News for 07 July 2013

All the news for Sunday 7 July 2013


Germany battle past Korea

Olympic champions made to sweat in HWL Semis in Johor Bahru



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Germany – Korea 3-1 (1-0)

Germany have set up a meeting with Argentina in the tournament final of the World League round 3 event in Johor Bahru, Malaysia after overcoming a stern Semi Final challenge from Korea. Goals from Christopher Zeller, Linus Butt and Martin Zwicker gave the top ranked team a 3-1 victory in a match described by Germany coach Markus Weise as “super hard”. 

The opening ten minutes of the match were closely contested, but Germany soon began to stamp their authority on the game. The reigning Olympic champions fired a warning shot across Korea’s bows when Christopher Zeller sent a penalty corner wide of the target in the 11th minute, but the legendary striker soon found his eye for goal. Germany’s second penalty corner of the game came in the 14th minute and this time Zeller made no mistake, flicking an unstoppable effort into the roof of Lee Myung Ho’s net. However, it would prove to be Germany’s only goal of the half, with the Koreans defending well whilst also looking extremely dangerous on the counter attack.

The second half was absolutely pulsating, with the game flowing from one end to the other at staggering speeds. The Korean team had raised their game considerably from earlier in the tournament, and showed on various occasions that they were capable of matching the world number 1 ranked team.

Korea dragged themselves level in the 60th minute thanks to moment of individual brilliance from Lee Nam Yong, who received a long pass in the circle and produced a wonderful spin to drag the ball around the keeper and into the goal. It was a goal that was well deserved, but that did not stop Germany from hitting back with a penalty corner from Linus Butt. Christopher Zeller’s initial flick at goal was blocked well by Lee Myung Ho, but the Germany star was on hand to snaffle up the chance from close range.

Germany scored a third in the final seconds of the match when Florian Fuchs set up Martin Zwicker for a tap-in, sealing Germany’s place in Sunday’s competition final.  Korea will face England in the third place play-off, with a win guaranteeing them a place at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague.

“It was a super hard game”, said Germany coach Markus Weise after the match. “We didn’t play our best and were suffering from some mental fatigue, but Korea really improved their form and it was tough.”

FIH site



Argentina qualify for 2014 Hockey World Cup

England defeated as Retegui's charges reach Final in Johor Bahru



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Argentina – England 3-1 (3-0)

World number ten Argentina continued their glorious run in the Hockey World League Semi Final competition in Johor, Malaysia with a brilliant 3-1 win over fourth ranked England. The victory puts them into Sunday’s tournament final where they will face either Germany or Korea, who play each other in today’s final match. By sealing a top three finish at this event, Argentina’s participation in the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup is confirmed. 

The South Americans produced a stunning first half performance, dominating their higher ranked opponents for much of the period. It took them less than three minutes to register the first goal, with Facundo Callioni diverting a ferocious cross from Juan Martin Lopez into George Pinner’s goal from close range. The lead was doubled four minutes later through Juan Garreta, who took advantage of England’s failure to effectively clear their lines before Gonzalo Peillat slammed home a trade-mark penalty corner drag-flick to give Argentina a 3-0 lead inside 11 minutes.

England certainly improved as the half progressed, but failed to seriously test Argentina shot-stopper Juan Vivaldi. That all changed 14 minutes into the second half when Vivaldi made two brilliant blocks from a penalty corner before Nick Catlin volleyed the ball into the top corner to give England a life-line, but it proved to be the only goal that they would score in the game.

“It was a great match, and qualify for the World Cup is a dream”, said a thrilled Argentina coach Carlos Retegui shortly after the match. “It was a great performance against a top level team. We are really happy as we are building a new group with youth and experience.”

England coach Bobby Crutchley felt that his team were too slow out of the blocks in the contest. “If you drop your standards a little bit you’ll get punished by a good team like Argentina. As a group we have to learn from this.”  

FIH site



Malaysia & Japan to play for 5th

World Cup qualification remains possible for Asian rivals



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Malaysia have kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup by defeating Pakistan 3-1 in their 5-8 placement meeting here in Johor Bahru. The win sets up a 5-6 placement match against Japan, shoot-out winners over South Africa earlier in the day. Pakistan and South Africa will compete in the 7-8 play-off game. 

5-8 Placement Matches

Malaysia – Pakistan 3-1 (2-1)


Malaysia have kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup by defeating Pakistan 3-1 in their 5-8 placement meeting here in Johor Bahru. The win sets up a 5-6 placement match against Japan, victors over South Africa earlier in the day.

As there is a very real possibility that a fifth place finish here in Johor could result in a berth at the World Cup, today’s result ensures that the meeting between the hosts and Japan will have an enormous amount of meaning for everyone involved.

Paul Revington’s men were in terrific form in the contest against the world number 5 ranked team, and drew first blood in the 14th minute when Muhammad Razie Adbul Rahim arrowed a penalty corner drag-flick into the bottom left corner.

