News for 16 September 2013

All the news for Monday 16 September 2013

Perak's 21-year wait is over

By Ajitpal Singh

The Perak team celebrate after winning the 51st edition of the Razak Cup after beating Kuala Lumpur 3-0 in the final in Kuantan yesterday. Pic by Luqman Hakim Zubir

PERAK won the Razak Cup after 21 years at Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan yesterday.

Led by international Azlan Misron, Perak notched their seventh Cup title by overcoming favourites Kuala Lumpur 3-0 in the final.

KL, despite dominating play, were toothless in attack and failed to convert five penalty corner set-pieces in the absence of international Razie Rahim and Amin Rahim.

Muhd Najib Abu Hassan netted the opening goal in the 12th minute before international Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi added a second off a penalty corner set-piece in the 54th.

A desperate KL attacked in numbers late in the second half and paid dearly for leaving their back-line unattended. Mohd Noor Khairul Azrain made it three for Perak five minutes from time.

Perak coach Kulwant Singh said his team played their hearts out to bring back the trophy to the state after 21 years.

"My team, comprising a mix of seniors and juniors, played to instructions. Frankly, we did not have centralised training as some players were with the national team for the Asia Cup," said Kulwant yesterday.

KL coach K. Rajan said his team did everything right except score.

"We also did not have a flicker for penalty corners. We should not have conceded the first goal and the move to attack in the second half failed to pay off," said Rajan.

Former champions Malacca recorded a comprehensive 4-1 win over Negri Sembilan for third place.

In the Division Two final, former international Muhd Noor Faez Ibrahim led Selangor to an impressive 3-1 win over Armed Forces to earn promotion to the main tier division next season.

Faridzul Afiq Mohd (10th) and Muhd Amerullah Aziz (34th) gave Selangor a 2-0 lead at half-time before Noor Faez added a third 10 minutes before the final hooter. It was Noor Faez's 11th goal in the competition.

Tuan Abdul Walid Tuan Aziz replied for Forces off a penalty corner set-piece in the 46th minute.

"We have finally made it to Division One after five years. Everyone played to instructions," said Selangor coach S. Sivabalan.

ROLL OF HONOUR -- Division One: 1 Perak, 2 Kuala Lumpur, 3 Malacca, 4 Negri Sembilan.

Fairplay: Penang; Most Valuable Player: Muhd Shukri Abdul Mutalib (Per); Best Goalkeeper: Azlan Misron (Per); Best Player of Final: Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi (Per); Top scorers: Mohd Nor Hafiq Abdul Ghaffar (Joh), Ahmad Kazamirul Nasaruddin (Pah), Izwan Firdaus Tajuddin (Pen) -- seven goals

Division Two: 1 Selangor, 2 Armed Forces, 3 Police, 4 Perlis.

Fairplay: Armed Forces; Most Valuable Player: Kevinder Singh (Police); Best goalkeeper: Adriel Ang (Sab); Best of Final: Saiful Azhar Mohd Affandi (Sel); Top scorer: Muhd Noor Faeez Ibrahim (Sel) -- 11 goals.

New Straits Times

Perak stun KL to end 21-year wait for Razak Cup


Perak players celebrate with the trophy after beating Kuala Lumpur in the Razak Cup final at the Kuantan Stadium Hockey on Sunday. — S.S. KANESAN / The Star

KUANTAN: Perak ended their 21-year wait for the Razak Cup hockey title after upsetting favourites Kuala Lumpur 3-0 in the Division One final at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium on Sunday.

Mohd Najib Abu Hassan set the silver state on the road to victory with a field goal after 12 minutes. But they had to wait until the 54th minute to score goal No. 2 with Hafifi Hafiz Hanafi on target with his penalty corner. Mohd Noor Khairul Azrain completed the scoring in the 65th minute with another field goal.

Perak received the top prize of RM10,000 while 19-time champions KL earned RM7,000.

