News for 08 December 2013

All the news for Sunday 8 December 2013


Amazing Aymar lands eighth FIH Player of the Year crown

Netherlands youngster Maria Verschoor named Talent of the Year



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Argentine superstar Luciana Aymar has been unveiled as the International Hockey Federation’s Player of the Year for 2013 at a special presentation ceremony at the Argentina Hockey World League Final in San Miguel de Tucuman. 

It is the eighth time that the sensational attacking midfielder has received the award, following wins in 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 (jointly with Naomi van As of the Netherlands) and 2010.

Also honoured at the ceremony – which took place shortly after the Argentina versus Netherlands semi-final match – was Maria Verschoor, the 19-year-old Dutch forward who has been named as the FIH Talent of the Year. The award recognises the most outstanding performer aged 21 or under.

Both players received their awards from Pam Stuper, member of the FIH Executive Board.

At 36, Luciana Aymar becomes the oldest ever recipient of an FIH Player of the Year Award. However, her incredible performances over the last 12 months have played a crucial role in helping Las Leonas win the Pan American continental championship and also claim top spot in the FIH World Rankings. She has been in sparkling form at the Argentina Hockey World League Final, delighting sell-out crowds with her dazzling skills, pace and visionary passing. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever pick up a stick, Aymar’s eighth FIH Player of the Year title sets a benchmark that may never be surpassed. 

For teenager Maria Verschoor, 2013 will be a year that she will remember for the rest of her life.  The livewire forward was hugely impressive at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup earlier this year, being both a creator and scorer of goals as the Netherlands claimed the title in Mönchengladbach, Germany. As well as success with the U-21s, 2013 marked the start of what promises to be a stellar career with the seniors when she made her debut against Australia in February at the tender age of 18. She is currently part of the Netherlands squad competing in the HWL event in Tucuman.  

The voting for this year’s Player of the Year and Talent of the Year Awards was made by an expert panel consisting of coaches, athletes and representatives from the media. Each panellist was allowed to nominate a maximum of five candidates for the Player of the Year and three for the Talent of the Year. The panellists were only allowed to put forward one nominee from their own team or country in each category.

Although Aymar emerged top of the pile for the senior award, many other world class players were very much in the running due to the large number of votes they each received. Germany defender Tina Bachmann, Australia captain Madonna Blyth, England striker Alex Danson, Korea forward Park Mi Hyun and New Zealand midfielder Kayla Sharland all received enough nominations to make the ten-strong shortlist, as did Aymar’s fellow Argentine international Carla Rebecchi. Three Dutch players also featured in the top ten – Eva de Goede, Ellen Hoog and Maartje Paumen, who was crowned FIH Player of the Year both in 2011 and 2012.

Maria Verschoor saw off strong challenges from some of the most exciting young players in the game, with Argentine duo Agustina Albertarrio and Florencia Habif joining England’s Lily Owsley and India’s Rani on the five player shortlist for Talent of the Year.

The FIH would like to congratulate everyone who made the shortlist, with special congratulations going to our winners.   

Previous winners

FIH Player of the Year Award – Women


1998       Alyson Annan (AUS)
1999       Natascha Keller (GER)
2000       Alyson Annan (AUS)
2001       Luciana Aymar (ARG)
2002       Cecilia Rognoni  (ARG)
2003       Mijntje Donners (NED)
2004       Luciana Aymar   ARG)
2005       Luciana Aymar (ARG)
2006       Minke Booij (NED)
2007       Luciana Aymar (ARG)
2008       Luciana Aymar (ARG)
2009       Luciana Aymar (ARG) & Naomi van As (NED)
2010       Luciana Aymar   (ARG)
2011       Maartje Paumen (NED)
2012       Maartje Paumen (NED)
2013       Luciana Aymar (ARG)

FIH Talent of the Year Award – Women


2001       Angie Skirving (AUS)
2002       Soledad Garcia (ARG)
2003       Maartje Scheepstra (NED)
2004       Soledad Garcia (ARG)
2005       Maartje Goderie (NED)
2006       Park Mi Hyun (KOR)
2007       Maike Stockel (GER)
2008       Maartje Paumen (NED)
2009       Casey Eastham (AUS)
2010       Zhao Yudiao (CHN)
2011       Stacey Michelsen (NZL)
2012       Anna Flanagan (AUS)
2013       Maria Verschoor (NED)

FIH site



Netherlands stun hosts Argentina in Tucuman

Shoot-out sends Dutch through to face Australia in Saturday's grand final



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Netherlands have recorded a stunning shoot-out victory against host nation Argentina to reach the final of the inaugural Hockey World League. Normal time finished with the scores locked at 2-2, with the Dutch winning a dramatic shoot-out 3-2 to set up a meeting with Australia in Sunday's grand final. Argentina and England fight it out for the bronze medal.