However, Pakistan were level just two minutes later when Shafqat Rasool clipped in after a stunning passing move, but a mistake from goalkeeper Imran Butt resulted in an Own Goal in the 19th minute to re-establish the Malaysian advantage. 

Malaysia extended their lead three minutes into the second half when Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil slapped the ball into an open goal after an impressive move down the right, leaving Pakistan with a mountain to climb.

Pakistan came agonisingly close to reducing the deficit in the 54th minute when Muhammad Imran rattled the post with a brilliant penalty corner effort, before Abdul Haseem Khan fired wide with a diving shot two minutes later. 

The Greenshirts battled hard throughout, but Malaysia were simply the better team on the day and will be greatly looking forward to their meeting with Japan on Sunday. Pakistan will play South Africa in the 7-8 placement game.

South Africa – Japan 2-2 (0-1) (Shoot-out: 0-1)

Japan have booked their place in the 5-6 place play-off match thanks to a penalty shoot-out victory over South Africa at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Full time finished with the scores locked at 2-2, with Japan winning a bizarre shoot-out which saw nine out of the ten attempts fail. Kei Kawakami scored with the very final attempt, giving Japan a shot at a fifth place finish.  

The result means that the team from Asia have kept alive their chances of achieving a top five finish at this tournament, something which may well be enough to land a place at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup.  Japan will now play the winner of the Malaysia – Pakistan game, which is the second match of the day here in Johor.

There were very few clear-cut opportunities to speak of in the first half, with both Japan and South Africa – who were missing captain Austin Smith and Jonathan Robinson through sickness – failing to seriously test their opposing goalkeepers. Nicholas Gonsalves came close to opening the scoring midway through the first period, attempting but failing to get a touch on a searching pass across the face of goal from Julian Hykes.

Japan won a trio of penalty corners at the end of the first half, giving them the perfect chance to take an advantage into the break. The South African defence made outstanding blocks to clear the first two efforts, but it was third time lucky for Japan as Manabu Hatakeyama sent a low drag-flick into the middle of the goal to give his team the lead.

The Asian team came out strongest in the early stages of the second half but failed to capitalise on some good scoring chances before South Africa began to assert some authority on the game and eventually pulled themselves level. Craig Haley was the scorer, cracking home a penalty corner rebound in the 56th minute.

With eight minutes of the match remaining, South Africa moved into the lead with another penalty corner, with Wade Paton finding the bottom right corner of the goal with a fine drag flick from the left of the circle.

With time rapidly running out, Japan rolled the dice and decided to replace goalkeeper Katsuya Takese with an outfield player. It was a tactic that worked beautifully, allowing them to press their opponents deep and eventually force an own goal to tie the scores in the 69th minute.

Takese returned to the field in the final minute, ensuring that he would be involved in one of the most bizarre shoot-outs imaginable. The first nine efforts were missed, with South Africa failing to score all five of their chances before Kei Kawakami managed to break the deadlock and seal Japan’s place in the 5-6 play-off.

FIH site



Germans made to work hard



Germany needed to use every trick in the book to confirm their spot at the World League final tomorrow against Argentina, as South Korea proved to be no push overs in their semi-final encounter.

The Germans may have walked away as 3-1 winners; they were pushed all the way for the victory by Koreans.

In a closely contested affair, it was the Koreans who had the better of the Germans in the opening 10 minutes.

Hyun Hye Sung could have given the South Korean’s a dream start when he brilliantly worked his way into the German circle from the left flank beating three defenders before releasing a reverse stick effort which unfortunately sailed wide.

The Olympic champions then earned their first penalty corner of the match in the 11th minute, but the reliable Christopher Zeller sent his drag flick just wide of the mark

The South Korean played their cards right and were causing the Germans a whole lot of trouble with their quick counter attacks, Kang Moon Kweon came within inches of putting his name on the score sheet but his shot from an acquit angle was well dealt with by Nicholas Jacobi.

The world No 1 however found the break they needed in the 14th minute, at the second time of asking Zeller sent an unstoppable flick into the roof of the net. The goal is his sixth of the tournament and he is currently tied at the top of the goal scorer’s chart with Argentina’s Gonzalo Peillat.

South Korea did not backed down after conceding the goal and went on to trouble the German defence, something which most of the other teams found hard to do.

You Hyo Sik then produced a moment of brilliance by jinking his way past four German defenders down the right baseline, but his square back was unattended and the Germans were happy to clear the danger.

Both side matched each other in every department and the excitement continued in the second half.

2012 world player of the year Moritz Furste sent Germany’s third penalty corner of the match wide, before Zeller’s was blocked by the South Korean runner from their fourth penalty corner.

The South Koreans hard work eventually paid off in the 60th minute when a defence splitting pass from midfield found veteran Lee Nam Young unmarked on top of the circle, the 29 year-old rounded the keeper with an excellent skill before slotting home into an empty net.

