with Abdul Haseem Khan firing a rasping shot just wide of the target when he really should have done better. England’s Mark Gleghorne also went close in the early stages before Oliver Willars opened the scoring in the 13th minute, picking up a rebound after Harry Martin’s initial effort was well saved by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah.

Pakistan needed just five minutes to find an equaliser thanks to a low bullet of a penalty corner from team captain Muhammad Imran, but England re-took the lead ahead of half time when a neat penalty corner routine was flicked high into the roof of the net by Adam Dixon. 

Pakistan were outstanding in the second half, restoring parity in the 50th minute through Abdul Haseem Khan, who tapped home from close range following a penalty corner save from England keeper George Pinner. Pinner made three outstanding saves in the second half to stop Pakistan from taking the lead, the best of which came when Shafqat Rasool aimed a shot towards the roof of the net which was brilliantly batted away by England’s giant shot-stopper.

Pakistan substitute goalkeeper Imran Butt, who was brought onto the field for the second half, was brought into action eight minutes from the end of the game when England won a penalty corner. The custodian made a stunning double save, blocking the initial flick from the top by Richard Smith before miraculously blocking a goal-bound follow up shot from Dan Fox to keep the scores level. Butt came to his team’s rescue for a second time in the final minute of the match, denying a high penalty corner flick from Ashley Jackson to ensure that the match finished with the scores level. 

FIH site



Argentina rout Japan




Rampant Argentina registered their first victory of their World League Semifinal campaign in fine fashion as they thumped Japan 7-1 today.

The world No 10 side that held Olympic champions Germany to a 1-1 draw yesterday produced a classy display to record the first victory of the tournament on Day 2 after all of yesterday’s matches ended in draws.

However, both sides were off to a slow start, but it was Argentina who found their grip into the match and broke the deadlock in the 20th minute through Facundo Callioni.

Japan, who came back from three goals down to draw their match 3-3 against South Korea yesterday were gifted with their own share of chances to get on the score sheet, but failed to capitalize from three penalty corners which came their way.

World No 10 Argentina however doubled their lead in the 29th minute, Japan custodian Kaysuya Takase denied Argentina’s Lucas Rossi with two quick saves but the rebound eventually fell onto the stick of Matias Paredes who flicked the ball into an empty net.

Lucas once again turned provider just before the half time hooter, this time finding Callioni who deflected guided Lucas pint-point cross into the roof of the net.

After the break, Argentina returned with more firepower which Japan had no answer to and they eventually put the game to rest with another four well taken goals.

Gonzalo Peillat sent his drag flick into the roof of the Japanese net in the 47th minute, before Lucas Vila (54), Guillermo Schickendantz (61) and Agustin Mazzilli (65) completed the route.

Japan did take home a consolation goal in the final minute thorough Katsuyoshi Nagasawa.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite

 



Germany hit Korea fo five



WORLD No 1 Germany needed an own goal to spur them to beat South Korea 5-0 in Group A of the World League Semi-finals at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru this evening.

"I think this is a very fierce match against a very good team despite the scoreline," said German coach Markus Weise.

"I think we are more organized in defence using high stick hockey and we manage to break down the defence more easily when we started leading. When we got the chance we broke their fortress."

It was a drab start, as South Korea took the game to Germany who looked like they were contended with soaking in the presure for the first 15 minutes of the game.

The only goalmouth action was a penalty corner attempt by South Korea in the sixth minute, but it was well palmed away by goalkeeper Nicolas Jacobi.

And after 25 minutes of play, much of which centred around the midfield area, South Korea and Germany failed to break the deadlock, as defenders from both sides were rock-steady.

The first 35 minutes were a disappointing encounter as the World No 1 looked a jaded side as they trooped into the dressing room.

And when the match resumed, an own goal by South Korea gave Germany the lead in the 38th minute.

What was supposed to be a reverse-stick cross from Oliver Korn, was turned into a goal when Korea's Nam Hyun Woo connected home.

