News for 02 August 2013

All the news for Friday 2 August 2013


Four semi-finalists known at ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup

Australia, Spain, USA and South Africa head to 5-8 placement matches



India defeated Spain to reach the semi-finals. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Netherlands, Argentina, England and India are the four semi-finalists in the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach. Friday’s semi-finals will see Argentina facing England with The Netherlands taking on India. In the 5-8 placement matches USA will play Australia with South Africa facing Spain.

India celebrated a deserved 4-2 win over Spain to reach the semi-finals for the first time in Women’s Junior World Cup history. Argentina marched into the next round, defeating Pan American archrivals USA 2-0 in the second quarter-final. England surprised by beating Australia 1-0. The Netherlands secured their fourth win of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup with a 9-1 over South Africa to set up a semi-final with India.

Spain v India 2-4 (2-2)

Both teams entered the pitch with great intensity. Spain won an early penalty corner which resulted in a well worked goal, Patricia Marana passing the ball to Xantal Gine who smashed it into the bottom of the goal. But India replied immediately equalising through Monika. The score stood at 1-1 after ten minutes of play.

Afterwards it were India that dominated ball possession and had better scoring opportunities than Spain but failed to convert them. However, Spain took the 2-1 lead against the run of play five minutes before halftime when team-captain Berta Bonastre scored from open play. Once again, India did not take long to strike back. Navneet Kaur equalised with an outstanding reverse stick shot to level the match at 2-2 at halftime.

India started into the second half with real fire. Ponnamma Mallamada Narendra converted a penalty corner giving India their first lead in this match. They kept on pushing their opponents into their own half. Rani extended the lead 4-2 midway in the second half when she penetrated the circle on the right and scored from a reverse stick strike.

Spain’s first penalty corner in the second half came in the 53rd minute but the shot was blocked. With eight minutes remaining on the clock they won another penalty corner but Marana’s attempt was saved by Indian captain Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam. Afterwards another penalty corner shot from Gine went wide. Spain tried hard to come back but ended up losing 4-2.   

Voices after the match:

Neil Hawgood, Indian coach: “The success has come from all the big losses as we have been beaten by the top teams in the world in World League Round 3. Now, this senior experience helps the girls here at the Junior World Cup. The girls were a bit nervous at the beginning but they showed character and continued to work for 70 minutes.”

Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Indian captain: “Today’s key was the scoring and the team spirit. We decided to win this match and played fast throughout the whole game. We are very excited now as we have never reached the semi-finals before. Of course we would love to qualify for the final.”

Rani, 4-2 goal scorer: “This is amazing. It is a great day for Hockey in India. I knew that we will win today if we keep up the pressure.”

Jorge Donoso Bailon, Spanish coach: “India is a great team. They were really fast with their dangerous counter-attacks.”

Argentina v USA 2-0 (1-0)

The first half saw hardly any goal scoring chances until the 34th minute, when Argentina won the first penalty corner of the game. Julia Gomes Fantasia took the drag flick and fired the ball into the net to open the scoring. Earlier, Argentina had failed to score when the US girls were short-handed by two players. Much of the play took place in midfield and both sides struggled to create promising scoring opportunities.

With 22 minutes remaining on the clock the Leoncitas won their second penalty corner; this time Gomes Fantasia’s flick was cleared by US defender Kelsey Harbin. Shortly afterwards, the US girls forced three penalty corners in a row but could not capitalize on any of them. The Leoncitas eventually doubled their lead on 60 minutes thanks to Roberta Werthein securing the 2-0 win.

Voices after the match:

Agustina Metidieri, ARG player: "We will study our next opponents and then we will hope to win to move on to the finals. I don't have a preferred opponent for the semi-finals."

Laura Gebhardt, USA team captain: "It was a hard fought game. I think we played very well, but we did not finish hard enough in the circle. I am satisfied with our team performance, yes and no, because we wanted to win, but I think we played very well. Now we have to keep fighting."

Australia v England 0-1 (0-1)

Because of the excessive heat here in Mönchengladbach, this match was played in four quarters of 17.5 minutes each. Despite the heat, both teams played high tempo hockey. Georgia Nanscawen returned to the Jillaroo squad today after recovering from bone bruising on her knee.

Australia earned two penalty corners in the first quarter but failed to make them count. It was the superb saving ability of goalkeeper Caitlin Jeffries that kept England in the game. England’s first penalty corner came ten minutes before halftime. The first shot was parried by Jillaroo goalkeeper Elizabeth Duguid and Grace Balsdon fired in the rebound. 

In the second half less speed was in the game as both sides struggled with the weather conditions. Australia forced three penalty corners in the last ten minutes but the English defence stood firm with goalkeeper Jeffries ensuring the ball did not get past her. The Jillaroos forced another penalty corner in the last minute but could not get the shot away.

Voices after the match:

Grace Balsdon, goal scorer England: "I think our team defending has improved day by day and in the end we won the game today. It was not pretty but we did our job and we just defended. It is nice to play countries like Australia, they are very good team and the challenge was there. We were prepared to go, we had nothing to lose. That was our challenge and we made it. It means everything to play for your country and then scoring the goal that takes you to the semi-final, there is no better feeling."

The Netherlands v South Africa 9-1 (4-1)


The Netherlands secured their fourth win of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup with a 9-1 over South Africa to set up a semi-final with India. South Africa suffered their first defeat in this tournament and will now face Spain in a 5-8 placement match. South Africa’s Toni Marks surprised with the opening goal of the match, but The Netherlands fought back with a double-strike from their penalty corner expert Lieke van Wijk and goals from Lisanne de Lange and Xan de Waard turning the score into 4-1 at halftime.

Like the previous match, this game was also played in four quarters of 17.5 minutes each because of excessive heat here in Mönchengladbach. The third and fourth quarter saw The Netherlands take control of the game with South Africa struggling to get out of their own half. Dutch top scorer van Wijk added two more penalty corner goals, lifting her tournament total to 12. Despite being up 6-1, the reigning world champions were not finished scoring as goals from Maria Verschoor, Samantha Saxton and de Lange secured a stunning 9-1 victory.

FIH site



Current champions stay on course for title defense

Junior Black Sticks breeze past Red Cheetahs



The Netherlands celebrate a big win over South Africa. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Netherlands secured their fourth win of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup with a 9-1 over South Africa to set up a semi-final with India. South Africa suffered their first defeat in this tournament and will now face Spain in a 5-8 placement match. The last 9-16th classification game of the day was a one-sided affair in the first half that saw New Zealand get the better of Belgium with a 7-3 win despite a good second half from the Red Cheetahs.

The Netherlands v South Africa 9-1 (4-1)

The Netherlands secured their fourth win of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup with a 9-1 over South Africa to set up a semi-final with India. South Africa suffered their first defeat in this tournament and will now face Spain in a 5-8 placement match. South Africa’s Toni Marks surprised with the opening goal of the match, but The Netherlands fought back with a double-strike from their penalty corner expert Lieke van Wijk and goals from Lisanne de Lange and Xan de Waard turning the score into 4-1 at halftime.

Like the previous match, this game was also played in four quarters of 17.5 minutes each because of excessive heat here in Mönchengladbach. The third and fourth quarter saw The Netherlands take control of the game with South Africa struggling to get out of their own half. Dutch top scorer van Wijk added two more penalty corner goals, lifting her tournament total to 12. Despite being up 6-1, the reigning world champions were not finished scoring as goals from Maria Verschoor, Samantha Saxton and de Lange secured a stunning 9-1 victory.