However, Germany’s Linus Butt broke Korean hearts with five minutes left on the clock, tucking a way a rebound of a Zeller penalty corner.

The Germans sealed their victory right on the buzzer, taking advantage of the open space as the South Koreans raced forward in search for a goal. Martin Zwicker tucked away after Florian Fuchs set him up unselfishly.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Argentina cruise into final



Argentina are the first team to book their spot in the final of the World League in Johor Baru as the South American side comfortably brushed aside England 3-1 in their semi-final encounter today.

The world No 10 side now awaits the winner of the Match between Germany and South Korea.

The South Americans continued their splendid form and stunned world No 4 England with three well taken goals in the opening 11 minutes.

Facundo Callioni deflected home a cross from Juan Martin Lopez in the third minute, before Juan Eduardo Garreta doubled their lead in the seventh minute.

Four minutes later Argentina’s top goal scorer Gonzalo Peillat put his name on the score sheet as he sent a rocket drag flick past England custodian George Pinner. The goal restored Peillat lead at the top of the goal scoring chart with six goals to his name ahead of Malaysia’s Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim, Pakistan’s Abdul Hassem Khan and Germany’s Christopher Zeller who are all on five goals.

England slowly found their way into the match but the Argentinians who have one of the best defensive records in the tournament with only two goals against them thus far denied the world No 4 side on numerous occasions.

England carried on their momentum into the second half and went in search for the break through.

Skipper Barry Middleton came close to reducing the deficit in the 43rd minute, the striker out ran three Argentinian defenders before unleashing a powerful shot which unfortunately struck the post and went wide.

Their hard running and pressure on the Argentinian players finally paid off in the 49th minute when the found the breakthrough courtesy of Nick Catlin.

Ashely Jackson’s penalty corner effort was palmed away by Argentina’s custodian Juan Vivaldi, but the loose ball was called by Middleton on the right flank and the skipper put in a cross which found Catlin at the far post and the Englishman made no mistake with his finish.

England pushed on in search for goals but the Argentinians took control of the game towards the closing stages and sealed off a comfortable win.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Malaysia stay on track




Malaysia kept the fire burning for a fifth place finish in the World League Semi-finals when they beat world No 5 Pakistan 3-1 at the Taman Daya Stadium.

Now, they will meet Japan in the Fifth-Sixth playoff today, and a win might just see them play in the World Cup after the Continental championships are over.

Malaysia were not dangerous, but calculative in their first half approach, as they calmly build their game from behind.

There was no hurry for goals, but they came anyway off the first penalty corner, and then luck sided them with an own goal gift.

Razie Rahim scored his fifth goal of the tournament with a low penalty corner flick in the 14th minute but even before the cheers could die down, Pakistan hit back with the equaliser.

Shafqat Rasool nailed the equaliser with a soft touch in the 16th minute and the game opened up a little.

However, luck rode on Malaysia's back as a 19th minute hit into the semi-circle by Faizal Saari was deflected into goal by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt and Malaysia took the lead into the breather.

Immediately after resumption, Malaysia took the match to the Pakistan half, and another brilliant cross from Faizal in the 38th minute which was tucked in for 3-1 by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

But after taking a two goal lead, Malaysia started to live dangerously again as they allowed Pakistan too much space and the ball hit the post, as well as whizzed out inches wide to the amazement of the Pakistan strikers.

With five minutes left to victory, skipper Shahrun Nabil took a nasty hit to the head and went tumbling down. But he woke up and continued to help Malaysia at the back-line.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite

 



Japan sneak past South Africa



Japan qualified for the fifth placing play off when they defeated South Africa 1-0 after a penalty shootout. The match ended 2-2 at regulation time in the World Hockey league classification match at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

They will play the winner of the Malaysia-Pakistan match on Sunday.

Japan had the better of the exchanges in the first half but their finishing was woefully off target.

They dominated play and had two penalty corners in the first half while the South African failed to gain any.

It was the second corner in the 33rd minute that broke the stalemate.

Manabu Hatakeyama’s drag flick had enough power and direction to beat goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse easily.

In the second half it was the South African who were the dominant team and they almost camped themselves in the Japan half.

The Africans started gaining penalty corners but each time Katsuya Takase was in good form to deny them any direct attempts.

But the sixth attempt in the 56th minute proved fruitful when Craig Haley deflected in a rebound from close range to level the score.

The South Africans continued to push hard and gained another two more penalty corners.

In the b62 minute they managed to take the lead when Rhett Halkett scored after a penalty corner variation.

Japan fought back in the 65th minute had the ball into the net through Manabu Yamashita but a referral by the South Africans saw the decision being reversed by the umpire Adam Kearns from Australia.

In the last three minutes of the match Japan decided to take out their goalkeeper to have 11 field players on the pitch.

And one minute from time Japan scored the equaliser via an own goal and the match went into a penalty shootout.