The own-goal spurred the Germans to win their first penalty corner of the match in the 40th minute, and Moritz Furste made it count with a top-net drag.

Germany suddenly found their gait, and placed South Korea into deeper misery in the 47th minute when Christopher Zeller's penalty corner attempt almost tore the netting for a 3-0 lead.

And the hammering was completd when Christopher Ruhr sent in a reverse-stick attempt in the 67th minute, and then scored his brace in the 70th minute for a final 5-0 drubbing.

Germany, after Monday's rest day, play Japan and could end up at the top of the Group A standings.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Pakistan and England play to a draw



Pakistan and England played to a 2-2 draw thus keeping the race for the champion of Pool A only to be decided in the final preliminary matches on Tuesday.

It was all Pakistan in the opening minutes as they had England back pedalling, stretching the defence with attacks concentrated on the right flank.

Pakistan could have taken the lead in the 8th minute but Abdul Haseem Khan somehow missed the target from seven metres out.

It was however England who took the lead in the 13th minute through Oliver Willars who was first to punce on a rebound off Pakistani keeper Imran Shah to tuck the ball into goal.

Pakistan were awarded their first penalty corner in the 18th minute and Muhammad Imran scored to make it 1-1.

But it was a short respite as England earned a penalty corner in the 25th minute and Adam Dixon scored from an acute angle to give England a 2-1 lead.

Pakistan managed to get their act together and were on level terms in the 59th minute as Haseem Khan scored from a penalty corner rebound. At 2-2 it was anybody's game.

But the two keepers, Imran and George Pinner kept the hopes of their teams alive with some fine saves in the closing stages and a draw was a fair result.

Pakistan play South Africa and England face hosts Malaysia in the final pool matches on Tuesday.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Malaysia outclass South Afica



Malaysia put up a classy performance to defeat South Africa 6-4 in a Pool B match of the World Hockey League Round 3 Semi Finals at the Taman Daya stadium in Johor Bahru.

Malaysia played just like they did in the 4-4 draw against Pakistan when they went for early goals against South Africa and were rewarded for their tireless efforts.

Upfront, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Faizal Saari tore the South African defense with ease and won the first penalty corner in the fourth minute.

Cheered on by a capacity crowd, Faizal drove the ball at the back of the net for the lead.

And a wave of attacks after that saw Chua Boon Huat win the third penalty corner, and this time Razie Rahim perfected the drag flick for a 2-0 lead in the 15th minute.

However, the South Africans were allowed back into the game as Malaysia kept giving away penalty corners, and were punished in the 26th minute.

Jethro Eustice made it count, and Malaysia were in danger of losing the script again, as they trooped into the dressing room with a one-goal advantage.

And two minutes into the second half it was all square as Wade Patton took advantage of a moments hesitation in the Malaysian backline to hammer one past S. Kumar.

Razie got onto the scoring act once again as he sent a drag flaick sailing into goal in the 46th minute to put Malaysia 3-2 ahead. It was is fourth goal in two matches, having scored a brace against Pakistan the previous day.

It got better for the hosts as Fitri Saari put his elder brother Faizal through in the 54th minute, cathing the entire South African defence flatfooted.

And Faizal duly delivered as he unleased a reverse stick hit that sailed past South African custodian Erasmus Pieterse to give Malaysia a 4-2 lead.

But two minutes later the Malaysian defence caved as Miguel Da Garcia burst through the right and sent his shot sailing past Kumar - 4-3.

Fitri then got into the scoring act as he matched his brothers reverse stick shot with a goal of his own in the 58th minute and Malaysia had their two goal advantage.

Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke in the 61st minute when Izwan Firdaus was fouled. But Razie sent a tame flick that was easily saved.

Mohd Marhan Jalil however made sure Malaysia did not collapse this time as in the 63rd minute he picked up a loose ball in the semi circle to score, giving Malaysia a 6-3 lead in the 63rd minute.

Timothy Drummond scored with a minute remaining making it 6-4 but the win was already in the bag for the hosts.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Formbook upset

MALAYSIA lived dangerously but still managed to beat South Africa 6-4 in Group B of the World Hockey League Semi-finals at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.