New Zealand v Belgium 7-3 (4-0)

Wrapping up a very hot day on Pitch 2 were the teams of New Zealand and Belgium, doing battle in the 9-16th place play-offs. The first half was clearly dominated by the girls from New Zealand, who controlled the ball and dictated play over long stretches of the match.

Two goals from Phillipa Symes and one a piece from Cass Reid and Brooke Neal took the Junior Black Sticks to a comfortable 4-0 halftime lead, and after the break, it looked like the story of the match would continue on the same page, as Brooke Neal's second and a goal from Michaela Curtis pushed the scoreline to 6-0.

However, Belgium seemingly suddenly awoke from the Sleeping Beauty state and had a good period in the second half when they scored three goals in a row through Julie de Paeuw, Axelle Wouters and Emma Puvrez, but it was too little, too late, and the Red Cheetahs could no longer seriously endanger the Black Sticks.

At the other end, Rose Keddell added one more goal for New Zealand in the dying minutes of the match, and with this 7-3 win, the Kiwis join the 9-12th place quartet and play China next. Belgium take on Ghana on Saturday in the 13-16th place bracket.

Voices after the match:

Chris Leslie, Coach New Zealand: "Look, there's always hard conditins, and it's going to be tough going for both teams. We always played very well in the first half of the game, we were very dominant. But Belgium payed very well in the second half with a lot of pressure. For the next match, we play China a lot, so we will haev a tough game against China. We have to play very well, we have to get the basics right, and ewant to win against them. We are disappointed not to be in the Top 8, but we're now focussed on finishing ninth in the tournament."

Shane McLeod, Coach Belgium: "I thought we had a nice second half of the match, nice goals, and we played with a lot of spirit. It was pretty hard, normally New Zealand is in the Top 8, to play against New Zealand was a great experience for my young team, for the girls. We have a really young group and it's a learning experience."

FIH site



England surprise by beating Australia 1-0 at ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup

Germany wrestle down Russia for place in the 9-12 bracket



England fought down the Jillaroos to reach the semi-final (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

England gave the big surprise by defeating Australia 1-0 in Thursday’s third quarter-final at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach. The winning goal was scored by Grace Balsdon in the 26th minute. In the third 9-16th classification match, Germany stumbled past Russia in blistering heat to stay in the running for 9th place.

Australia v England 0-1 (0-1)

Because of the excessive heat here in Mönchengladbach, this match was played in four quarters of 17.5 minutes each. Despite the heat, both teams played high tempo hockey. Georgia Nanscawen returned to the Jillaroo squad today after recovering from bone bruising on her knee.

Australia earned two penalty corners in the first quarter but failed to make them count. It was the superb saving ability of goalkeeper Caitlin Jeffries that kept England in the game. England’s first penalty corner came ten minutes before halftime. The first shot was parried by Jillaroo goalkeeper Elizabeth Duguid and Grace Balsdon fired in the rebound. 

In the second half less speed was in the game as both sides struggled with the weather conditions. Australia forced three penalty corners in the last ten minutes but the English defence stood firm with goalkeeper Jeffries ensuring the ball did not get past her. The Jillaroos forced another penalty corner in the last minute but could not get the shot away.

Voices after the match:

Grace Balsdon, goal scorer England: "I think our team defending has improved day by day and in the end we won the game today. It was not pretty but we did our job and we just defended. It is nice to play countries like Australia, they are very good team and the challenge was there. We were prepared to go, we had nothing to lose. That was our challenge and we made it. It means everything to play for your country and then scoring the goal that takes you to the semi-final, there is no better feeling."

Germany v Russia 4-2 (3-1)

In their first match on Pitch 2, Germany had advantages from the beginning but couldn't quite break away for much if the first half. An early penalty corner goal from Viola Scharf was matched by a goal from open play by Elena Guseva, and i was only in the last six minutes that Germany established some distance when Charlotte Stapenhorst and Sabine Knüpfer put away two goals in as many minutes for the 3-1 halftime scoreline.

Both halves had had extra water breaks in the middle, and the conditions took a toll on the match in the form of a subdued pace and a certain lack of energy.

Russia played well and was clearly highly motivated, but in the end couldn't quite get the better of a solid and compact German team that played a disciplined game.

Anastasia Miroshnikova brought Russia within striking distance again in the 52nd minute, but Germany were able to create a significant number of opportunities late in the match, one of which yielded a late goal by Rebecca Grote.

When the clock stopped ticking down, Germany had claimed victory in the match with a 4-2 scoreline and moves on to the classification matches for 9th-12th place. In their next encounter, the hosts face Korea, while Russia take on Canada in the 13-16 bracket.

FIH site



Las Leoncitas cruise into semi-finals at ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup

China slip past Ghana in lower half classification


Argentina cruised into the semi-finals. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Argentina marched into the semi-finals of the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup, defeating Pan American archrivals USA 2-0 in the second quarter-final. China meanwhile struggled with a Ghanaian team that scored their first goal of the event, but eventually, China came out on top to stay on track for places 9-12.

Argentina v USA 2-0 (1-0)

The first half saw hardly any goal scoring chances until the 34th minute, when Argentina won the first penalty corner of the game. Julia Gomes Fantasia took the drag flick and fired the ball into the net to open the scoring. Earlier, Argentina had failed to score when the US girls were short-handed by two players. Much of the play took place in midfield and both sides struggled to create promising scoring opportunities.

With 22 minutes remaining on the clock the Leoncitas won their second penalty corner; this time Gomes Fantasia’s flick was cleared by US defender Kelsey Harbin. Shortly afterwards, the US girls forced three penalty corners in a row but could not capitalize on any of them. The Leoncitas eventually doubled their lead on 60 minutes thanks to Roberta Werthein securing the 2-0 win.

Voices after the match:

Agustina Metidieri, ARG player: "We will study our next opponents and then we will hope to win to move on to the finals. I don't have a preferred opponent for the semi-finals."

Laura Gebhardt, USA team captain: "It was a hard fought game. I think we played very well, but we did not finish hard enough in the circle. I am satisfied with our team performance, yes and no, because we wanted to win, but I think we played very well. Now we have to keep fighting."

China v Ghana 3-1 (2-1)

In the second match of the 9-16 play-offs, Ghana faced China, and the African team proceeded to put down an excellent start into the encounter, playing well, and soon scoring their first goal of the event through Gloria Darko.

The goal jolted the Chinese awake however, and the Ghanaians' joy was short-lived as Zhang Jinrong sunk the equalizer for China within less than two minutes. Ou Zixia piled on a second goal just before the break for a a 2-1 halftime lead for China.

After the break, only one more goal was scored as Zhang Xindan put away China's third, while the rest of the half was filled with listless banter and ineffective back and forth from both sides without many scenes in front of the goals. China thus took victory, and move into the classification matches for 9th to 12th place, while Ghana join Canada in the 13-16 bracket.

FIH site



New Zealand and Germany show good form in 9-16th place classification

Korea and China also compete for 9th place



New Zealand ascertained 9th place aspirations with 7-3 win over Belgium (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Against Canada, Korea was the better team, despite a second half scare as Canada pushed back, and deservedly went through, while China struggled much more than execteded with the spirited Ghanaians who scored their first goal of the tournament today. Russia put down a formidable challenge for Germany, but in the end couldn't avoid the hosts taking th win, and finally, at the end of a hot day, New Zealand cruised to victory against the young Belgian side.

New Zealand v Belgium 7-3 (4-0)

Wrapping up a very hot day on Pitch 2 were the teams of New Zealand and Belgium, doing battle in the 9-16th place play-offs. The first half was clearly dominated by the girls from New Zealand, who controlled the ball and dictated play over long stretches of the match.