It was sweet revenge for Perak as they had lost 4-3 to KL in the group stage.

Perak coach Kulwant Singh was overjoyed with the win.

He singled out international defender Mohd Azlan Misron for his commanding display.

“The players played their hearts out for the win ... I couldn’t ask much from them,” said Kulwant.

“We had a short time to prepare for this tournament. As the tournament progressed, we got better as a unit. The camaraderie that we had off the pitch was a major factor in our win,” he added.

Meanwhile, Selangor gained promotion to Division One after a five-year hiatus by beating Armed Forces 3-1 in the Division Two final. Selangor scored three field goals through Faridzul Afiq Mohd (10th), Muhammad Amerullah (34th) and Mohd Noor Faeez (60th). Tuan Abdul Walid Tuan Aziz scored Forces’ consolation goal in the 46th minute.

Selangor received RM5,000 while Force went home with RM4,000.

The Star of Malaysia

Looking for video referral

The Malaysian National Juniors are hoping that the organisors of the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup will provide video referral for the tournament that will be held from September 22-29 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

This is because the team has yet to play in a competition that had the video referral and with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) conforming that the technology will be used at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi, it is vital that the Malaysian Juniors adapt to it.

“We are hoping that the organisors will be able to help the team by providing the video referral for the SOJC as we have not played in any competition where this technology was used,” said team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.

“By having it in Johor Baru, it will give the players the opportunity to get used to it and ask the right questions to the umpires.

“Hence it is vital that the team gets used to this technology and I do hope it will be in place in Johor Baru.”

For the record, there was no video referral at the recent Asia Cup in Ipoh and that raised the ire of many teams.

The FIH has also confirmed that the 45-second shot clock regulation for penalty corners and the stick above the shoulder rule will not be applied at the Junior World cup, which will see 16 countries participating.

Mirnawan added that the team would move to Johor Baru a few days before the tournament to adapt to the playing surface.

“We have named 18 players and two reserves for the SOJC and look forward to a good outing this time around,” said Mirnawan.

“The boys look sharp in training and are raring to go and hopefully we get to go to India next month and play at the venue. We have requested three matches against the Indian Juniors and are awaiting conformation.

The 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup will see the participation of six teams, namely Argentina, England, Korea, India, Pakistan and Malaysia.

All the six teams will play the Junior World Cup in New Delhi from 6th to 15th December and Malaysia is grouped with England, Pakistan and South Africa.

After winning the inaugural Sultan Johor Cup, Malaysia finished at the bottom in last year’s competition, which saw Germany piping India 3-2 for the title.

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

Gregg: More and more tournaments need of the hour

Tazeen Qureshy

Junior Indian Hockey team’s coach Gregg Clark will have all eyes when the junior Indian team competes at Johor Baru for the Sultan Johor Cup starting this month under his guidance.

“The preparations are in full-swing. We are leaving no stone unturned. All areas of the game are being looked into with great detail,” he said in a short interaction with the media after practice.

Gregg, a former South African player says he will be using this tournament to churn out talents for the Junior World Cup to be held in December this year.

“World Cup is definitely in our mind. This is the last major tournament before the WC. We will be looking for our best combinations from this tour,” he said.

Earlier, the team under him had played a few matches in Europe, he dwelt at length on that tour.

“The European tour gave us a chance to play against Holland, Belgium and Germany. In Johor Baru, we will play against Argentina, England, Korea, Malaysia and Pakistan. So, playing against different countries will definitely boost our game and help us in our preparation for World Cup,” he added.

Gregg who was appointed as the coach this year had earlier coached the senior South African team. For many its a downward journey. But Gregg begs to differ, for that he has reasons too.

“A lot of people seem to be surprised at my decision to coach a junior team after having trained a senior team. However, I was too enthusiastic when I got a call from Hockey India. India has a lot of talent and I will be more than happy to help Hockey India to nurture them. I have been requesting Hockey India to organize more and more tournaments so that we can form a strong team,” he said.