Cheered on by a capacity crowd of 3,500, with drums and constant singing, Paul Revington's men showed that they could upset the formbook when they collected full points in a nerve-wracking match.

Malaysia played just like they did in the 4-4 draw against Pakistan when they went for early goals against South Africa and were rewarded for their tireless efforts.

Upfront, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Faizal Saari tore the South African defence with ease and won the first penalty corner in the fourth minute.

Cheered on by a capacity crowd, Faizal drove the ball into the back of the net for the lead.

And a wave of attacks after that saw Chua Boon Huat win the third penalty corner, and this time Razie Rahim perfected the drag flick for a 2-0 lead in the 15th minute.

However, the South Africans were allowed back into the game as Malaysia kept giving away penalty corners, and were punished in the 26th minute.

Jethro Eustice made it count, and Malaysia were in danger of losing the plot again, as they trooped into the dressing room with a one-goal advantage.

The Africans came charging out fully recharged after the breather, and drew level with a quick freak goal in the 37th minute.

Wade Paton picked up a loose ball at the top of the semi-circle, and sent in a thundering shot which grazed goalkeeper S. Kumar's shoulders and went sailing in for the equaliser.

Malaysia managed to compose their nerves after that, and started playing their normal game again and were rewarded with the fourth penalty corner in the 46th minute.

And Razie gave Malaysia the lead again by scoring his fourth goal of the tournament.

Faizal Saari then gave the cheering crowd reason to celebrate again as he darted a good 20 metres before slamming in the fourth goal in the 54th minute.

However, even before the celebrations could end, South Africa scored their third goal off a field attempt by Miguel da Garca in the 56th minute.

Not to be outdone by his brother Faizal, Fitri Saari then got into the scoring act with a superb reverse stick from an acute angle which went crashing into the net for a 5-3 lead in the 58th minute.

And the gates opened up as Izwan Firdaus was manhandled in the semi-circle just as he was about to score and Malaysia were awarded a penalty stroke but Razie Rahim failed to convert.

But Marhan Jalil made sure off victory for Malaysia with a field attempt in the 63rd minute. Timothy Drummond scored in the 69th minute for South Africa for a final tally of 6-4.

New Straits Times



Malaysia take chances better to beat S. Africa and top group

By S. RAMAGURU



Beat you to it: Malaysia’s Tengku Ahmad Tajudin (left) tussling for the ball with South Africa’s Rhett Halkett during their FIH World Hockey League semi-final match at Taman Daya Stadium, Johor Baru, yesterday. — ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The Star

JOHOR BARU: Malaysia went to the top of Group B with a 6-4 win over South Africa in their FIH World Hockey League semi-final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here yesterday.

This time the Malaysians played well in both halves and took their chances well from penalty corners and open play.

The hosts lead Group B with four points as they drew 4-4 with Pakistan on Saturday.

Against South Africa, Malaysia made another strong start by earning their first penalty corner in the third minute and Faizal Saari made no mistake with the direct flick. In the 14th minute, Mohamed Razie Rahim made it 2-0 from the second penalty corner.

The South Africans pulled one back from a set-piece move in the 26th minute through Jethro Eustice.

In the second-half, South Africa took charge of the early stages where they earned a penalty corner just three minutes into the game.

Wade Paton equalised with a powerful direct flick which gave Malaysia goalkeeper S. Kumar no chance.

Razie fired Malaysia back into the lead with his second goal via a penalty corner in the 46th minute.Not to be outdone, Faizal too got his brace in the 54th minute with a field effort to put Malaysia 4-2 ahead.

A goal by Miguel De Garcia in the 56th minute did not dampen the Malaysians’ spirit as Fitri Saari scored a gem of a goal in the 58th minute to regain Malaysia’s two-goal advantage.

The Malaysians were awarded a penalty stroke in the 62nd minute but Razie failed to convert. That mattered little though as Mohamed Marhan Abdul Jalil fired the hosts 6-3 ahead from close range.