The match itself was nothing short of incredible, as the two best teams in the world traded blows at a relentless pace in front six thousand screaming Argentinean fans. The Dutch made an explosive start to the contest, taking the lead in only the second minute when Maartje Paumen silenced the capacity crowd with a penalty corner rocket. 

Las Leonas levelled the scores thanks to a moment of magic from Agustina Alberarrio, who showed incredible stick-work to create space for herself before crashing a shot towards goal. The ball rattled between the legs of Netherlands keeper Joyce Sombroek, with Martina Cavallero pouncing from close range to bring Argentina level.

The game continued to swing from end to end, with both sides producing mesmerising moments in a desire to claim the next goal. A ferocious Maartje Paumen penalty corner was miraculously cleared to safety thanks to a stunning reaction from Argentina’s Mariela Scarone, while Netherlands ace Lidewij Welten almost scored a brilliant solo effort, evading four tackles before firing agonisingly wide of the target.

Moments after hitting the frame of Sombroek’s goal, Argentina moved ahead in the match with a superb penalty corner routine, with Rosario Luchetti guiding Silvina D’Elia’s strike into the roof of the net.

The Netherlands restored parity in the 56th minute thanks to a high quality volley from Roos Drost, before Paumen saw an overtime penalty corner effort brilliantly saved by the diving Belen Succi.

Succi’s save took the match into penalties. Misses from Carla Rebecchi and Mariela Scarone put the home side under serious pressure, but a miss from Welten kept the match alive. The decisive moment came when Luciana Aymar – who was crowned FIH Player of the Year for an incredible eighth time immediately after the match – saw her effort saved by Sombroek, sealing victory for the Dutch.

FIH site



Hockeyroos storm into Hockey World League Final

Schultz, Parker and McMahon give Aussies 3-0 triumph over England



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Australia’s Hockeyroos produced yet another sensational performance at the Argentina Hockey World League Final, powering to a glorious 3-0 semi-final win over England in front of a capacity crowd here in San Miguel de Tucuman.

The result puts Australia into Sunday’s Gold medal match, where they will face the winner of this evening’s mouth-watering meeting between the Netherlands and host nation Argentina. 

The win was Australia’s second victory over England in the inaugural edition of the Hockey World League, having beaten the Europeans by the same score-line at the Investec Hockey World League Semi Final event in London.

England were forced onto the back foot for long periods of the first half, and would certainly have fallen behind were it not for some masterful goalkeeping from Maddie Hinch. The England shot-stopper denied the Hockeyroos on numerous occasions, blocking penalty corners as well as making a trio of brilliant reaction saves to deny Aussie striker Ashley Nelson.

The Australian pressure intensified in the latter stages of the half before an inevitable opener arrived from the stick of Jodie Schulz, who slammed a penalty corner just inside the right post in the 32nd minute. England felt that there had been an infringement and decided to get a second opinion from the video umpire, but the appeal proved to be unsuccessful and Australia’s lead remained intact. 

England earned two penalty corners in the final stages of the half but failed to make the most of their opportunities, a wastefulness which was ruthlessly punished by their opponents in the early stages of the second period. Georgie Parker bundled home a second goal following an intense goal-mouth scramble, with Karrie McMahon taking the score to 3-0 with a ripper of a penalty corner that gave Hinch no chance.

England tried valiantly to get a foothold in the match, with the ever dangerous Alex Danson going close with an inspired backhand volley after a typically mazy run. However, Hinch remained the busier of the two keepers, making more impressive blocks to deny the dominant Australians before the hooter sounded to mark the end of the game.

Australia were worthy winners of the contest and will take some stopping in their quest to become the first ever Hockey World League champions. 