Two goals from Phillipa Symes and one a piece from Cass Reid and Brooke Neal took the Junior Black Sticks to a comfortable 4-0 halftime lead, and after the break, it looked like the story of the match would continue on the same page, as Brooke Neal's second and a goal from Michaela Curtis pushed the scoreline to 6-0.

However, Belgium seemingly suddenly awoke from the Sleeping Beauty state and had a good period in the second half when they scored three goals in a row through Julie de Paeuw, Axelle Wouters and Emma Puvrez, but it was too little, too late, and the Red Cheetahs could no longer seriously endanger the Black Sticks.

At the other end, Rose Keddell added one more goal for New Zealand in the dying minutes of the match, and with this 7-3 win, the Kiwis join the 9-12th place quartet and play China next. Belgium take on Ghana on Saturday in the 13-16th place bracket.

Voices after the match:

Chris Leslie, Coach New Zealand: "Look, there's always hard conditins, and it's going to be tough going for both teams. We always played very well in the first half of the game, we were very dominant. But Belgium payed very well in the second half with a lot of pressure. For the next match, we play China a lot, so we will haev a tough game against China. We have to play very well, we have to get the basics right, and ewant to win against them. We are disappointed not to be in the Top 8, but we're now focussed on finishing ninth in the tournament."

Germany v Russia 4-2 (3-1)

In their first match on Pitch 2, Germany had advantages from the beginning but couldn't quite break away for much if the first half. An early penalty corner goal from Viola Scharf was matched by a goal from open play by Elena Guseva, and i was only in the last six minutes that Germany established some distance when Charlotte Stapenhorst and Sabine Knüpfer put away two goals in as many minutes for the 3-1 halftime scoreline.

Both halves had had extra water breaks in the middle, and the conditions took a toll on the match in the form of a subdued pace and a certain lack of energy.

Russia played well and was clearly highly motivated, but in the end couldn't quite get the better of a solid and compact German team that played a disciplined game. Anastasia Miroshnikova brought Russia within striking distance again in the 52nd minute, but Germany were able to create a significant number of opportunities late in the match, one of which yielded a late goal by Rebecca Grote.

When the clock stopped ticking down, Germany had claimed victory in the match with a 4-2 scoreline and moves on to the classification matches for 9th-12th place. In their next encounter, the hosts face Korea, while Russia take on Canada in the 13-16 bracket.

China v Ghana 3-1 (2-1)

In the second match of the 9-16 play-offs, Ghana faced China, and the African team proceeded to put down an excellent start into the encounter, playing well, and soon scoring their first goal of the event through Gloria Darko.

The goal jolted the Chinese awake however, and the Ghanaians' joy was short-lived as Zhang Jinrong sunk the equalizer for China within less than two minutes. Ou Zixia piled on a second goal just before the break for a a 2-1 halftime lead for China.

After the break, only one more goal was scored as Zhang Xindan put away China's third, while the rest of the half was filled with listless banter and ineffective back and forth from both sides without many scenes in front of the goals. China thus took victory, and move into the classification matches for 9th to 12th place, while Ghana join Canada in the 13-16 bracket.

Korea v Canada 3-1 (1-0)

Korea started into their first classification match strong, not leaving Canada with much space. Canada struggled to get their feet on the ground for some time. Nonetheless, Korea couldn't build up a convincing lead, scoring only a lone first half goal through their most reliable and leading scorer, Kim Hyun Ji.

Canada came back with verve from the break however and started to challenge their two time champion opponents. They were soon able to get on the scoreboard when Stephanie Norlander put a ball past second goalkeeper Han Mi Jin and proceeded to hold Korea to the draw for the biggest part of the second half.

A late double strike from Cho Hye Jin and Cha Ye Sol, who scored within less than a minute, however put the Korean team ahead for good. The clock ticked down and Canada could not come back from the blow. The match ended 3-1 for Korea, sending the Asian team into the 9-12th place bracket, while Canada will be playing for 13-16th place.

Voices after the match:

Ian Rutledge, Coach Canada: "It was an exeptional performance from both teams, and that's what international hockey is about, and that's what the Junior World Cup is about. It's an opportunity for the girls to play international hockey against different styles and  think that both teams played an exceptional style. We played against a well structured Korean team, our performance was solid, but as the game was even, it could go either way, and that's what happened. The most important thing for the next game is to be the same team and keep our structure and stick to the game plan. The girls are doing pretty well. It's just a matter of keeping a good structure."

FIH site



SA hockey girls outplayed by The Netherlands; next up is Spain

JONATHAN COOK


The South Africa U21 women’s hockey team lost their first match of the tournament when they went down 9-1 to defending champions The Netherlands in the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany early Thursday evening.

SA stung the unbeaten Dutch with a Toni Marks field goal in the third minute but penalty corner ace Lieke van Wijk came back with two strikes inside five minutes for the Oranje to take the lead after 15 minutes. Lisanne de Lange then scored the first of her brace of field goals in the match, while Xan de Waard netted via the PC route for The Netherlands’ 4-1 half-time lead.

Penalty corner defence was to prove SA’s Achilles heel, as six of the Dutch goals came from the set-piece, Van Wijk netting four. The Dutch were technically able to string sequences of passes together, controlling the tempo of the game. Unforced errors on the part of the Africans saw The Netherlands gain a healthy number of turnovers - and with the greater possession, time and space, it was relatively simple to make entries into the attacking third of the field count.

After the changeover Van Wijk added her second batch of PCs and at 6-1 it was all over with just under 30 minutes left to play. The Oranje added three more before the end through Maria Verschoor, Sam Saxton and De Lange (her second) for the 9-1 final scoreline.

The match was played in four quarters of 17:30 minutes apiece to ensure regular water breaks in the extreme heat.

In the first round of playoffs for positions five to eight in this 16-country tournament, SA meet Spain at 4.30 pm (SA time) Friday on the Warsteiner Hockey Park B pitch and victory will see the girls in green and gold play for fifth place in Sunday’s final classification matches.

In the third quarter-final, the favoured Australians were held at bay by a brilliant display in goal by England’s Caitlin Jeffries, the keeper having an absolute blinder in repelling countless penalty corners alongside the sterling efforts of her team-mates. England won 1-0 and will play 2009 silver medallists Argentina in Friday’s 2.30 pm (SA time) semi-final. The Argentines outlasted Pan-American rivals the USA 2-0 in the second quarter-final.

Friday’s 5 pm (SA time) semi-final will see underdogs India tackle The Netherlands. India won Thursday’s first quarter-final 4-2 against Spain.

The semi-finals can be watched on splint.tv via live streaming. The South Africa/Spain match will not be broadcast. At the www.youtube.com/fihockey link daily highlights of the Junior World Cup can be viewed.

SA Hockey Association media release



England U21 Women beat Australia 1-0


England U21 Women celebrate beating Australia, pic Frank Uijlenbroek

England Under-21 Women battled their way into the semi finals of the ERGO Junior World Cup when they beat rivals Australia 1-0 in Thursday afternoon’s quarter final match in Germany.

A 26th minute goal from Canterbury’s Grace Balsdon proved enough to take the win searing 42 degree heat in Monchengladbach, which had led to the game being split into four periods of 17.5 minutes to help the teams manage the heat.

The win means England will now play Argentina in the semi final on Friday (1.30pm UK time) following their win over the USA.

Defence proved key for England, as they soaked up wave after wave of Australian attacks, and successfully defended multiple penalty corners which left their rivals frustrated.

England got the decisive goal from their only penalty corner of the match, following which they resolutely stood firm to take a deserved victory and book their place in the last four of the tournament.