Timothy Drummond pulled a goal back for the South Africans in the 68th minute but it was too late for a fightback.

In the earlier Group B match, Pakistan and England played out a 2-2 draw..

England drew first blood in the 13th minute through Oliver Willars who pounced on a loose ball in the D and slotted home from close range.

Pakistan made the most of their first penalty corner in the 18th minute as Mohamed Imran fired home to make it 1-1.

Adam Dixon then sounded the board via a penalty corner in the 25th minute put England 2-1 up.

Pakistan levelled in the 59th minute as Haseem Khan capitalsed on a penalty corner rebound.

The Star of Malaysia



Paul Revington's take...

"To score six goals against South Africa is fantastic, but in the same breath, letting in four goal is really frustrating," said Malaysian coach Paul Revington.

Malaysia went on a South African Tour recently and played four friendlies: "It certainly helped a lot in preparing for this match and I am happy that the players learnt from the Tour for this crucial win," said Revington.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Beat England, and door opens wider...

MALAYSIA play world No 4 England tomorrow in the World League Semi-finals, and a win would see them top Group B and avoid the big guns in the quarter-finals.

The plan right now should be to avoid Germany and Argentina in the last eight, and by beating the English, Malaysia will play Japan in the crossover.....

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Malaysia and SA hockey men in 10-goal thriller in Johor World League

JONATHAN COOK


The South Africa men’s hockey team were defeated 6-4 by world number 13 Malaysia in front of a full house at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor, Malaysia Sunday night on the day that outstanding midfielder Clinton Panther got his 50th cap.

The result came on the back of Malaysia’s 4-4 draw with world number five Pakistan on Saturday and South Africa’s 3-3 draw with world number four England, the English equalising in the last minute.

World number 12 South Africa went into this second-round match in Pool B of the World League Semi-Final tournament against a country they had beaten 3-0 in a four-Test series in Potchefstroom and Johannesburg in early June.

The Malaysians were spurred on by their vociferous fans Sunday and Faizal Saari opened the scoring from a fourth-minute penalty corner, which was followed with another PC goal in the 15th minute when Razie Rahim’s drag flick took the score to 2-0.

SA came back hard, winning penalty corners, and in the 26th minute Jethro Eustice pulled one back for a half-time score of 2-1 to Malaysia. Two minutes after the changeover the score was 2-2 when Wade Paton smashed the ball into the backboard.

But Razie’s 46th-minute drag flick made it 3-2 to Malaysia and in the 54th minute Fitri Saari set free elder brother Faizal Saari for a backhand smash that flew past South African goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse to give Malaysia a 4-2 lead.

Two minutes after the re-start SA striker Miguel da Graca found space to pull the score back to 4-3 in Malaysia’s favour. Fitri Saari took the score to 5-3 in the 58th minute when he produced a reverse-stick shot to match his brother’s goal.

Razie’s poorly taken penalty stroke in the 61st minute was easily saved by Erasmus but Mohd Marhan Jalil gave Malaysia a three-goal cushion when he made use of a loose ball in the strike zone.

Trailing 6-3 with seven minutes left, SA had it all to do and did manage to reduce the deficit when Tim Drummond’s neat finish made the final score 6-4 to the home nation.

SA meet Pakistan in their final Pool B match at 3 pm (SA time) Tuesday in a clash to be televised live on SuperSport 7.

SA Hockey Association media release



Argentina and Germany romp to whopping wins

JOHOR BARU: Argentina flexed their muscles as they strolled to a 7-1 win over Japan in the second Group A match at the FIH World Hockey League semi-final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Likewise, Germany lived up to their pedigree as Olympic champions with an emphatic 5-0 win over South Korea to sit second to Argentina in the group.

After a listless first half that saw neither team scoring any goals, Germany came alive in the second half to dominate the proceedings.

Nam Hyung-woo deflected home an own goal in the 38th minute and that started the rout for the Germans.