FIH site



New Zealand & China to play for 5th

Black Sticks beat Korea while China stun Germany in Tucuman



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

New Zealand and China were both victorious in the 5-8 classification matches at the Argentina Hockey World League Final in San Miguel de Tucuman.

Goals from Kayla Sharland, Petrea Webster and Gemma Flynn gave the Black Sticks a 3-1 win over Korea to seal their place in Sunday’s 5-6 placement game (1130 UTC / GMT) where they will meet China, who were 3-1 winners against Germany in the second game. The Germans dominated possession, shots and circle penetrations, but China’s clinical finishing earned them the victory. Germany and Korea will compete in the 7-8 play-off match, which takes place on Sunday morning (0900 local time). 

More information about the matches can be found below. For extensive information about the Argentina Hockey World League Final including videos, action images and statistics, please click here.

5-8 classification matches

New Zealand overpower Korea


Goals from Kayla Sharland, Petrea Webster and Gemma Flynn gave New Zealand’s Black Sticks a 3-1 win over Korea to reach the 5-6 classification match at the Argentina Hockey World League Final in sunny San Miguel de Tucuman.

New Zealand were impressive starters in the game and deservedly took a 7th minute lead when Black Sticks captain Kayla Sharland clinically dispatched a penalty stroke.

That advantage was doubled ten minutes later thanks to an open play strike from Petrea Webster, with New Zealand taking a 2-0 lead into the half time break.

Gemma Flynn netted New Zealand’s third goal in the 37th minute when she touched home a slick penalty corner routine at the right post, effectively winning the match against the rivals from Asia.

Korea deservedly reduced the deficit in the 59th minute through Han Hye Lyoung, who deflected a penalty corner into the roof of the net.  However, it proved to be little more than a consolation, with New Zealand claiming the win and sealing their place in the 5-6 placement game.

Dominant Germany suffer defeat to China

China have set up a 5-6 classification meeting with New Zealand thanks to a 3-1 victory over Germany. Despite the Germans dominating possession, circle penetrations, shots on goal and winning ten penalty corners, goals from Peng Yang, Huang Ting and Liang Meiyu proved to be enough for a China victory.

Peng opened the scoring with a superb tomahawk effort that flew into the bottom left corner of Barbara Vogel’s goal in the 12th minute before a penalty stroke from Huang Ting doubled China’s advantage six minutes later.

China’s third goal arrived in the 57th minute, with Liang Meiyu crashing home a ferocious strike after a wonderful solo run.

Germany pulled a goal back six minutes from the end, with Eileen Hoffmann forcing home from close range to complete the match scoring.

FIH site



Hockeyroos win 'Ashes'

Win over England sets up shot at World League gold against Dutch



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Hockeyroos will be going for gold at the World League Finals after a stunning 3-0 win over rivals England in their semi-final. It was a confident performance from the Hockeyroos in the match dubbed “hockey’s ashes” with Jodie Schulz, Georgie Parker and Karri McMahon all finding the back of the net in a period of less than ten minutes either side of half time.

Australia dominated the match and found themselves denied a much greater margin of victory by English goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, who thwarted, amongst others, Ashleigh Nelson on three first-half occasions.

The Hockeyroos will face the Netherlands at 9pm local time on Sunday evening, 11am AEDT / 8am AWST on Monday morning.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens called it “a very satisfying win”, adding, “We were really clinical and it was probably our best performance of the tournament. We played well; the girls stuck to our game plan and made good decisions, both on and off the ball.

Australia’s women have reached the final in each of their last three major competitions, emerging as the winners of the Oceania Cup, Investec World League semi-final tournament and Champions Challenge. Commens added, “It’s important to play in finals hockey and the World League final will be another challenge. This is our fourth final in the last four tournaments and is good preparation for next year’s World Cup.”

After taking the lead shortly before half time and despite scoring twice in a lightning quick start to the second period, the Sydney Olympic bronze medal winner said there had been no special instructions at half time. “We didn’t say anything special. We talked about what we expected from England in the second half and what we wanted to do at penalty corners but the main message was if we continue to create enough chances then more goals would come,” said Commens.