Japan prevailed in the shootout to win by a goal. Their last taker Kei Kawakami managed to scored within the allotted time frame. Before that Toshiro Tchibana, Tomonori Ono, Koshi Yamabe and Ippei Fujimoto missed their attempts.

For South Africa all their five players failed in their attempts. They were Nicholas Gonsalves, Lloyd Norris-Jones, Haley, Clinton panther and Halkett. 

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



South Africa in extraordinary shootout against Japan sets up clash with Pakistan

JONATHAN COOK



South Africa’s Nick Gonsalves is stopped by Japan keeper Katsuya Takese in the Plate semi-final of the World League in Johor, Malaysia Saturday. Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek (FIH).

In a cruel twist of fate the South Africa men’s hockey team were beaten 3-2 overall by Japan in a nerve-wracking Plate semi-final at the World League in Johor, Malaysia Saturday.

SA had fought back from a first half that was dominated by Japan, who led 1-0, to mount a stirring fightback after the changeover to take a 2-1 lead which held until 90 seconds from the end of regulation time when a fortuitous own goal drew Japan level.

And then in an excruciating penalty shootout, brilliant goalkeeping prevented any success until the last shootout shuttle when Kei Kawakami beat outstanding SA goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse with a clever dummy to net the match-winner.

World number 12 SA will now play in the seventh/eighth place playoff match against world number five Pakistan at 8.45 am (SA time) Sunday in a match to be televised live on SuperSport 7 and HD4.

An out-of sorts Pakistan were beaten 3-1 by world number 18 Malaysia in the second placement match in the fifth-to-eighth section Saturday.

Pakistan, considered by some as the favourites for the title going into their quarter-final against South Korea on Thursday, were 3-2 up against South Korea before losing 4-3, a result that shattered one of the most respected countries in world hockey.

Whether they will be able to get up and beat SA Sunday is a moot point. SA, however, will still be without captain Austin Smith and Jonty Robinson, and the Africans’ performance will also depend on how quickly they will be able to overcome the disappointment of Saturday’s loss to the world’s 18th-ranked nation.

Double Olympian Smith in particular and London 2012 Olympian Robinson drive the engine of the South African team and their contracting Dengue Fever in the past week – an affliction caused by mosquito bites – has been a decisive blow to the lads in green and gold’s aspirations of a top four finish, a position that would almost certainly have placed them in the Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands next June, and certainly in the World League Finals in New Delhi, India in January next year.

Playing for a berth in the match for fifth place Sunday was still a vital goal for SA as that result in their favour could also clinch a wild card World Cup entry.

Smith and Robinson are both in hospital and information suggest s that they will be unable to leave Malaysia until the fever is considered to have abated.

The SA skipper, an attacker and defender who was named in the World All Stars team during his career, missed the quarter-final and wasn’t up to speed in the 6-2 defeat by Pakistan in the Pool B match. He took no part in the 2-0 quarter-final defeat by Pool A winners and serious title contenders Argentina while Robinson could barely manage a half of the match.

The real story of this match was how the South Africans managed to somehow dredge some spirit and energy out of the ether when they looked dead and buried going into half-time trailing 1-0.

Struggling to establish a structure without vital cogs in Smith and Robinson, which forced team-mates to play out of head coach Charlie Pereira’s first-choice positions, SA were barely able to contain Japan who were able to string more passes together in the first half and ruthlessly exploited the left wing and baseline but wasted their advantage by crossing the ball carelessly.

With two extra players on the bench in the absence of Smith and Robinson, Japan had good reason to believe their 1-0 half-time lead would be increased further after the re-start but SA mounted an extraordinary counter-thrust to earn a remarkable 10 penalty corners in the second half.

Striker Craig Haley equalised  in the 56th minute from a penalty corner rebound, SA’s eighth penalty corner. Six minutes later, from their ninth penalty corner, Wade Paton made it 2-1 to SA after finishing off a neat pass left from penalty corner trapper and captain for the day Rhett Halkett.

Both sides had shown huge commitment during the game but at this point it appeared as if Japan had blown their chance of reaching the Plate final.

There had been a goal shot correctly disallowed by the video umpire after Halkett’s request for a referral had proven that keeper Pieterse was obstructed, but SA had many fruitless penalty corners to consider, one a golden opportunity to Jethro Eustice from a top-class zigzag variation but the excellent centre back was unable to get enough purchase on the ball at point-blank range.

There was also a great pass from Julian Hykes to Lloyd Norris-Jones, who got in a shot, the ball falling to Tim Drummond who fed the industrious Nick Gonsalves but his diving slap shot somehow shaved the wrong side of the near post.

And with 90 seconds left a cruel own goal off keeper Pieterse drew Japan level 2-2 and forced the encounter into that nail-biting, fateful penalty shootout.