However, he is not at all thinking of renewing his contract with the Indians after the World Cup. For, his priorities right now are different.

“My definite aim is the World Cup. I am thinking of nothing else,” Gregg said.

While Mandeep is injured and a call on Akashdeep is yet to be taken, the coach brushes off any injury concern.

“These things are common in hockey. Mandeep has played for the senior team. At this point of time we plan to rest him so that his future matches will not be hampered. Akashdeep is also under rehabilitation process,” he said.

Gregg has also coached the wining Ranchi Rhinos team in the first edition of Hockey India League held in January.

SAIL shocks Air India

S. Thyagarajan

V.R. Raghunath profited from IOB’s defensive errors to power IOC to victory in a key encounter. Photo: R. Ragu

Evidence of contests intensifying came crystal clear in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament on Sunday. Nothing pointed to this more than SAIL, playing the tournament for the first time, notching up a 5-2 victory over last year’s joint winner, Air India, in Pool B. What more, Air India led 2-1 at half-time.

SAIL’s sizzling performance somewhat overshadowed the key contest between IOC and IOB in Pool A, in which the former emerged a 3-1, victor thanks to V.R. Raghunath’s hat-trick.

From the opening day, the SAIL squad from Rourkela had caught the attention of the discerning followers for the quality it projected.

Strong in the fundamentals — the trapping has been outstanding — the team has built up its attack with commendable systematisation.

If poor finishing had robbed it of success in its earlier matches, the SAIL attack flourished on Sunday against the ageing Air India defence.

So incohesive was Air India’s work in the mid-field that it was unable to hold on even to the 2-1 lead it had gained by half-time.

SAIL’s chief motivating factor was the consistency of effort by the lithe Rajin Kandulna. He was everywhere on the field directing the attack, hitting penalty corners and defending the goal. His resilience and stamina were amazing indeed. He had scored in all the three matches, and notched up two goals on Sunday.

But the talking point of the day was Deepak Kullu’s impeccable penalty corner hit which brought the team its fourth goal.

With three points from two matches, Air India has a hard task in hand to qualify for the semifinals.

SAIL has one match left against Indian Bank.

Persistent probing

For all the heroic work under the bar, goal-keeper Sreejesh eventually capitulated to the persistent probing in the second half by Deepak Thakur, Prabhjot Singh and Bharat.

Penalty corner hitter Raghunath profited from the defensive errors to transform the trend of the match.

IOB paid a heavy price for its emphasis on defending the lone goal secured in the first half.

Vinod Rayar did the spade work to which Shanmugam provided the finishing touches amidst spontaneous cheers from the big holiday crowd.

Sreejesh did well to smother the pressure in the first half during which IOC had five penalty corners — three of them came in succession in the final minute. Of the five in the second part, IOC emerged successful in three from Raghunath.

IOC has enhanced its chances of obtaining a semifinal berth with six points in two matches. The fight for the second berth could well by between IOB and Army in this pool.

PNB caused a flutter handing out a 2-1 defeat to BPCL. The defenders held the famed BPCL frontline in check almost throughout.

Jalwinder struck a brace for the winner, while Amar Ayaamma restricted the margin late in the match in Pool B.

The results:

Pool A: IOC 3 (V.R. Raghunath-3) bt IOB 1 (Shanmugam).

Pool B: SAIL 5 (Felix Baa-2, Rajin Kandulna-2, Deepak Kullu) bt Air India 2 (Somanna Pradhan, Sameer Dad).

PNB 2 (Jalwinder Singh-2) bt BPCL 1 (Amar Aiyamma).

The Hindu

Princeton breaks 17-game winning streak, upset by Penn State

Taylor Herald scored a goal for Penn State in its upset of Princeton. Penn State Athletics

No. 1 North Carolina 8, Radford 1

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – With a balanced attack that included goals from six different players, North Carolina beat visiting Radford 8-1 on Sunday afternoon at Francis E. Henry Stadium. UNC improved to 6-0 with the win, while the Highlanders fell to 1-4.