A dominant opening half hour had failed to reward the Hockeyroos’ persistence. When it came, Queenslander Jodie Schulz’s opening goal just three minutes before half time was well deserved but came in controversial circumstances. As Australia celebrated England appealed to the video umpire citing a telling deflection off the body of Teneal Attard on its route to goal. Replays appeared to show the possibility that the ball had deviated as it went past Attard but the goal was given and Australia led 1-0 at the break.

But it was the Hockeyroos’ blistering start to the second half that rocked England. With Ashleigh Nelson, Georgie Parker, Madonna Blyth and Emily Smith all involved, Australia pressed England deep inside their defensive circle and as England failed to clear their lines Georgie Parker forced the ball home to double the Hockeyroos’ advantage.

Just four minutes later it was 3-0. Karri McMahon had yet to have a sighter at goal all tournament but it didn’t seem to matter as the South Australian defender fired an unstoppable drag flick into the far corner of the net from a penalty corner.

With the Hockeyroos three goals up goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was called upon to make several saves, including a top drawer gloved save from Alex Danson’s superb tomahawk, but she and her defence were equal to everything thrown at them.

A flurry of green and yellow cards left the Hockeyroos with ten players at times late on and there was some concern for Victorian Claire Messent who left the field with a bleeding nose late on but Australia marched on to claim their place in the final.

The match will be shown again in full on ABC 1 at 10:55pm tonight, Sunday.  The final against Olympic Champions the Netherlands will take place at 11:00am AEDT / 8:00am AWST on Monday and will be streamed live online at youtube.com/fihockey.

FIH World League Finals, Women
Semi-Final
Tucumán, Argentina


On Twitter: #asheshockey

HOCKEYROOS 3 (1)

Jodie Schulz 32 (PC)
Georgie Parker 37 (F)
Karri McMahon 41 (PC)

ENGLAND 0 (0)
-

Hockeyroos squad v England
(listed alphabetically by surname)
Name (Hometown) Caps/goals
Started

Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 21/1
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 266/64
Casey Eastham (Albion Park, NSW) 185/44
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) 105/17
Rachael Lynch (Melbourne, VIC) 93/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 22/3
Claire Messent (Melbourne, VIC) 72/20
Georgie Parker (Adelaide, SA) 47/10
Jodie Schulz (Wamuran, QLD) 88/44
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 68/25
Kellie White (Crookwell, NSW) 58/20

Used Substitute
Teneal Attard (Mackay, QLD) 185/10
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)22/2
Kate Jenner (Tamworth, NSW) 77/1
Kirstin Johnson (Mackay, QLD) 29/2
Ashleigh Nelson (Wagin, WA) 130/60
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 16/4

Unused Substitute
Ashlee Wells (Moe, VIC) 22/0

Hockey Australia media release



‘Aussie Rules’ in Semi-Final battle


England's Maddie Hinch in action in goal against Australia in their semi-final at the Argentina World League Final

England came up against an Australian side in fantastic form tonight, and with tired legs, it proved to be a battle too far for Head Coach Jason Lee’s team. Australia scored a controversial first goal in the 32nd minute and followed it up with two more early on in the second period to take a deserved victory.

ENGLAND 0 (0) 

AUSTRALIA 3 (1)

Jodie Schulz 32 (PC)
Georgie Parker 37 (FG)
Karrie McMahon 41 (PC)

In the other semi-final of the night the Netherlands beat Argentina in a penalty shoot-out which means that England will face Argentina in the bronze medal play-off tomorrow night at 21:30 GMT. Australia and the Netherlands will battle it out for gold.

Before the game Sam Quek received flowers to mark her 50th England and GB combined appearance.

Speaking after the game England Head Coach Jason Lee said, “I think all the teams that were in Pool A have struggled today, with each side losing [their respective matches] so far. Our group have played in intense heat all week, in contrast to the Pool B teams who have played in the cooler evening matches. We looked physically very tired and ended up chasing the game for most of the match. I was really pleased that we kept at Australia and never gave up, but they were the better side tonight, as they have been all year, and they deserved the win.”

England fought hard across the first 35 minutes, but were unable to maintain possession against Adam Commens’ Australia side who were playing at the top of their game. They created numerous chances in the opening period of play and had it not been for some world-class goalkeeping from England’s Maddie Hinch they would have been several goals up inside 20 minutes.