Moritz Furste and Christopher Zeller were on target from penalty corners in the 40th and 47th minutes while two field goals from Christopher Ruhr in the 67th and 70th minutes completed the scoring for the Germans.

Argentina and Japan started their campaigns with draws against Germany (1-1) and South Korea (3-3) respectively. But this time the South Americans made sure there was no hiccup in their approach and they settled down early by romping to a 3-0 lead at half-time.

Goals from Facundo Callioni in the 20th and 35th minutes followed by a field attempt goal from Matias Paredes gave Argentina a 3-0 lead.

After the break, Argentina returned with more fire power which Japan had no answer to and they eventually put the game to rest with another four well-taken goals.

Gonzalo Peillat sent his drag flick into the roof of the Japanese net in the 47th minute before Lucas Vila (54th), Guillermo Schickendantz (61st) and Agustin Mazzilli (26th) completed the rout.

Japan scored a consolation goal in the final minute through Katsuyoshi Nagasawa. Argentina coach Carlos Retegui was happy with the showing and felt they can continue to improve on their game. “We play South Korea next but will plan for that game after watching them play the Germans. Naturally it is a game that we want to win.

“The Koreans allowed a three-goal lead to slip away against the Japanese. So it is important to see their strategy against Germany before planning against them,” said Retegui.

The last group matches will be played tomorrow and should decide the final outcome of the group. Germany play Japan while South Korea meet Argentina.

The Star of Malaysia



Another draw for the Greenshirts at HWL


Coach Hanif Khan believes Pakistan will have to start converting their missed opportunities if they are to progress in the tournament. PHOTO: FILE AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan registered their second consecutive draw at the Hockey World League (HWL), fighting back to hold England to a 2-2 draw yesterday in Johor, Malaysia.

Abdul Haseem Khan scored in the second-half as the Greenshirts claimed another point following a 4-4 draw against the hosts in their opening clash.

Both teams started off cautiously, failing to find a breakthrough in the first 10 minutes. However, Oliver Williars broke the deadlock, scoring from close range after defying goal-keeper Imran Shah.

But Pakistan bounced back soon with captain Mohammad Imran converting a penalty-corner, hitting it low with success.

England made repeated attempts after losing their lead and finally secured the goal when Adam Dixon struck on a penalty-corner minutes before the half-time. Pakistan missed several chances before the break with Mohammad Zubair coming close to scoring but was denied by George Pinner as England walked into the breather with a 2-1 lead.

Like their previous game, the Greenshirts displayed an improved show in the second half holding their counterparts in the backseat.

Their search for an equaliser ended when Haseem scored on another penalty-corner, 17 minutes before the final whistle. Pakistan continued their charge making several dangerous attacks but Pinner held his nerves well.

England also came close to scoring but Imran Butt, who replaced Shah for the second session, made a brilliant save from a flick of Ashley Jackson holding the score at 2-2.

‘Misses’ concern Pakistan coach

While Pakistan coach Hanif Khan was satisfied with the team’s overall show in both matches, he was concerned on number of missed opportunities.

“We are playing very good hockey,” Hanif told The Express Tribune from Johor after the match.

“The team has made comebacks and controlled the opponents while trailing the lead.

“All players have also improved their fitness that can be gauged by their performance in the second half. We are creating chances but the ratio of missing them is very high. We badly need to improve that for the upcoming matches as it can cost us dearly.”

Pakistan now play South Africa in their last Group B game tomorrow.

In other matches, Argentina thrashed Japan 7-1 while Germany pummelled Korea 5-0 in Group A contests.

The Express Tribune



Pakistan keep England at bay to record 2-2 draw


Imran Butt. -File photo by Sara Faruqi/Dawn.com

KARACHI: Pakistan made another comeback to hold England 2-2 in a fast-paced game in their second match of the World Hockey League on Sunday in Johor, Malaysia.

Pakistan, who were 2-1 down at half-time, had the upper hand in the second half but could only manage a draw.