Sophomores Nina Notman and Casey Di Nardo each scored twice for the Tar Heels, who continued to spread goals throughout the team. This fall, 14 different players have at least one goal and nine have two or more. Notman and Di Nardo are the scoring leaders with five each.

Carolina finished with 45 shots and 18 penalty corners. The Highlanders had three shots, all in the second half.

No. 2 Maryland 6, Miami (Ohio) 6

COLLEGE PARK, Md. –  Maryland downed Miami (Ohio) 6-0 Sunday in the final game of the Terrapin Invitational in College Park. The Terps put their offensive firepower and depth to use, as six players scored in the win, and their defense put together its second shutout of the year.

As dominant as the offense was, Maryland’s defense held Miami (Ohio) without a shot until the final two minutes of the first half and without a corner until the 55th minute.

Maryland (6-0) broke through off its first corner of the game. Steffi Schneid notched her first goal of the season off the corner for a 1-0 lead 12:15 in.

The Terps held on to their one-score lead for another 12 minutes, until Jill Witmer jumpstarted a quick three-goal run. Witmer sent a hard shot from near the top of the circle and found redshirt freshman Emma Rissinger at the right post for the deflection in the 25th minute. Fifty seconds later, Witmer scored as she took a pass from Ali McEvoy from out near midfield, turned and shot around the Redhawk’s keeper. Three minutes later, Hayley Turner made it 4-0 before the break when she tipped in Sarah Sprink’s shot off a corner from the right post.

Sophomore Alyssa Parker made it 5-0 in the 50th minute when junior Maxine Fluharty found her behind the Miami keeper for the score. McEvoy notched the Terps’ sixth goal off a penalty corner setup from Anna Dessoye and Fluharty.

Penn State 4, No. 3 Princeton 3

PRINCETON, N.J. – Penn State produced a 4-3 victory against No. 3 Princeton on Sunday, snapping the defending NCAA national champions 17-match winning streak.

Brittany Grzywacz and Taylor Herold produced the Lions’ two first-half goals and Herold and Ashtin Klingler added two more in the second to give the Blue and White just enough to come away with the win.

Grzywacz put Penn State on the board first for the second consecutive game. She received a penalty corner pass from Whitney Reddig and fired past the Princeton keeper to give PSU an early 1-0 lead. The goal was Grzywacz’s third of the season.

Less than 10 minutes later, the Nittany Lions doubled their lead in the 16th minute when Herold cut through the Tigers’ defense and beat the keeper one-on-one. With the goal, Herold grabbed the team lead for goals on the season with four.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Penn State attack blitzed Princeton for two goals in the opening four minutes, with both goals coming in the 39th minute.

Herold struck again for Penn State’s third goal, coming off a penalty corner set up by Reddig and Lauren Purvis. The goal marks Herold’s first multi-goal game of the season and fifth of her career. Within the minute of PSU’s third goal, Klingler added another, building the Lion lead to 4-1. The senior entered the right side of the circle and beat the Princeton keeper to stretch the lead to three.

No. 4 Connecticut 4, Lafayette 0

STORRS, Conn. – Junior forward Chloe Hunnable scored two more goals and senior goaltender Sarah Mansfield became the Huskies’ all-time victories leader as Connecticut blanked Lafayette 4-0 on Sunday afternoon at the George J. Sherman Family Sports Complex in Storrs, Conn. 

Mansfield notched her second consecutive shutout and the 21st of her career on Sunday. UConn’s new victories leader is 59-12 in her three-plus years in net. Danielle Vile, the previous record holder, was 58-12 from 1996-99 for the Huskies.

The Huskies are now 5-0 for the second consecutive year and the fifth time since the 2007 season.