SCORERS

Japan 3 (Manabu Hatakeyama penalty corner, own goal, Kei Kawakami penalty shootout) South Africa 2 (Craig Haley, Wade Paton)

MANY THANKS TO FIH MEDIA FOR GIVING SPECIAL PERMISSION TO USE THIS IMAGE (FIH media recognised what an extraordinary match it was).

SA Hockey Association media release



Halkett hails SA men’s hockey players and promises fight against Pakistan

JONATHAN COOK


South Africa men’s hockey team captain in the Plate semi-final of the World League event in Johor, Malaysia Saturday, Rhett Halkett, said Saturday night that the team’s 3-2 overall defeat by Japan was a bitter pill to swallow.

"Heart breaking is a bit of an understatement, The Lads are truly gutted about the result,” the defender said of a thrilling match where Japan equalised for the 2-2 score at regulation time with just 90 seconds left on the clock.

To compound matters SA lost the penalty shootout 1-0 with the last effort of the regulation five shootout shuttles going Japan’s way. It was a remarkably brave performance by the lads in green and gold, who went into the key match without two lynchpins, regular captain and playmaker Austin Smith and midfielder Jonty Robinson, who are both in hospital with Dengue Fever, a mosquito-borne illness.

World number 12 SA now play in the seventh/eighth place playoff against world number five Pakistan at 8.45 am (SA time) Sunday in a match to be televised live on SuperSport 7 and HD4.

“It is never pleasant to lose a game in the lottery of a shootout but unfortunately that is the reality of elite international sport,” said Halkett. “I feel we were a bit unfortunate not to win the game in regulation time due to the numerous chances we created but in saying that we also allowed them to sneak in the back door after defending really well for good periods of the game.”

Halkett cannot praise enough the “truly magical” support the team has received from the South African public. “We cannot express our gratitude enough for the constant messages and unwavering support through this tournament.”

Halkett also pointed out a vital ingredient missing from the SA team as opposed to the world’s top 20 countries – the inadequate length of time spent together in training camps and in playing matches as a squad.

“It is a huge pity that this group of players are not exposed to more international hockey throughout the year,” said Halkett. “It is difficult to bleed young players into the international arena when we are attending qualification tournaments. However, I am extremely proud of this group of players as this tour has been a challenge on many levels, yet we keep growing stronger with every day and every game.

“We missed Austin and Jonty today; together they represent over 150 international caps and experience, which is crucial in these tight games. The young guys were sharp during the tight phases and unfortunately in international hockey, mistakes are going to happen. We learn valuable lessons from these games, some hockey-specific and some about ourselves as individuals. These lessons will only make us stronger and come out as a better team.”

Halkett had much sympathy for his team-mates. “My heart bleeds for the guys who took the shootouts, it is never a pleasant way to lose the game, and full credit must go to the Japanese keeper, whose individual heroics won them the game. [SA keeper] Rassie [Pieterse] did his very best and kept us in it up until the end, where he lost his footing slightly.

“It certainly sucks to be on the losing side of the fence in a game where you have worked extremely hard for victory, with two players short, in the screaming heat. I am still proud to be a small part of this team and we will continue to charge as hard as our bodies will allow us in tomorrow's final game versus Pakistan.”

SCORERS

Japan 3 (ManabaHatakeyama penalty corner, own goal, Kei Kawakami penalty shootout) South Africa 2 (Craig Haley penalty corner rebound, Wade Paton penalty corner variation)

SA Hockey Association media release



England beaten by a clinical Argentina


Ashley Jackson in action for England against Argentina at the World League

After a fantastic 5-0 victory against Japan on Thursday England struggled to find the same form today as they were beaten 3-1 by a clinical Argentina side in their semi final in Malaysia. The South American side came out firing and caught England on the back foot, scoring three goals inside 11 minutes. England did pull a goal back in the second half through Nick Catlin, but the damage had already been done.

England will now face Korea in the third place play-off tomorrow at 12:15 (UK time) after Germany beat them 3-1 in the other semi final.

Speaking after the game England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, “This was a lesson learnt today for us. If you drop your intensity and standard at this level you will get severely punished and that’s exactly what happened today against a strong Argentina side. I thought after the goals had gone in that we actually played well, but we needed to start better. Ashley Jackson is flying home for an operation on his ankle and Mark Gleghorne will not play tomorrow following his foot injury today, so it will be tough with just 16 players in this climate, but we’ll regroup tonight and hope to learn lessons from today’s game.”

England found themselves 3-0 down inside 15 minutes of the first half. Although England seemed to lack some of the flare they had played with all week, Argentina were in fantastic form. Two goals from open play by Callioni and Garreta in the third and seventh minute certainly gave England an uphill battle which would be hard to come back from. However, another goal just four minutes later, from penalty corner expert Gonzalo Peillat made the task even greater.

As well as the three goal deficit England also lost one of their key forward players, Mark Gelghorne, with what appeared to be a foot injury after 20 minutes.