Oliver Willars put England ahead in the 12th minute, scoring from a deflection off Pakistan's goalkeeper Imran Shah. However, just a few minutes later, Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran scored the equaliser through a penalty corner.

Adam Dixon put England in the lead again with a penalty corner and the Greenshirts went into the second half with the score line not in their favour, despite an attempt from Mohammad Zubair to equalise minutes before the break.

In the early minutes of the second half, Abdul Haseem Khan scored the equaliser through a penalty corner and Pakistan kept up their momentum, constantly threatening England.

Imran Butt replaced Shah eight minutes before full-time and the difference was obvious as he kept England at bay with some brilliant saves, particulary one in the dying minutes of the match against Ashley Jackson, to keep the score tied.

Pakistan's second half performance should have seen them score the winner but England goalkeeper George Pinner did well to deny the Greenshirts.

The result leaves Pakistan with two points in Group B in the eight-nation tournament, after recording a 4-4 draw against hosts Malaysia in the opener on Saturday.

Pakistan will now play South Africa on July 2.

The day's other matches saw Argentina beat Japan 7-1 and Germany ease past Korea 5-0.

Dawn



Pak-England match drawn in World Hockey League

JOHOR BAHRU Malaysia: The match between Pakistan and England ended in a draw after a tough competition in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Hockey League semi-finals played here on Sunday.

Both teams played aggressively in the first half. England’s Oliver Willer in 13th minute scored the first goal of the match which was leveled by Pakistan captain Mohammad Imran scoring from a penalty corner. Later Adam Dixon made a goal to put England again into lead in the final moments of the first half.

However Pakistan began the second half with more aggression which put England under pressure. Pakistan with successive counter attacks succeeded in getting a penalty corner which was converted into goal by Abdul Haseem Khan to level the score again.

Pakistan were still on second spot while England stand on third at the points table in pool B.

Pakistan will now face South Africa in their last group match on July 1.

The News International



Michael Nobbs: Part I: Nobbs completes two years in office, does it bring any change

K Arumugam


Michael Nobbs, technically the third foreign coach to train our national hockey team, completes his two years today.

He was selected to the post by a Hockey India Committee co-headed by Olympian Pargat Singh and HI Secretary Narinder Batra, whose recommendation was expectedly accepted by the Sports Authority of India, and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, who will foot the bill.

Michael Nobbs took charge of Indian team in the first week of July 2011.

He succeeded Harendra Singh, who coached Indian team for the Azlan Shah Cup that year and whose team lost to New Zealand 3-7 midway through pool and then to Korea in the last match, though early it could defeat both Malaysia and England.

Harendra that time was just 2 month old in his assignment, though he was in charge of the men’s team in 2009 leading upto Kuantan Asia Cup.

This quick fire two months spell that saw fall of Harendra is yet another proof how the coaching part of national team has been handled time and again.

Whoever led the national body -- Indian Hockey Federation, Hockey Ad hoc Committee of Indian Olympic Association, Hockey India, whatever -- hardly gave time for any coaches to settle down and do their service.

Coaches hardly survived for long. A year was considered lucky, more than that bonus. Nine coaches trained national teams in the last ten years and their names and the duration are depicted below:

Rajinder Singh 27 Months
Gerrard Rach 5 months
Rajinder Singh Junior 11 months
Vasudevan Baskaran 21 months
Joaquim Carvalho 13 months
Harendra Singh 5 months
Jose Brasa 18 months
Harendra Singh 2 months
Ajay Kumar Bansal 1 month
Michale Nobbs 24 months and continuing.

The above table clears shows two things: Firstly, last ten years saw ten coaches training Indian men’s team though a couple of them like AK Bansal were given just one tour.

Secondly, no fixed policy or target for coaches

Detailing of reasons of frequent change of coaches is waste of time, all dealt with adequately in the past. Suffice to say that the present incumbent Michael Nobbs is lucky to have two full years, and nobody still questions his continuance. He is under five-year contract.

In the last ten years, as the table above presents, only Rajinder Senior could complete two years.