Junior forward Anne Jeute got the scoring started for UConn early, giving the Huskies a 1-0 lead they would not relinquish just 4:53 into the contest. Right before the half, Hunnable redirected Bowden’s pass past Deutsch and into the back of the net to give the Huskies some insurance.

Freshman Montana Fleming added her first career goal to give the Huskies a commanding 3-0 lead at the 49:58 mark before Hunnable capped the scoring in the 67th minute.

No. 5 Virginia 7, Vermont 0

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Virginia improved to 7-0 with a 7-0 victory against Vermont in the finale of the Sheraton Catamount Classic tournament in Burlington, Vt. The shutout followed Virginia’s 2-0 blanking of Maine in Saturday’s tournament opener.

Senior Elly Buckley scored two goals with a pair of assists, including setting up the game-winner at the 19:52 mark in the first half when junior Kelsey LeBlanc tapped in a Buckley pass to score the first goal of the game. Buckley created two goals of her own, dribbling through defenders at the 29:34 and 32:05 marks to give UVa a 4-0 lead at the half.

Freshman Riley Tata scored a pair of goals, sophomore Taylor Brown scored her first of the season and freshman Lucy Hyams added her second of the weekend.

Junior goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone had one save while logging her second shutout of the season.

No. 6 Syracuse 6, Kent State 2

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Junior forward Lauren Brooks scored three goals to lead Syracuse (4-0) to a 6-2 victory against Kent State at Michigan State’s Ralph Young Field. Sarah Kerly, Lindsey Nerbonne and Tayler Evans all scored their first goals for the Orange in the win.

Brooks’ hat trick, the first of her career, gives her a team-leading six on the season and 20 for her career. It is the most goals in a game by a Syracuse player since Leonie Geyer scored four and Heather Susek had three goals in a 12-0 win versus Vermont on Oct. 16, 2011.

The Golden Flashes took the early 1-0 lead just 4:41 into the contest when Karleigh Carlin scored from four yards out, but head coach Ange Bradley’s Orange would go on to score five in a row to take control and put the game out of reach.

No. 10 Stanford 2, No. 8 Iowa 0

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Stanford got a goal in each half to defeat Iowa 2-0 Sunday afternoon at Grant Field.

Courtney Haldeman scored the first goal of the game, scoring right before the end of the first half. Stanford opened up a 2-0 lead 10 minutes into the second half as Kelsey Harbin scored on a penalty stroke.

Iowa played tight defense in the first half, limiting the Cardinal to five shots. The win improves the Cardinal to 5-1, and Iowa dropped to 4-2.

No. 9 Duke 1, No. 15 Old Dominion 0

DURHAM, N.C. – Solid defensive play and a late goal from junior forward Jessica Buttinger lifted Duke to a 1-0 shutout of No. 15 Old Dominion on Sunday at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils moved to 5-1 with the decision while picking up their second victory of the year against a ranked opponent.

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing matched a career high with eight saves, anchoring the Duke defense to its second shutout of the 2013 campaign. Old Dominion (1-5) outshot the Blue Devils by a 15-10 margin and led in penalty corners 9-4, but it was the Blue Devils who were able to capitalize on a late scoring opportunity to tally their third consecutive win.

The Monarchs had three penalty corner opportunities to start the second half, but the Blue Devil defense continued to cut off looks at the goal. Old Dominion’s defense held up on the other end through a pair of Duke corners before Buttinger knocked in the game-winner in the 65th minute on a feed from junior midfielder Abby Beltrani. The 1-0 score would stand for the remaining five minutes of action, sending the Blue Devils to 4-0 on their home turf.


Rough weekend on the road

By Ashley Wu

Yale rebounded from a 3–1 deficit to tie the game against Hofstra on Sunday, but fell to the Pride 4–3 in overtime for their second straight road defeat. Photo by Jennifer Cheung.