With three minutes to go before the break Australia won a penalty corner, which Schulz fired home at a blistering pace to make it 0-1. However England appealed and they thought it had been successful as the video replay showed the ball appear to clip Teneal Attard’s body as it flew goal bound. But the video umpire chose to award the goal and England were forced in at the break a goal down.

The Hockeyroos came out for the second half as they had ended the first and they were back on the score sheet within two minutes. This time the goal was from close range; the ball came to Georgie Parker after a scramble in front of goal and she managed to flick it up over a stranded Hinch, who had already successfully fended off two attempts, to make it 0-2. England were on the back foot and it only took Australia until the 41st minute to make it 0-3; Karrie McMahon stepped up to guide her penalty corner effort low to the left past a diving Hinch.

With a three goal advantage Australia were in control, defending deep when they needed to, but always looking dangerous on the break. England battled hard, but with tired legs they could not find a way through the Hockeyroos defence.

The game played out to the end with the same score line and England  must now fight it out in that all too familiar bronze medal match tomorrow night at 21:30 GMT against host nation Argentina.

England’s Sam Quek, on her 50th appearance, was desperately disappointed with the result, “We looked very tired out there tonight and that certainly wasn’t our best performance. The morale in the changing room at half-time was good, despite the late goal from Australia, but losing concentration for the first five minutes after the break cost us. We reacted well from that and created a couple of good chances, but we couldn’t find a way through. Australia is always a good tough game and credit to them, they played really well tonight.”

Earlier in the day New Zealand beat Korea 3-1 and China beat Germany by the same score line to set up the 5th - 8th place play-off matches.

All matches are being streamed live on the FIH YouTube Channel

Argentina Hockey World League Final - match schedule & results

Info         Time (UK)     Teams            Result

Saturday 7 December

5 / 8        12:00               NZL – KOR        3-1
5 / 8        14:30               CHN – GER       3-1
SF1         21:30                ENG – AUS       0-3
SF2         00:00 (8 Dec)    NED – ARG       2-2 (3-2 SO)

Sunday 8 December
7 / 8        12:00                KOR – GER
5 / 6        14:30                NZL – CHN
3 / 4        21:30                ARG – ENG
Final        00:00 (9 Dec)     NED – AUS

England Women’s Squad v Australia
Name - Current Club - Position
Started

Maddie Hinch - Holcombe - Goalkeeper
Sam Quek - Reading – Defender
Laura Unsworth - Holcombe - Defender
Kate Richardson-Walsh – Reading - Defender
Hollie Webb - Surbiton - Defender
Giselle Ansley - Surbiton - Defender
Helen Richardson-Walsh  - Reading - Midfielder
Susie Gilbert – Reading - Midfielder
Nicola White - Leicester – Forward
Alex Danson - Reading - Forward
Lily Owsley - University of Birmingham - Forward

Substitutes used
Sally Walton - Wakefield - Defender
Susie Townsend - Reading - Midfielder
Georgie Twigg – Surbiton - Midfielder
Ashleigh Ball - Slough – Midfielder
Hannah Macleod - Leicester - Forward
Sophie Bray - MOP (NED) - Forward

Did not play
Kirsty Mackay - Bowdon Hightown - Goalkeeper

England Hockey Board Media release



Black Sticks set up fifth place playoff


Petrea Webster celebrates helping the BlackSticks to their first win. Photo credit: Matias Noe Correa Arce

The Black Sticks Women will play off for fifth place at the World League Final in Tucuman, Argentina after soundly defeating Korea 3-1 this morning.

In their first win at the tournament, the Black Sticks were clinical in both their attacking play and defensive organisation for most of the game.

Goals from Kayla Sharland, Petrea Webster and Gemma Flynn were enough to see them meet the winner of today’s Germany versus China game at 3.30am tomorrow morning (NZ time).

Head coach Mark Hager said he was pleased with the result and is looking forward to finishing on a positive note.

“We’re very pleased to get the win. It was good to get some early goals today and that set up a bit of a buffer,” he said.

“We made hard work of it in the second half with a few little errors and gave Korea a sniff but we defended well and now go into the 5th/6th playoff with a bit of flow and confidence.”

The Black Sticks opened with plenty of running under the morning sun, and were immediately creating chances at the attacking end.

It was the Kiwis who were first to score with captain Sharland converting a penalty stroke into the bottom left corner after Cass Reid had her legs taken out from behind while running into the circle.