Now the question is whether Nobbs, given under the tentative and unscientific methods and modes under which Indian hockey does exist, show any positive improvement the way Indian national team play, win, sustain; and are these point to a situation where we can able to establish, yes, we are moving in a direction faster or better than had the team been still in the hands of Indians.

This entails both statistical and subjective analysis, which we will be doing in the coming days.

Stick2Hockey.com



Kaushik to assist national team

Vijay Lokapally



M.K. Kaushik. File photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

The “bankruptcy” in the country’s hockey coaching wealth stood exposed with the proposed appointment of M.K. Kaushik to assist the national team till the Rio Olympics in 2016. Kaushik will join the team of chief coach Michael Nobbs and High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans.

Hockey India on Saturday narrowed down on Kaushik after discussing a few options. “We have proposed his name. It has to be approved by the Sports Authority of India. If SAI clears his name then Kaushik will be with the team till the next Olympics,” said HI Secretary General N.K. Batra.

It may be recalled Kaushik was the women’s hockey coach and was removed from his job following allegations of sexual harassment made by some members of the team. He was subsequently absolved of the charges following an enquiry by the Sports Ministry.

Expressing surprise at Kaushik’s appointment, a noted Olympian said, “I have mixed feelings. It is good to have an Indian coach but it may also be seen as a backward step. It means we don’t have a pool to pick the coach from. Some may call it bankruptcy but then we don’t have a system to groom coaches.”

According to HI, it was “best” to nominate Kaushik since he had retired from his job with the Haryana government. “He can now concentrate fully and that is what we want. Kaushik has the desired credentials to work with the team in these difficult times,” said Batra. Ironically, same set of HI officials were responsible for axing Kaushik three years ago.

HI sources conceded the pressure would be on Nobbs, who has performed below expectations as the chief coach of the team. “The team has failed repeatedly. The results are not coming. I think Kaushik’s appointment should be seen as a strong message to Nobbs,” asserted a former international.

Said an Olympian, “I am amazed at how poor the Indians are in passing, trapping, positioning and execution; these are basics. I would also like to know what role does the support staff play? Are they qualified? The players should have a say in this area.”

Kaushik’s presence in the team was likely to create confusion, insisted a former Olympian. “You have three minds working in three different directions. Nobbs and Oltmans have little in common and now Kaushik will add his brand of coaching. I hope it doesn’t leave the players confused. There is much to modern hockey and sadly we are lagging in most of the departments,” said the Olympian.

In the qualification race for the World Cup, India faces a tough task. “It is difficult but not impossible. I thought we had a good chance (at Rotterdam). The team has hard time ahead but India has the potential to make it,” observed former India captain Zafar Iqbal.

India ended up sixth in the eight-team FIH World League Round 3 at Rotterdam, winning against France, drawing against Ireland and New Zealand and losing to Australia, The Netherlands and Spain.

The team faces the arduous task of winning the Asia Cup to be held in Malaysia in August to be able to find a berth at the next World Cup. Zafar welcomed the appointment of Kaushik.

“It is the right move in the right direction. HI will also have to specify his role in the team. I expect him to do well if not wonders. But I know under the circumstances Kaushik will be very effective. Discipline is his strong point and communicates well. I am sure the players will be happy with Kaushik around,” said Zafar.

The Hindu

 



Hockey hamlet lives German dream

RAKHEE ROY TALUKDAR

Jaipur - You could call it a Chakh de moment of sorts for budding hockey pros in a dusty Rajasthan village. In place of reel coach Shah Rukh Khan, they have a former German league player, Andrea Thurmshirn, egging them on.

Dressed in bright orange jerseys and shorts, the children of Garh Himmat Singh village, about 200km from here, have been confident their bua sa — they call Andrea “aunt” — would get the astroturf she is shipping in from Germany past customs at Gujarat’s Mundra port.

Last Friday, she lived up to their faith. The astroturf finally rolled in trucks into Mandawar — it is a little over a kilometre from Garh Himmat Singh village — where it is scheduled to be laid in a school playground.