England were struggling with the ball in defence, Argentina pressing very high throughout the first 35 minutes giving England no time at all to set up their play like they had been doing all week. When England did settle they managed to keep possession and push forward but Juan Vivaldi was excellent in Argentina’s goal and ensured that his side went in at half time with a clean sheet.

In the second half England seemed to find some of their earlier tournament form and were unlucky not to score in the opening period. Holcombe’s Barry Middleton took the ball from Ashley Jackson at the top of the circle across goal and somehow managed to get a shot away which flew towards the far left post, but crashed back off the upright. The loose ball found its way onto a defenders foot giving England a penalty corner, but unfortunately they couldn’t convert.

Minutes later Beeston’s Harry Martin won another penalty corner for his side. The initial strike was saved by the post man and the ball came back to Martin, whose shot was smothered by Vivaldi, but the rebound fell to Reading’s Nick Catlin who made no mistake knocking the ball home to make it 3-1.

Despite the goal and England’s best efforts Argentina continued to look the stronger side, creating several chances on goal in the closing stages. Beeston’s George Pinner has been in strong form all tournament, and again he saved well from both penalty corners and open play to keep his side within two goals of their opponents.

With four minutes to go England brought on a kicking back, but it proved to be fruitless and the score finished 3-1 to Argentina who go on to contest the final tomorrow.

The result means that England will now play Korea in the third place play-off tomorrow at 12:15 (UK time). Watch it live on the FIH You Tube channel.

ARGENTINA 3 (3)
Facundo Callioni 3 (FG)
Juan Eduardo Garreta 7 (FG)
Gonzalo Peillat 11 (PC)

ENGLAND 1 (0)
Nick Catlin 49 (PC)

England Hockey Board Media release



Malaysia keep hopes alive

Revington's men stun Pakistan in classification match

By Jugjet Singh



Malaysia’s Faiz Helmi (left) goes past Pakistan’s Muhammad Irfan at Taman Daya Stadium yesterday. Malaysia won 3-1. Pic by Hairul Anuar Abd Rahim

MALAYSIA kept the fire burning for a fifth place finish in the World League by beating World No 5 Pakistan 3-1 at Taman Daya Stadium yesterday.

The national team will meet Japan in the fifth-sixth placing playoff today, and a win might just see them play in the World Cup after the various continental championships are over.

Asked what was the difference between yesterday's victory and the 4-4 draw against Pakistan in a group match, skipper Shahrun Nabil said: "In the group match, we played well in the first half but lost concentration in the second. Today, we played good hockey for at least 60 minutes."

Malaysia coach Paul Revington said playing Japan will not be easy.

"Obviously we will play for fifth, and I have a plan towards that. The players are in a very happy mood now, but I will have to bring them down a little so that they do not become overconfident in the last crucial match of the tournament," said Revington.

Yesterday, Malaysia did not look dangerous but played a well calculated game as they steadily built their moves from behind.

Razie Rahim scored his fifth goal of the tournament with a low penalty corner flick in the 14th minute.

But even before the cheers could die down, Pakistan hit back with the equaliser through Shafqat Rasool with a soft touch in the 16th minute, and the game opened up a little.

However, luck rode on Malaysia' back as a 19th minute hit into the semi-circle by Faizal Saari was deflected into goal by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Butt. Malaysia took the lead into the breather.

Immediately after resumption, Malaysia took the match to the Pakistan half, and another brilliant cross from Faizal in the 38th minute was tucked in for 3-1 by Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

But after taking a two-goal lead, Malaysia started to live dangerously again as they allowed Pakistan too much space and the ball hit the post, as well as whizzed past centimetres wide to the amazement of the Pakistan strikers.

With five minutes left, skipper Shahrun Nabil took a nasty hit to the head and went tumbling down. But he woke up and continued to help Malaysia at the back-line.

In the other fifth-eight classification match, Japan and South Africa drew 2-2 and went into a shootout. And it produced only one goal, through Kei Kawakami.

In regulation time, Japan's goals were scored through Manabu Hatakeyama (33rd) and in the 70th minute (own goal) while South Africa's goals were scored by Craig Haley (56th) and Wade Paton (62nd).

RESULTS -- Fifth-Eighth: South Africa 2 Japan 2 (Japan win shoot-out 1-0); Malaysia 3 Pakistan 1; Semi-finals: Argentina 3 England 1; Germany 1 South Korea 1 (Germany won 3-1 in extra time).

TODAY -- Seventh-Eighth: South Africa v Pakistan (2.45pm); Fifth-Sixth: Malaysia v Japan (5pm); Third-Fourth: England v South Korea (7.15pm); Final: Argentina v Germany (9.30pm). All matches at Taman Daya Stadium.

New Straits Times



Malaysia rise from the ashes

By S. RAMAGURU



Race is on: Malaysia’s Chua Boon Huat vying with Pakistan’s Aamir Shahzad during their World Hockey League match at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru on Saturday. – ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The Star

JOHOR BARU: Malaysia defied the odds to beat world No. 5 Pakistan 3-1 in the classification playoffs of the World Hockey League at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium.