North Harbour’s Webster put the Blacks Sticks up 2-0 thanks to a sprawling deflection in front of goal from a strong Olivia Merry cross.

The Black Sticks went in front 3-0 early into the second half after a well executed penalty corner saw Flynn deflect in Sharland’s crash ball from the top of the circle.

Korea lifted the intensity as time went on but the New Zealand defence was up to the task, led once again by goalkeeper Sally Rutherford who made several critical saves.

Hye Lyoung Han scored with just 11 minutes left on the clock to pull one back for Korea.

Black Sticks 3: (Kayla Sharland, Petrea Webster, Gemma Flynn)
Korea 1: (Hye Lyoung Han)
Halftime: Black Sticks 2-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Final weekend sell-out at Argentina Hockey World League

Huge crowds will witness dramatic conclusion to women's HWL



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

The concluding weekend of the Argentina Hockey World League Final event was always going to be very special, but the fact that the semi-finals and medal matches will be watched by capacity crowds is sure to make the occasion even more spectacular.

We can confirm that every single ticket for the final two days of the tournament in San Miguel de Tucuman has been snapped up, meaning that a guaranteed six thousand fans will be in the stadium to watch what is sure to be a drama-filled end to the inaugural women’s World League.

As well as the fans in the stadium, a massive global audience will be following all of the action live on the FIH You Tube channel. Don’t forget to tune in!

FIH site



Belgium earn second win and book quarter-final berth

Germany cleanly defeat Pakistan and maintain 1/ 4 final chances



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Belgium vs. Egypt: 5-0 (half-time: 0-0)

After their good performance against Pakistan the day before (narrow loss 2-3), Egypt started their match against European Champions Belgium with confidence. They defended well the first Belgian penalty-corner and were not shy to take their chances on swift counter-attacks, showing excellent individual skills.

Belgium were however never in danger and seem to calmly wait for their time to strike. They pushed up the pace in the final ten minutes of the period, often overwhelming their opponents, but the Egyptian defense held tight and the break was reached with no score.

Belgium did not wait long in second period to put the first dent on the score sheet, Alexander Hendrickx finally beating goal-keeper Wael Noureldin on penalty-corner in the 38th minute. Mathew Cobbaert added a superb goal ten minutes later, running through the whole circle and around the keeper before shooting the ball high in goal from an impossibly narrow angle.

With the floodgates now open, Alexander Hendrickx added a penalty-corner in the 51th minute and Mathew Cobbaert also scored his second goal of the match soon after.

Despite the large deficit, Egypt never stopped trying and still managed to create some chances. The Belgium were however on a roll and Hendrickx completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute with a penalty-stroke clinically taken, for a final score of 5-0 for the Red Lions that booked them a quarter-final berth in the second stage of the competition.

Pakistan vs. Germany: 1-6 (half-time: 0-4)

Germany needed to redeem themselves after their loss to Belgium on opening day and it only took them two minutes to stake their claim on the match when Christopher Rühr stole a careless pass from the defense, eliminated an opponent at full speed and blasted a shot that Amin Yousaf in the Pakistani goal nearly stopped but could not prevent from trickling over the line.

They doubled their tally on the 10th minute mark by Lukas Windfeder with a powerful penalty-corner drag flick high in goal. Christopher Rühr displayed then again his incredible talent in the 18th minute when he outran the whole Pakistani defense and delivered a reverse shot that left absolutely no chance to Amin Yousaf.

Pakistan did not help their cause when Muhammad Arslan Qadir picked up a red card, leaving his side 3 goals down and one man short. Germany immediately capitalized on the situation, Christopher Rühr completing his hat-trick with this time a superb penalty-corner drag flick high in the corner, taking his side into the break with a comfortable 4-goal cushion and a total grasp on the proceedings. 

Germany stayed firmly in control in second period, circulating the ball in midfield away from their opponents and thwarting any Pakistani attempt at reducing the score. Play was fast paced and entertaining, but scarce in goals until the final ten minutes of play. Germany added a penalty-corner goal by Alexander Schöllkopf in the 59th minute and a last minute goal by Niklas Bruns, while Pakistan managed to salvage some pride with a penalty-corner on the buzzer by Ammad Shakeel Butt.