Head Coach Craig Keegan said: “Overall there’s a great feeling of pride for the girls. We knew it was going to take a strong defensive performance and they certainly produced that.

“We had limited opportunities going forwards but our resilience and commitment to taking these chances was world class.

“The match started in 42 degree temperatures so the match was changed to four quarters allowing both teams the opportunity to manage their players. We now look forward to our semi final against Argentina.”

England were not entirely without their chances on goal with Jo Leigh crossing to Olivia Chilton, but she just couldn’t get on the end of the first half chance.

And when the crucial goal did come it wasn’t without its controversy. Initially disallowed by the umpires, it was then awarded after review with Balsdon scoring high into the net from just inside the circle from her second shot, after her first had hit the front runner.

England Hockey Board Media release



Dominant Jillaroos miss out on semi finals

Australia lose 1-0 to England despite dominating one-sided match


The Jillaroos’ hopes of Junior World Cup glory ended in disappointment on Thursday night despite dominating a one-sided match against their English counterparts in the quarter finals of the tournament in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

On top for almost the entire 70 minutes of the match, the Jillaroos lost out on a place in the semi finals after going down 1-0 to England’s U21s - a solitary 26th minute penalty corner the winning goal.

Prior to the match the Jillaroos were boosted by the return of Victorian Georgia Nanscawen from injury. The youngest woman to play 100 senior international matches for Australia had missed the Jillaroos’ three Pool C clashes with bruising on the knee bone but returned just as the tournament hotted up, metaphorically and physically.

Scorching temperatures forced each half to be stopped at its midway point to allow the players to take on fluids but the breaks failed to temper the Jillaroos’ attacking spirit. Undertaking the early running, the first chance fell to Australia at a seventh minute penalty corner but it flew wide. A series of unsuccessful Australian corners followed and so it was against the run of play that England broke the deadlock through Grace Balsdon’s penalty corner goal. Following up an initial block she fired high into the net to give England the lead ten minutes before half time. The umpires took the opportunity to confer but the goal stood.

The second half saw Australia pressing the English circle with mounting intensity but with numbers behind the ball England’s defence refused to yield. And the pressure grew as the Jillaroos won a series of penalty corners as England’s determination to protect their lead led to errors.

Having been so clinical from set pieces in their three previous matches, Australia grew in confidence with every new award but four Australian penalty corners in the final ten minutes of the match were all thwarted, including a superb tip over the bar from the English goalkeeper Caitlin Jeffries and a low diving save from an Anna Flanagan flick. 

At full time, the disappointment was clearly etched on the faces of the Australian players who gave everything they had for 70 minutes.

The result means that Australia will go into their final two fixtures of the tournament to contest positions five though eight. Their next match is against USA, who lost 2-0 to Argentina in their quarter final. That match takes place at 10:00pm AEST on Friday night (2:00pm local time in Germany). The other teams competing for positions five to eight are Spain and the loser of the match between the Netherlands and South Africa. Australia finished fifth at the last edition of the Junior World Cup in 2009.

Australia’s next fixture

Friday 2 August, 10:00pm AEST - 5th-8th playoffs: USA v Australia

AUSTRALIA (U21 WOMEN) JUNIOR WORLD CUP CAMPAIGN

QUARTER FINAL

Jillaroos   0 (0)

-

England    1 (1)
Grace Balsdon 26 (PC)

Semi Final Line-Up
Friday 2 August, 10:30pm AEST – Argentina v England
Saturday 3 August, 1:00am AEST – Netherlands v India

Jillaroos squad v England
Started

Murphy Allendorf (Mount Gravatt, QLD)
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Elizabeth Duguid (GK) (Darwin, NT)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, QLD)
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT)
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, Queensland)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Amelia Spence (Taroona, TAS)
Jade Warrender (Orange, NSW)

Substitute Used
Lily Brazel (Newington, NSW)
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW)
Nina Khoury (Newtown, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)
Kathryn Slattery (Como, WA)

Substitute Not Used
Kate Gilmore (Red Hill, ACT)
Audrey Smith (GK) (Wynnum, QLD)

Hockey Australia media release



U21 National Team displays positive growth during Junior World Cup quarterfinal

MONCHENGLADBACH, Germany – Tremendous growth and tenacity followed the Under-21 National Team from match to match at the Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach’s Hockeypark despite a loss to quarterfinal-opponent Argentina.  U.S. U-21 National Team Head Coach Steve Jennings with the aid of his reputable staff, Tracey Fuchs and Pam Bustin led the team through a tactical game of mental and physical endurance as a majority of ball possession was held in the center of the pitch.

“I thought we played awesome today. The team was incredible,” said Jennings. “Argentina is an astounding team and I think we just raised our level of play and put them under a lot of pressure to create chances for ourselves. It was a game that was played a lot in the midfield.”

Ball possession battered back and forth from the starting whistle until the final seconds of the game. Argentina scored off of their only first-half corner in the 35th minute to create a halftime score of 0-1. Team USA fought past Argentina’s line, drove into their attack circle and was rewarded with three penalty corners. Although valiant efforts, U.S. was unable to convert these scoring opportunities into goals. In the 60th minute Argentina lured the U.S defense unit to the right side of the circle and quickly transferred the ball to the left to win the moment to score another goal. The game ended U.S. 0, Argentina 2.

“I’m really proud of the intensity we played with and togetherness we showed,” said Jennings. “We’ve made the most unbelievable strides as a team in the last eight weeks. It’s really an amazing transformation. We’re all disappointed we didn’t win today but I know we threw everything we had at them.”

“We  stepped it up this match more so than any of the other games we competed in at this tournament,” said U.S. defender Kelsey Harbin (Escondido, Cali.). “I’m just so proud of how everyone came together and played united. Our press has been the best it’s ever been. We were right there in our attack circle too. If we would have capitalized on a few key plays the game would have had a different outcome.” 

U.S. created a strong tournament presence when they rose above Korea in the opening of pool play,  breaking a 1-1 halftime score and finishing the game 4-1. Korea is one of the most decorated teams at the Women’s Junior World Cup, having participated in all editions of the tournament since its creation and finishing on top in 2001 and 2005. The following day U.S. competed in a hard-fought match against the Netherlands, a squad with equally noteworthy accomplishments having been crowned Junior World Cup Champions in 1997 and in 2009. Although U.S. held up relentless play, Netherlands' attack secured five goals to U.S.'s one. Ghana was the U.S.’s final competitor in Pool A. The U.S. U-21 Team maneuvered the ball through the middle with poise and carried the momentum to the cage. U.S. won the match 6-0 and qualified for quarterfinals. 

The U-21 U.S. squad will now compete against Australia at 2 p.m. local time Friday, August 2 for 5th - 8th placement at the Junior World Cup. The semi-finals will be played on August 2 and the gold and bronze medal match on August 4.

USFHA media release



India makes history first in the semis of any FIH competition

s2h team


Sushila Chanu's Indian girls have made a history by reaching the semis of the Junior World Cup at Monchengladbach in Germany.

Despite conceding lead twice, Indian girls managed to level 2-2 at half time and then tested and trusted duo of Vandana Kataria and Rani Rampal struck a goal each to give India the milestone win.

It is for the first time Indian girls, junior or senior, reach the semifinal stage of any FIH tournament in the synthetic turf era.

Indian goal scorers
Monika 10th min
Navneet Kaur 34th min
Vandana Katariya 41st Min
Rani Rampal 48th min
Final score: India 4 Spain 2
Despite conceding an early goal through penalty corner in the sixth minute to Andrea Gurerra, India managed to hold Spain 2-2 at half time in the first quarterfinal of the Junior Women's World Cup at Monchengladbach, Germany. Young lot Monika and Navneet Kaur posted a goal each, the second one coming hardly a minute left for the lemon time.