“Bua sa has changed our lives. She has shown us that hockey can open many doors,” said 13-year-old Brajesh.

Since July 2010, 38-year-old Andrea has been training the children, aged between eight and 16 years, on a sandy, stone-strewn ground in Garh Himmat Singh. The village is in Dausa district and has a population of 4,000.

Villagers say what started as afternoon recreation has grown into a passion for the children. When Andrea first came to Rajasthan as a tour operator in 2010, she was amazed to see that village kids did little more than take care of siblings. On later trips, she found the children eager to learn and bought them hockey sticks and started training them.

“These kids practise on a dusty ground in the village. But when they go out to play, they will have to perform on astroturf. So we decided to get one for them,” Andrea said.

“Thankfully, Bremer Hockey Club in Germany promised to give us their turf once their new one came in. And Gulf Agency Co. Qatar supported us with $3,000 for its transportation. It has been in use there for 12 years but we can use it for another 2-3 years.”

According to plan, 55 rolls of astroturf left Hamburg harbour on April 30 but got stuck in Mundra in mid-May. “Initially, customs officials were ready to clear it for free as it was for promoting sport. But the senior officer got transferred. The person who replaced him refused to release it without duty,’’ Andrea said.

Fortunately, a friend of hers pitched in with the Rs 65,000 required for clearance. But as soon as the astroturf reached Mandawar, a new problem cropped up.

Village cricket enthusiasts said the playground, where local boys played the game, could not be dedicated to hockey. An alternative ground for cricket had to be found first.

“The astroturf was to be laid on the grounds of the Government Girls school in Mandawar, where village boys play cricket. Since the school owns the land, we did not have to pay money. But now with villagers protesting, we have to think of other options.”

Since she started off in July 2010, Andrea has come a fair way. Soon after, she put together an under-14 boys team, followed by a girls team. Last August, 14 boys and seven girls went to Jaipur to play their first match against the U14 team of Delhi Public School. That team lost 6-0, but they won experience and exposure.

The boys also played in the K.D. Singh Babu U14 tournament in Lucknow and against the Haryana and Chhattisgarh state teams. The girls went to Jaipur, Delhi and Bhilwara and won some matches. That was before the astroturf problems started.

Andrea said she had come across a “strange aversion” to promote or fund sport, apart from cricket, in India. “Sports ministry officials told me they can only help players at the national level, not any local level,” she said.

“The national hockey team is not in the best of health. Here only cricket sells, so how can I expect help?”

Stuck for want of funds, Andrea thought up ways to generate money. “I started an NGO, Hockey Village India, where my friends and family pitch in. Then I participated in an auto-rickshaw rally (sponsored by German Adventure Company) from Jaipur to Chennai last year and from Jaipur to Goa this year to raise funds.”

The idea of training kids first struck Bavarian-born Andrea in 2010 when she came to Garh Himmat Singh as a tour operator. “In Germany, kids are overloaded with sports or music. But in Indian villages, children take care of their little siblings but they have nothing for themselves. So, I thought of getting some hockey sticks to see if they can have some fun in their lives. That is how it started. ”

A former German premier league hockey player, Andrea first found it very difficult to convince people to let their children take up hockey and participate in tournaments.

“Playing in the village was okay but taking them out, especially the girls, was a no-no. They started asking questions like why is this German lady here when she can have a good life in Germany. But as time passed and the kids started winning, the parents started believing in us.”

Asked why she had invested so much in the children of this village, she said: “I have been playing hockey since I was 7. As I was a league hockey player in Germany and I love the game immensely, I thought of giving something back to the game that has given me so much.

“Giving up my life in Germany was not easy but I thought I would give it up for something that would help someone. I felt the kids of this village needed me more than anyone else. So from October 2011, I have settled here permanently.”

A single woman, Andrea comes from a sports-loving family in Schwabach town in Bavaria. She is now onto her next project — an English-medium school, which is set to open doors from July 1 with support from a Hong Kong sports foundation. The school’s USP? Playing hockey will be mandatory.

The Telegraph, India