Yesterday’s win sees world No. 13 Malaysia setting up a fifth placing playoff against Japan today.

And Paul Revington described his first win over Pakistan as the coach of Malaysia as “very important”.

“Yes, the win is significant as it keeps us in the running for fifth placing. Beating Pakistan is also crucial, especially after the loss to Germany in the quarter-finals,” said Revington.

“We were slow off the blocks but still better than when we played against the Germans.

“Matches against Pakistan are always tight as they tend to be cautious at the back.

“But today the players took their chances well and kept a tight leash on their forwardline.”

Malaysia, who began with Roslan Jamaluddin taking over from S. Kumar in goal, took the lead in the 14th minute off their first penalty corner as Mohd Razie Rahim took his tally to five in the tournament.

But a defensive lapse two minutes later saw Shafqat Rassol equalise for Pakistan from close range.

Malaysia continuous onslaught paid off in the 19th minute when Faizal Saari’s free hit from outside the D was deflected into goal by goalkeeper Imran Butt.

Malaysia stretched their lead in the 39th minute when Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin capitalised on a loose ball in the D to slam past Imran.

Pakistan tried hard to reduce the deficit but just could not find a way past goalkeeper Kumar, who came on in the second half.

Malaysia will now have to switch their focus to Japan, who beat South Africa 1-0 in a penalty shootout after both teams were tied 2-2 in regulation time.

The Star of Malaysia



Pakistan fail in bid to secure fifth spot

By Our Correspondent



Pakistan have narrowed down their chance of qualifying for the World Cup after failing to impress at the Hockey World League — they will now fight for the seventh place. PHOTO: HWL

KARACHI: After a stunning loss to South Korea that ended their race for the title, Pakistan failed in their bid to even secure fifth spot at the Hockey World League (HWL) in Johor Bahru, after going down to Malaysia 3-1 in their playoff yesterday.

Despite finishing on top position in Group B, Pakistan slipped down and will now contest the seventh-eighth position playoff against South Africa today.

The defeats mean Pakistan will now have to win the Asia Cup, due to take place in September, to confirm their place at next year’s Hockey World Cup in the Netherlands.

In yesterday’s match, Pakistan conceded their first goal in the 14th minute as Malaysia’s Muhammad Razie Adbul Rahim converted a penalty-corner.

Shafqat Rasool equalised two minutes later, bringing Pakistan back into the game, only to be disappointed in the 19th minute, when goal-keeper Imran hit an own goal.

Malaysia continued to dominate the match, as they extended their lead 3-1 through Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil just three minutes into the second-half.

However, Pakistan failed to equalise, a disappointing result after they started off the campaign in a much better fashion.

In another playoff, Japan beat South Africa on penalty shootout and will now play Malaysia for fifth place.

Both teams ended the second-half with a 2-2 draw, with Japan winning a bizarre shootout which saw nine out of the ten attempts fail.

Meanwhile, Argentina defeated England 3-1 to book their place in the final.

Poor show criticised

Pakistan’s performance drew criticism from former Olympian Shahnaz Shaikh who believed the players’ attitude and lack of professionalism in the field resulted in the dismal campaign.

He also stated that the inconsistency of forwards and a poor defence were additional reasons for the back-to-back defeats.

“I think the players were not concentrating; the forwards failed to convert the penalty corners and the goal-keeper needed to be changed for the last two matches,” Shaikh told The Express Tribune. “I’m disappointed because they lost the quarter-final against South Korea committing the same mistakes. Koreans didn’t play well; it was Pakistan that lacked the fire to fight back.”

He further emphasised that seniors like Shakeel Abbasi and Muhammad Waseem are now past their prime and it was time to lay-off the older players in order to prepare a team for the Asia Cup in September.

“So far, all the senior players have disappointed us in the tournament. They seem out of their depth.”

The Express Tribune



Hockey defeat

Editorial



A file photo shows Malaysia's goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam (R) diving to avert a goal effort by Pakistan's Muhammad Rizwan during a match from the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men's field hockey tournament. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pakistan crashed out of the title race at the Hockey World League in Malaysia, after a 4-3 loss against South Korea sealed their fate on July 4. Pakistan had progressed to the quarter-final after remaining unbeaten in three matches and had topped their group, results that meant the team was in good form and firing on all cylinders. A lower-ranked South Korea side was seen as an opponent that the Greenshirts should have dispatched with relative ease and a place in the last-four would have been sealed. But as lady luck would have it, Pakistan failed to confirm a top-three finish at the event, which would have seen them book a place for next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands. Now, the hockey team is fighting among the bottom-half places in the eight-nation event, meaning a golden opportunity to confirm a place at the World Cup has gone begging. The team, former powerhouse in the hockey world, now needs to win the Asia Cup to qualify for the World Cup.