Indians were on goal hunting spree after the lemon time, a brace of goal emanating in the space of first 10 minutes.

Now, its turn of experienced lot of Vandana Katariya and Rani Rampal to taste the board once.

Spain got a couple of penalty corner to narrow down the lead, but the Indian defence stood to the task to see off them.

Stick2Hockey.com



India enter junior women's World Cup semifinals

NEW DELHI: In what could be called a Chak De! moment for Indian hockey, a bunch of young girls on Thursday made the country proud by reaching the semifinals of the junior women's World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany.

When they came from behind twice to beat the more-fancied Spain 4-2 in the quarterfinal, they become the first Indian junior women's team to reach the semifinal of the tournament.

Many would have given up on the girls after their 1-6 loss against Australia in their first match of the event. But they bounced back in style, winning the next two matches to book their berth in the quarterfinals, also a first by the team.

The win over Spain ensured a top-four finish for India in the tournament - their earlier best being ninth in 2001 as well as in 2009. India will meet the Netherlands in the semifinal.

"This is amazing. It is a great day for hockey in India. I knew that we will win if we keep up the pressure," an elated vice-captain and one of the goal scorers, Rani said after the match.

Spain drew the first blood when they scored from an early penalty corner, but India immediately equalized through Monika. Spain went ahead again with another strike five minutes before the half-time.

This lead too did not last long as Navneet Kaur's outstanding reverse stick shot levelled the score before the break. India scored two more in the second half, through MN Ponnamma and Rani, to ensure their progress to the semifinal.

"Today's key was the spirit. And we played fast throughout the game. We are very excited now as we had never reached the semifinals before. Of course, we would love to make it to the final," said captain Sushila Chanu.

Coach Neil Hawgood attributed the win to the lessons learnt from the losses at the World League semifinals in Rotterdam where India finished seventh out of eight teams. "The success has come from all the big losses we had in the World League Round 3. The girls were a bit nervous at the beginning but they showed character and worked hard for 70 minutes," Hawgood was quoted as saying.

The Times of India



Indian junior girls enter maiden World Cup semis

MONCHENGLADBACH (Germany): India scripted history as they stunned higher-ranked Spain 4-2 to enter the semifinals of the Women's Junior Hockey World Cup for the first time on Thursday.

They may have started the game as underdogs, but the Indian girls rose to the occasion and dished out a spirited performance to tame their higher-rated opponents and seal a last-four berth for the first time in the history of the event.

India sounded the board twice in each half through Monika (10th minute), Navneet Kaur (34th), Vandana Katariya (41st) and Rani (48th) while Spain's goals came in the first period from the sticks of Xantal Gine (7th) and captain Berta Bonastra (30th).

It was the Spanish girls who struck first through Gine, who converted a penalty corner in the seventh minute.

India equalised just three minutes later through a field effort from Monika.

Spain restored their lead just five minutes from the lemon break through Bonastra before Navneet restored parity for India with an outstanding reverse stick shot in the dying minutes of the opening half.

However, after the change of ends, India took the initiative and surged ahead in the 41st minute when Katariya converted a penalty corner.

Seven minutes later Rani extended India's lead and made the scoreline 4-2.

With 22 minutes still remaining in the game, Spain had plenty of time to forge a comeback in the match and they did put pressure on the Indian defence with numerous raids.

But the Indian backline stood firm to deny their opponents any inroads.

India will take on the winners of the last quarterfinal between Netherlands and South Africa in the semifinal on Friday.

The Times of India



Senior level experience helped our junior girls: India coach

MONCHENGLADBACH (Germany): India's chief coach Neil Hawgood has attributed the women's team's success in the ongoing Junior Hockey World Cup to the experience his wards have attained while playing at the senior level.

India fielded more or less the same team which came a cropper in the FIH World League Round 3 in Rotterdam in June and Hawgood said the experience of playing at the senior level worked wonders for the junior girls.

"The success has come from all the big losses as we have been beaten by top teams of the world in World League Round 3. Now, the senior level experience has helped the girls here at the Junior World Cup," a jubilant Hawgood said after India defeated Spain 4-2 to earn their maiden semifinal place in the event.

"The girls were a bit nervous at the beginning but they showed character and continued to work for 70 minutes," said the Australian, who is in-charge of Indian women's hockey teams.

India captain Sushila Chanu feels the key to today's success was team spirit.

"The key was scoring and team spirit. We decided to win this match and played fast throughout the whole game. We are very excited now as we have never reached the semifinals before. Of course, we would love to qualify for the final as well," she said.

Striker Rani, who scored India's last goal against Spain, added: "This is amazing. It is a great day for Indian hockey. I knew that we will win today if we keep up the pressure."

The Times of India



Junior Black Sticks beat Belgium 7-3


Junior Black Sticks coach Chris Leslie emphasises a point. Photo credit: photosport.co.nz

The Junior Black Sticks Women have beaten Belgium 7-3 overnight in the play-offs at the 2013 Junior World Cup in Germany.

The Kiwis got the result they were wanting today going up 4-0 at half time and continuing their lead in the second half despite three goals from Belgium.

With the temperature approximately 35 degrees, officials chose to play the game in quarters to allow regular drinks breaks for players.

"It was very hot today, but it's tough going for both teams. We always play very well in the first half of the game, we were very dominant today. But Belgium played very well in the second half and put on a lot of pressure,” said Junior Black Sticks head coach Chris Leslie.

The first half was dominated by New Zealand, who controlled the ball and dictated play over long stretches of the match. Two goals from Phillipa Symes and one a piece from Cass Reid and Brooke Neal took the Junior Black Sticks to a comfortable 4-0 halftime lead. After the break it looked like it would continue to go the Kiwis way, as Brooke Neal scored a second and a goal from Michaela Curtis pushed the score line to 6-0.

However, Belgium (coached by former Black Sticks Men’s coach Shane McLeod) picked up the pace for a period in the second half scoring three goals in a row through Julie de Paeuw, Axelle Wouters and Emma Puvrez, but it was too little, too late, the Kiwis lead was too much for the Red Cheetahs.

At the other end, Rose Keddell added one more goal for New Zealand in the dying minutes of the match, and with this 7-3 win, the Kiwis join the 9-12th place quartet and play China at 11pm tomorrow before their final play-off game on Sunday.

“It will be a tough game against China. We have to play very well, we have to get the basics right if we want to win against them. We are disappointed not to be in the Top 8, but we're now focussed on finishing ninth in the tournament," says Leslie.

The Junior Black Sticks are part of the Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks Programme which offers international competition, training camps and quality coaching experience to the next generation of Black Sticks.

RESULTS
Full time: 7-3 win to NZ
Half time: 4-0 lead to NZ
NZ goal scorers: Phillipa Symes x2, Cass Reid, Brooke Neal x2, Michaela Curtis, Rose Keddell.
Belgium goal scorers: Julie de Paeuw, Axelle Wouters, Emma Puvrez.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Junior Black Sticks beat Belgium

The New Zealand junior women's hockey team have beaten Belgium 7-3 overnight (NZT) at the Junior World Cup in Germany, meaning they qualify for the playoffs for ninth-12th.

The Junior Black Sticks led 4-0 at halftime in 35-degree temperatures, and closed out the match as Phillipa Symes and Brooke Neal both scored doubles against a Belgium side coached by former New Zealand men's coach Shane McLeod.