The field hockey team took to the road this weekend for its first games away from Yale this season against No. 13 Albany and Hofstra, and returned with two losses.

The Elis (1-3, 0-0 Ivy League) played a tough first game on the road Saturday against the nationally ranked Great Danes (4-0, 0-0 America East), coming out strong to take a halftime lead before Albany rallied, eventually defeating Yale 4-2.

“Overall we played them tough — the best we’ve played against them in recent years,” head coach Pam Stuper said in an interview with Yale Athletics. “We scored two goals against a team that hasn’t given up a lot of goals this year. But they have got a strong penalty corner unit, and we gave them too many chances in the second half.”

Forward Brooke Gogel ’14 opened the scoring for Yale a little over a minute and a half into the game off an assist from midfielder Emily Schuckert ’14. Albany, trailing for the first time all year, quickly tied the game with a goal less than seven minutes later off a penalty corner shot.

But the Bulldogs found the net again when forward Gabby Garcia ’14 scored off a penalty corner on the final play of the half, allowing the team to head into the locker room with a 2–1 lead at half time.

The advantage did not last long. Albany tied the game six minutes into the second half and pushed ahead less than 10 minutes later, scoring two more goals in a span of four minutes.

The Elis surrendered three second-half goals off penalty corners to an Albany team that had a 7-0 advantage in the second half and an overall advantage of 13-2 on penalty corners.

On Sunday, the Bulldogs lost to Hofstra (3-4, 0-0 CAA) 4–3 in overtime, after coming back to tie the game at three near the end of regulation. Yale midfielder Georgia Holland ’14 scored the first goal of the game near the one-minute mark off a penalty corner and kept the advantage for 30 minutes before Hofstra scored, tying the game at one going into the half.

The Bulldogs were unable to keep Hofstra off the scoreboard in the beginning of the second half when the Pride scored two unanswered goals to take a 3–1 lead. The Elis launched a relentless comeback after the 60-minute mark, as Holland scored off of a corner in the 62nd minute and forward Erica Borgo ’14 tied the game just before the end of regulation at 68:37.

Near the beginning of sudden-death overtime, Yale was awarded a penalty corner, but the team was unable to capitalize and score. Three minutes later, junior forward Jonei Boileau of Hofstra scored her third goal of the game and the Pride came away with the 4–3 victory.

“We didn’t put together a complete effort, from start to finish, today,” Stuper said in an interview with Yale Athletics. “There were individual moments of brilliance, but we didn’t play well enough as a team to get the win.”

Yale takes on Harvard at home for its first conference game next Saturday and follows with a game against Vermont on Sunday.

Yale Daily News

Hockey build-up for U17 squad

Emoni Narawa

THE Fiji Hockey Federation hopes to select the best players for the under-17 team to participate at the World Youth Olympics in China next year.

And in build-up to the Games, Fiji will play a match against Australia.

FHF is working closely with districts to find the best players who can represent the country.

A squad of 25 girls and boys will be selected from the MH Fiji Open next month to prepare for the Youth Games.

FHF development officer Tai Smith hopes to introduce the U17 competition to give game time for the national side while preparing for the Games.

"Districts and hockey teachers are being requested to prepare teams to compete at the Fiji Open where a squad of 25 girls and 25 boys will be chosen," she said.

"We will be looking to see if there will be a under-17 competition introduced into another tournament to be held in early November where we hope to run the team against local opposition.

"The team will then go into camp in December immediately after school break to prepare for a match against an Australian under-21 side."

Smith added they will reduce the squad to 15 boys and girls after the match against Australia.

"The reason for doing this is that the games in Nanging will only be a 5-a-side and there will only be 10 players chosen in each of the final teams."

She said the 30 youths would participate at the FHF Inter-club 5-a-side tournament to be held in April and continue monthly camps until the final selection in May.

The World Youth Olympics is scheduled to be held from August 16th to 28th.

The Fiji Times