The development, as sad as it is, reflects the inconsistency and mercurial nature of our sports sides. A touch of brilliance with which they excel on the field one day, before being reduced to a bunch of unskilful players the next. Motivation or complacency issues aside, they seem to have failed in rectifying their mistakes despite identifying and pinpointing their weaknesses. Second-half blunders is what the team management stated they were working on and it was the second-half where the team surrendered. Shakeel Abbasi missed a penalty stroke and the result was sealed.

The idea behind so many training camps and an army of coaches is to ensure that such blunders do not occur. There is no guarantee of a better performance at the Asia Cup and thus, a place among the World Cup participants is doubtful as well. Suffice it to say that the hockey team has upheld the country’s sports team’s tradition of being unpredictable and mercurial. It is indeed unfortunate to see a side that was once a giant on the hockey field, fall so tamely by the wayside.

The Express Tribune



Pakistan slump to another WHL defeat

After losing their quarterfinal match against Korea, Pakistan slumped to another defeat, this time at the hands of hosts Malaysia and in the process were also ousted from the race for a fifth place finish in the World Hockey League (WHL) in Johor Bahru.

The 3-1 loss meant that Pakistan would now take on South Africa for the 7-8 playoff game while hosts Malaysia will battle Japan in the 5-6 placement match.

Pakistan, who have always been guilty of being inconsistent, had been surprisingly solid in the WHL but the quarterfinal loss to Korea seemed to have taken the wind out of their sails and it was quite evident against Malaysia today.

They never looked in control of the match and conceded a goal in the 14th minute off a Muhammad Razie Adbul Rahim drag-flick. Even though the Greenshirts hit back just two minutes later through a stunning buildup and finish by Shafqat Rasool, they were chasing the game once again after an own-goal from goalkeeper Imran Butt in the 19th minute.

Tengku Ahmad Tajudin extended the lead for Malaysia just three minutes into the second half and effectively shut the door for Pakistan.

It was once again a case of lackadaisical defending and poor finishing for Muhammad Imran’s men who now face the daunting task of winning the upcoming Asia Cup to qualify for the World Cup.

Dawn



Umpire can, so can camera

Errol D'Cruz


Panaji: Call it an eye for an eye. Except that there's no notion of revenge here.

In a bold technological move, the 'ump cam' came into being in the hockey world in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, scene of the World League semifinal round.

Umpire Hamish Jamson of England wore the lens on the side of his head that gave viewers a new insight into happenings on the pitch and a possible option for the third umpire doing the crucial TV referrals.

Jamson trialled the featherweight camera in the Pakistan vs South Korea quarterfinal on Thursday. South Korea won a thriller 4-3.

The images provided a new dimension to TV coverage. Not just the technicality involved in close-up action from virtually the umpire's point of view but also the emotions of the players and officials — be it pre-match pleasantries and formalities following national anthems or the emotional face-offs amid crucial and debated decisions during play.

One could discern Pakistan icon Shakeel Abbasi fine technique while converting a penalty stroke to put his team 3-2 ahead. A little later, though, it was South Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho's turn to parade his skills while thwarting Abbasi from another penalty stroke — all from the umpire's 'point of view'.

The Times of India



Buenos Aires to host 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Argentinean city wins bid ahead of Glasgow and Medellín


The 3rd Summer Youth Olympic Games will be hosted by the city of Buenos Aires in 2018, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge announced today following a vote by the IOC members at an Extraordinary IOC Session in Lausanne.

Buenos Aires (Argentina) was elected ahead of Glasgow (Great Britain) and Medellín (Colombia). For full results of the vote, please see below.

Prior to the vote, the Candidate Cities each had 15 minutes to give a presentation to the Session, followed by questions. Evaluation Commission Chair Claudia Bokel addressed the Session on behalf of the Commission.

“We had three excellent candidates from which to choose a host city today, each with the capability of staging memorable Youth Olympic Games in 2018,” said IOC President Rogge. “I would like to congratulate Buenos Aires and their bid team for their dedication to and enthusiasm for the Youth Olympic Games project. I have no doubt they will build on the successes of Singapore 2010 and Nanjing 2014 to provide a platform on which the best young athletes from around the world can compete and learn about the Olympic values.”

The announcement was the culmination of a bidding process launched in September 2011, which originally included six Candidate Cities - the three other cities were Guadalajara (Mexico), Poznań (Poland) and Rotterdam (Netherlands).

After a thorough review of the Candidature Files and other relevant documentation submitted by five of the Candidate Cities (Poznań withdrew from the bidding process), the IOC Working Group, led by Claudia Bokel, presented a report to the IOC Executive Board (EB). Based on this report, the EB announced Buenos Aires, Glasgow and Medellín as shortlisted candidates at a meeting in Lausanne in February 2013.

The 2nd Summer Youth Olympic Games will be held in Nanjing, China from 16 to 28 August 2014, an event that will feature the global debut of the new Hockey 5s format.

FIH site