"It was very hot today, but it's tough going for both teams,'' Junior Black Sticks coach Chris Leslie said. "We always play very well in the first half of the game, we were very dominant today, but Belgium played very well in the second half and put on a lot of pressure.''

New Zealand join the playoffs for ninth-12th and play China at tomorrow night (NZth) before their final playoff game on Sunday.

New Zealand 7 (Phillipa Symes 2, Brooke Neal 2, Cass Reid, Michaela Curtis, Rose Keddell) Belgium 3 (Julie de Paeuw, Axelle Wouters, Emma Puvrez). HT: 4-0.

The New Zealand Herald



Dutch victorious in Wakefield opener


England v the Netherlands NOW Pensions Nations Cup Day 1

England kicked off the first day of the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup with a tense but entertaining game against the Netherlands. It was a hard fought encounter which unfortunately saw England come out on the wrong side of the 2-1 result. The solitary England goal came from Reading’s Tom Carson.

Earlier in the evening, the England U21 men’s team left it late to score in the 69th minute to come away with a deserved 3-3 draw against a strong U21 Malaysia side.

Speaking after the game England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said, "We're always disappointed to lose a game, but this was definitely a better performance compared to last week in Hamburg. The Netherlands like to score goals and we stopped them from doing that tonight so I'm pleased about that part of our play. We need to work on our individual skills and our quality of possession to really hurt them, but we've got some good positives to take out of today."

England dominated in possession in the opening minutes of the game and the first attempt at goal came from Carson but Dutch goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann was fast to react to stifle the chance. A brief lapse in pressure was capitalised on by the Dutch after 14 minutes with Sander Baart passing into the circle for Billy Bakker to open the scoring, chipping the ball in to the top right corner.

In response, England upped the intensity of their attacking play, making more runs on goal but pressure from the Dutch defence forced errors and it was not long before the Netherlands were back in possession. Only a series of good saves from Reading’s James Bailey meant the score remained 1-0.

The first penalty corner of the game came in the 26th minute against England and the Netherlands capitalised on their advantage to make it 2-0. Mink Van Der Weerden slotted the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal past Bailey to take a two goal cushion into the break.

England came back into the second half with a fighting spirit. Harry Martin and Phil Roper both pressed forward and created some good chances but the Dutch defence, led by captain Robert Van Der Horst, stood strong.

Play continued in an end to end style up until the 50th minute where England found themselves on the attacking end of a penalty corner. The ball came out to Carson who dragged the ball low and to the right of Stockmann to take the score to 2-1 and give England hope of making a comeback.

England, spurred on by their success and the support of the home crowd, continued to attack, but unfortunately they were not able to convert their chances in the remaining minutes and the score remained 2-1.

Following the match, England’s Adam Dixon spoke about the gap between the third [Netherlands] and forth [England] ranked teams in the world, "The Netherlands are a really strong side, they have lost very few players since winning silver at the Olympics last year and that shows in their team play and how confident they are. It is very different for us, and obviously we’re playing a bit of catch up but we’re not that far behind. The first half was pretty even, they just took the chances that they had. We created just as many but weren’t quite as clinical; something that we need to address going ahead to the weekend’s games.”

Both Alastair Brogdon and Richard Smith were missing from the action today with slight injuries. Goalkeeper George Pinner also sat this one out as Bobby Crutchley called up James Bailey for his second cap.

Earlier in the evening the Malaysian and England U21 sides contested the first match of the NOW: Pensions Nations Plate. Goals from England’s Andy Bull and Luke Taylor and Malaysia’s Gaffar and Ja’Afar meant a 2-2 scoreline at half time. Malaysia regained the lead with a goal from Yusof in the 62nd minute, but England’s Rob Farrington capitalised on a penalty corner in the closing minute of the game, bringing the final score to 3-3.

ENGLAND 1 (0)
Tom Carson 50 (PC)

NETHERLANDS 2 (2)
Billy Bakker 14 (FG)
Mink Van Der Weerden 26 (PC)

NOW: Pensions Nations Cup 2013 fixtures
Saturday 3 August – gates open 12:30
14:00 – England U21s v Malaysia U21s
16:30 – England v Netherlands

Sunday 4 August – gates open 10:30
12:00 – England U21s v Malaysia U21s
14:30 – England v Netherlands

England Hockey Board Media release



Day 4 EuroHockey Youth Championships Round Up



We were back to 4 games today at the Electric Ireland Euro Hockey Youth Championships as both Pools were down for decision.

In the early game, Netherlands romped to a 10-0 win vs Wales to secure top spot in Pool A for the Duth and condemn Wales to bottom place in the group. In the second group game France overcame Ireland 3-2 in a tight game which saw the French overtake Ireland into second spot in the group and secure a semi-final place.

In Pool B, Germany brushed Russia aside 8-0 to claim top spot in the group while England oversaw Belgium 3-1 to set up a semi-final date with Holland.

Tomorrow (Friday) is a rest day for the tournament and the action resumes on Saturday.

Updated Pool Tables, Fixtures & Match Sheets following today's results can be found by clicking here

Irish Hockey Association media release



England U18 Girls reach EuroHockey Championship semi finals


England U18 Girls team

England Under-18 Girls reached the semi finals of the EuroHockey Youth Championships with a confident 3-1 victory over Belgium in Dublin on Thursday afternoon.

Head Coach Andy Bradshaw praised the team’s composure against a strong opponent, and will now have 48 hours to prepare for their semi final clash against the Netherlands on Saturday.

“I’m very pleased in terms of their execution, they followed the game plan pretty much to the letter, and you can’t ask for more,” he said.

“When Belgium came back to 2-1 there was a period where they were pressing, but the girls showed good composure and confidence in what they were doing, and they retained that for 70 minutes which is all I can ask for.”

Meg Crowson opened England’s account on 23 minutes. The ball broke down the right hand side, and she was picked out before beating a defender and burying the ball past the Belgian goalkeeper.

Goal number two followed shortly before half time, with Amelia Andrews injecting the ball at a penalty corner before receiving it back and deflecting home on 33 minutes.

Belgium pulled one back on 49 minutes through Tiphaine Duquesne with a straight shot into the far left corner, and they pressure England for a spell afterwards.

But they pulled off their goalkeeper in favour of a kicking back, and England capitalised – eventually.

After missing an open goal with one penalty corner, England eventually did score on 68 minutes, Lily Elliott finding the net with a straight strike.

England Hockey Board Media release



Hockey star Boon Huat dies in car accident

NATIONAL PLAYER: He was a jovial and filial son, says mum

By FAHIRUL N. RAMLI AND KELLY KOH


PETALING JAYA: ONE of the nation's brightest hockey stars, Chua Boon Huat, died  in a traffic accident yesterday.

The 33-year-old, a mainstay of the national hockey team since 1998, died when his Proton Perdana rammed into the back of a highway maintenance lorry near the Kelana Jaya LRT station along the Damansara-Puchong Highway at 2.40am.

He is believed to have died on the spot due to serious head injuries. Fire and Rescue Department personnel took 20 minutes to extricate his body from the wreckage.

The body was sent to the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) where a post-mortem was carried out.

Born on May 3, 1980, the Bukit Cina, Malacca-born Chua was one of the longest-serving players on the national team.

As a boy, he represented SK Bandar Hilir when he was in Year Four and then Malacca High School.

He made his national team debut as a 17-year-old at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and went on to earn more than 300 caps for Malaysia.

Bizarrely, Chua's untimely death echoed that of his late father, Chua Peng Hock, who also died in a traffic accident nine years ago in Malacca.

Chua's mother, Tan Kuai Neo, 64, was distraught when met at the UMMC mortuary yesterday.

"His girlfriend called me at 4am and told me of the tragedy.

"He was a very talkative boy, always jovial and a filial son," she said of her son, who was the youngest of four.

Present at the hospital were Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and his deputy, Datuk M. Saravanan, as well as National Sports Council director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong. Members of the national hockey team were also there.

In Malacca, Chua's elder brother, Decee Chua, 39, said he learnt of the accident from his sister, Melissa, 37, around 4am.

Decee, a regional sales manager of a telecommunications company in Johor, rushed to Malacca to make funeral preparations while his mother and sister retrieved Chua's remains in Kuala Lumpur.

Decee said Chua was cheerful, friendly and loved by many.

The family will hold a five-day wake and funeral rites at their Semabok Perdana home before his cortege leaves for the crematorium on Monday.

New Straits Times



Revington shocked after demise of a friend, player and hero

By S. RAMAGURU, AFTAR SINGH and PERCY D’CRUZ



National hockey coach: Paul Revington is still in a shock over the tragic death of national player Chua Boon Huat yesterday.

KUALA LUMPUR: National coach Paul Revington was still in a shock over the tragic death of national player Chua Boon Huat yesterday.

“I am shocked by the news that Chua (Boon Huat) passed away in the early hours of this morning (Thursday). It is not only a great loss to our Malaysian team but to the world in general.

“I have known Chua for over 13 years as I watched him play in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, competed against one another as a player and coach at the 2001 Junior World Cup in Hobart, the 2003 Champions Challenge I in Johannesburg, the 2003 Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad, the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, the 2009 Champions Challenge II in Dublin and then more recently recalling him to the Malaysian team in 2012 to play in the Champions Challenge I in Argentina.

“I was so excited at the opportunity to coach one of my international heroes when I came to Malaysia,” said Revington.

But the 33-year-old Boon Huat died in a car accident yesterday morning.

Revington said that he had no qualms recalling the player although he was dropped from the national team three years ago.

“He was the first name on my team list when selecting any Malaysian team as I knew how much the player looked up to Chua and quietly respected his immense aura and experience at international level.

“Everyone felt safe with Chua in their team. He was the most capped Malaysian hockey international to date – a great achievement.

“Before every Test match for Malaysia I was so thankful that we had Chua in our team. He was a true warrior and competitor.”

Revington also pointed put that Chua loved all his team-mates and loved spending time with them.

“You could see the passion and drive in his eyes and you could hear it in the tone of his voice on and off the pitch. He had a dream to get Malaysian hockey back into the World Cup and the Rio Olympics.”

The Star of Malaysia



Hockey coach Paul Revington pays tribute to Chua Boon Huat

KUALA LUMPUR: National hockey head Coach, Paul Revington today revealed that his decision to extend his current duties was due to the great leadership and fighting spirit shown by the late Chua Boon Huat.

"I admired him as one of the great hockey players that I've had seen in my coaching career which brought me to Malaysia.

When I was appointed as the Malaysian head coach, Chua was among the players that I called up to beef up the squad," he said with tears in his eyes when met by Bernama after paying his last respects at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), here, today.

The 42-year old South African-born coach praised the Malacca-born striker who had shown good character on and off the pitch.

"He (Chua) had a strong passion, driven by the spirit to win, and harboured dreams of playing in the World Cup and also the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil," Revington said.

Revington, the 2011 FIH World Best Coach, shocked the hockey fraternity in the country by tendering his resignation to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) after claiming interference from 1MAS Hockey Development Director, Lim Chiow Chuan and national junior coach, Muhammad Dhaarma Raj Abdullah regarding the national team matters, barely a month after his appointment.

Revington however, withdrew his decision and agreed to resume his current duties after holding separate discussions with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and MHC President, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

Boon Huat, 33, was killed early today in a road accident on the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), near the Kelana Jaya LRT station.

The Proton Perdana car driven by Boon Huat was believed to have collided with a tanker lorry watering plants along the LDP in the 2.25am accident, said a Petaling Jaya police spokesman.

His body was sent to his hometown in Semabok, Malacca today and expected to be cremated on Monday

New Straits Times



MHC supremo say Malaysian hockey have lost a dedicated player

By S. RAMAGURU, AFTAR SINGH and PERCY D’CRUZ


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was a stunned man yesterday.

One cannot blame him though. On Wednesday night, he was seen joking with national forward Chua Boon Huat during the Buka Puasa in a hotel here.

Tengku Abdullah, who handed out incentives of RM190,500 to national players for finishing fourth in the Champions Challenge 1 tournament in Argentina last November and for finishing third in the second Asian Champions Trophy in Doha last December, was even seen commenting on Boon Huat’s weight.

“I was joking with him about needing to lose some weight so that he could run faster during the Asia Cup in Ipoh (from Aug 24 to Sept 1). But I did not know that we will lose him for good,” said Tengku Abdullah at the University Hospital mortuary yesterday.

In fact, none of his team-mates and team coaches would have even dreamed about what would have happened next.

The 33-year-old Boon Huat, who also featured in the recent Champions Challenge 1, had received RM5,500 for his efforts at 7pm on Wednesday but eight hours later he died in a car accident at 2.55am (Thursday).

Boon Huat died of severe head injuries after slamming his Proton Perdana car into a tanker, which was watering the plants on LDP Highway. The Fire Brigade had to extricate his body from the car.

Tengku Abdullah met the family of Boon Huat at the mortuary to offer his condolence.

“I am really sad with his sudden demise as he was a dedicated and committed player who always gave his best in tournaments. He also set a good example on and off the field,” said Tengku Abdullah.

“We lost a valuable player who was the most capped player in the national team. He was backbone of the team and was a role model for the young and up-coming players.

“The national players are shocked and sad over his death. But I told the players that they have to stay focused for the Asia Cup, which an important tournament to qualify for next year’s World Cup.

“The players should qualify for the World Cup for the sake of Boon Huat who was the only Chinese player in the national team,” said Tengku Abdullah.

The national team need to win the Asia Cup to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Hague, Holland.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was also at the mortuary, also expressed shock Boon Huat’s sudden death.

“It was a sad day for national hockey team as they lost a good player. He was an outstanding player and was an inspiration to other hockey players. I have told that the police to investigate how the accident happen,” said Khairy.

The Star of Malaysia



Tengku Abdullah: Chua Boon Huat was live wire of hockey team

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah described the late Chua Boon Huat as the live wire and the nucleus of the National hockey team.

Boon Huat is the most experienced, most senior and most capped player in the country and known for his dedication, commitment and inspiration to the team.

"We hope his grieving family can accept his demise and the country remembers his contributions and sacrifice. The players in the National squad will certainly continue their preparation for the Asia Cup in memory of Boon Huat," he told reporters at the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), here, today.

Boon Huat, 33, the live wire of the National men's hockey team, was killed in an accident along the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) at about 3am when his Proton Perdana V6 car collided with a tanker near the Kelana Jaya LRT Station.

The Malacca-born Boon Huat died at the spot due to severe head injuries while his body was later brought to the UMMC for post-mortem.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who also shared Tengku Abdullah's sentiments, said Boon Huat was a shining star in the national hockey scene who had vastly contributed to the sport.

"Today we have lost a great hockey player who was a role model on and off the pitch. He was an inspiration to young players and a role model to others. His sacrifices and contributions will be appreciated and remembered forever," he said.

National Sports Council director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong said the late Boon Huat's family would receive RM102,000 from the group insurance scheme.

Meanwhile, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi advised national athletes to avoid late nights so as to prevent similar tragedies like what had happened to Chua.

"It is true that we cannot predict accidents but we can avoid similar incidents by not driving late nights," he said when commenting on the death of Boon Huat, today.

Kok Chi said in 1988, football icon Datuk R. Arumugam, probably the country's greatest goalkeeper who was also known as 'Spiderman' for his exploits, was also killed in an accident while driving home late night.

"Boon Huat's death is a great loss to hockey because he had still much to offer to the game. His return to the National squad after a short break had indeed given the sport of hockey a new lease of life," he said.

New Straits Times



Chua’s fond wish that will never take place now, says Aliff

Reports by S. RAMAGURU, AFTAR SINGH and PERCY D’CRUZ


KUALA LUMPUR: Chua Boon Huat was planning to get married next year.

His elder brother Aliff Nur Najmi Chua said his brother and Louise, whom he has known for more than two years, had planned to tie the knot.

“But he was not fated to get married. I received the news that my brother died in a road accident at 3am (Thursday),” said Aliff.

Louise was in tears and too distraughted to talk to journalists at the University Hospital mortuary. However, she was carrying Boon Huat’s hockey stick at the mortuary.

“I am shocked and sad ... as I did not meet him for quite a while. I only contacted him through the phone last month,” said the 42-year-old Aliff, who is the eldest among the four siblings.

The 33-year-old Boon Huat’s mother Tan Kuai Neo, 64, was also at the mortuary.

Boon Huat was the youngest among the siblings including sisters Chua Mei Ling, 39 and Chua Mei Leng, 37.

Aliff said that his brothers’ death was a great loss to the national team.

“Hockey was his passion and he enjoys playing for the national team and his club (KL Hockey Club). We will definitely miss him especially my mother, who is close to him,” said Aliff, whose Chinese name is Chua Keng Leong.

Aliff added that Boon Huat picked up hockey because of him.

“Boon Huat use to follow me to watch me play hockey for my school. But I preferred playing rugby and represented Malaysia in tournaments from 1998 to 2004.

“But Boon Huat like hockey and he played for Malacca High School in tournaments,” said Aliff, who is the Malacca state rugby coach.

The Star of Malaysia



Chua Boon Huat's father also died in an accident

PETALING JAYA: The mother of national hockey player Chua Boon Huat who was killed in a road accident today recalled how her husband Chua Peng Hock had also died in a road accident nine years ago.

Tan Kuai Neo, 64, said she was shocked to hear that Boon Huat had died in a road accident.

"His girlfriend informed me by telephone at 4 am," a weeping Tan told reporters at the mortuary of the Universiti Malaysia Medical Centre (UMMC), here.

She recalled that her husband had died in Malacca following an accident involving his motorcycle and a car.

Boon Huat, 33, was killed after the Proton Perdana car he was driving collided with a water tanker along the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP) near the Kelana Jaya LRT station at 2.25 am.

New Straits Times



Funeral preparations for Chua Boon Huat in Malacca



MALACCA: Family members of the national hockey player Chua Boon Huat who was killed in an accident on the Damansara Puchong Highway (LDP) this morning, were seen busy making preparations for his funeral.

Chua's elder brother, Decee Chua, 39, who was in Johor, rushed back to Malacca and appeared upset but remained calm as he answered calls on his mobile phone and queries from the press.

"I received a call from my sister, Melissa Chua, 37, at around 4am and I was shocked to hear about this.

"I rushed back to Malacca immediately to help with making the funeral preparations while my mother and my sister went to Kuala Lumpur to retrieve his body," he said.

Decee, who is a regional sales manager for telecommunications company in Johor said, the last time he met his younger brother was in July, during his FIH World Hockey League in Johor Baru.

"I was there to watch his tournament but I never knew that it would be the last time I meet him," he said.

At about 11.30am just now, Decee was seen supervising the Malacca Historical City Council (MBMB) personnel who were there to set up tents in his house in Semabok Perdana.

He described Chua as a cheerful and friendly person in the family.

"I suppose the funeral would held more than two days as my brother has many friends and is well-liked," he said.

The deceased had  been actively involved in hockey games when he was schooling where he represented SK Bandar Hilir in Standard four and Malacca High School while pursuing his secondary education.

New Straits Times



Hockey India made Michael Nobbs a scapegoat, says Ganesh

By SS Shreekumar



Ganesh said that the sacking of German Gerhard Rach in 2004, Australian Ric Charlesworth in 2007, Spaniard Jose Barsa in 2009 and now Nobbs by Hockey India has a same pattern. (Express photo)

BANGALORE - The expertise of foreign hockey coaches should be utilised for short periods. Giving them long term contracts is futile, says MP Ganesh, former India captain and coach.

The merits and demerits of a foreign coach is the subject of intense debate in hockey circles now following the sacking of Australian Michael Nobbs.

“It was India which taught hockey to the world. Hockey genius Balkishen Singh was the one who taught hockey to the Australians four decades ago. It was only after his training  that they were able to win a medal at the international level. What an irony that today India is forced to learn hockey skills from Australians and others!" said Ganesh.

“Indian coaches are responsible for all of India's achievements in the Olympic Games, Asian Games, World Cup etc. Yes, the game has changed. Rules have been brought in to suit the European style. It is now played only on synthetic surfaces. We have not been able to adapt to these changes. But that doesn't mean we must be taught to play hockey,” Ganesh observed.

“The artistic Indian style which signified the Asian style, was the best in the world in the past. Even today no nation can produce hockey of that class and quality. Only Indians can. Unable to counter us, the Europeans devised a new style in mid 1970’s to checkmate India. The new strategy was in the form of introduction of Astroturf and bringing in radical changes in the rules of the game which suited them. The concept of power replaced artistic play,”  Ganesh said.

“The factionalism in the federation has also dealt a severe blow. Five top players were not selected in the Olympics. So it was no surprise that we ended last. What can Nobbs or anyone else do in that situation?” Ganesh asked.

“In order to cover up its failures, Hockey India made Nobbs a scapegoat and he was unceremoniously sacked. German Gerhard Rach in 2004, Australian Ric Charlesworth in 2007, Spaniard Jose Barsa in 2009 and now Nobbs. The pattern is the same,” Ganesh said.

“So the services of a foreign coach should be availed for shorter durations, for a period of 15 to 20 days before a major event. Coaching tips dealing with a specific task to achieve the desired results in goalkeeping, defence, midfield play, attack and fitness is needed,” Ganesh concluded.

New Indian Express



Women hockey academy promise yet to be fulfilled

KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has failed to fulfill its promise to establish a hockey academy for girls, although it has set up 15 for boys across the country.

It is either discrimination against the women hockey players or negligence of PHF.

Three years have passed since this promise was first made, but PHF has not yet done anything about it.

It is disheartening for girls who love hockey because in many other disciplines such as cricket, swimming and football girls are making rapid progress.

Women’s hockey began three decades ago in Pakistan but our hockey players have been unable to excel like our female cricketers, swimmers, athletes and table tennis players.

Due to the absence of an academy, women hockey could not be established on strong foundations.

At least one academy in every province should be established for women hockey players under the guidance of trained coaches so that the standard of their game could be improved, said a group of women hockey players while talking to ‘The News’. “Frustration is growing among women hockey players. They see that 12 to 14 hockey academies have been established for male players and dozens of domestic hockey tournaments and international matches are regularly organised for them but the women remained deprived of such opportunities,” said a player.

The girls of various departments have pleaded many times to PHF for hockey academies across the country to boost the game and to produce better players to get better results in international events, but to no avail.

Talking to this scribe, a girl said Pakistan women are far behind other international players due to lack of facilities. “There is urgent need of hockey academies, at least one each in all four provinces,” she added.

The News International