Germany were satisfied with this crucial win that pushes them ahead of Pakistan after two days of matches in Pool A and a strong chance to make it through to the quarter-finals. 

FIH site



The Netherlands fend off Korean challenge to top Pool C

Narrow win over Canada did not reassure the Indian fans



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Korea vs. Netherlands: 2-3 (half-time: 2-2)

Both teams having won their match on opening day, this was a crucial encounter for the lead in Pool C. The Netherlands were first on the scoreboard in the 4th minute, when Thierry Brinkman was on hand in front of the keeper to deflect a perfect pass drilled into the circle by Pepijn Luijkx.

Korea forced a penalty-corner soon after but their ace-striker You Seungju was this time slightly off target. They were more successful on their next attempt in the 17th minute, thanks to a deflection by Seo Inwoo just in front of the keeper.

Korean custodian Lee Seyoung maintained his team afloat with a series of saves, including a formidable double-save on Dutch shots from very close range, but he could not do much on a low strike by Tristan Algera in the 25th minute. Not to be outdone, You Seungju scored in the next minute at the other end, also on a penalty-corner, and the match was back to square one going into the break with the teams tied at 2-2.

The Netherlands jumped back into the lead early in second period when Milan Van Baal, left unmarked in the circle, pounced on a ball that seemed to be going wide and coolly redirected it in goal under the incredulous eyes of the grounded Korean keeper.

This seemed to take some wind from the Korean sails and the Netherlands controlled play for a while, creating dangerous chances but without getting an insurance goal. Korea had a last chance on a penalty-corner earned on a video-referral, but Piet Noordam in the Dutch goal was up to the task, preserving the narrow lead for a precious win that put the Netherlands solidly in control of Pool C and book them a quarter-final berth.

Match #12 (pool C) - India vs. Canada: 3-2 (half-time: 1-1)

Both teams were under pressure to win in order to keep a chance to make it through to the quarter-finals after losing their opening match. India were possibly under additional pressure to perform in front of the home crowd and were immediately put on the back foot by some bold Canadian attacks. The very vocal crowd was silenced in the 3rd minute when Canadian captain Sukhi Panesar collected a rebound from the post to slot it in goal.

That of course triggered an immediate reaction from the Indian players and they pushed forward to besiege the Canadian goal. Play stayed confined in the Canadian 25m for a while, but the Indian forwards were too much in a hurry and rushed many of their actions, missing the final touch on goal.

Kevin Pereira, in goal for Canada today, saw plenty of action and stood his ground superbly, frustrating some of the Indian attempts from close range. India had a series of penalty-corners but Pereira saved the first one and the second went wide. Canada were still clinging to their lead in the 30th minute, when Mandeep Singh was finally on target on a penalty-corner option to tie the score going into the break.

Both teams had chances early in second period, with a crossbar saving Canada on the first Indian action. The young Canadians were however playing much better than in their opening match against Korea, revelling in the fiery atmosphere and the fast and furious pace.

India were unable to penetrate the compact Canadian defense and were equally unsuccessful on a penalty-corner. Canada were more efficient at the other end and Gordon Johnston silenced the crowd again on their first penalty-corner of the match to regain the lead in the 51st minute.

This was not the scenario that India were expecting and frustration started to show. They tied the score in the 57th minute with a sneaky deflection by Akashdeep Singh, but the crowd wanted more from the local boys, setting the stage for a torrid end of match.

Both teams threw caution to the wind in the final minutes of play, with action flowing rapidly from one end to the other. Canada were saved once more by a desperate save by Kevin Pereira, but had to concede defeat in the final minute on a penalty-corner earned from a video-referral and dutifully converted by Gurjinder Singh.

India earned the 3 points for the win but certainly did not reassure their fans on their potential in this competition, while the Canadians were able to leave the pitch with their heads high after an excellent display, rewarded by the Man of the Match Award going to their goal-keeper Kevin Pereira.

FIH site



Early red card does Pakistan in

s2h team


Pakistan needed a good show to shore up their own chances after a shaky victory over Egypt yesterday.

But Pakistan had to bow to the superior Germany rather tamely (1-6) in their second match today on day two of the Hero Junior World Cup.

Germany did not allow Pakistan to settle, scoring a field goal in the second minute itself. Christopher Ruhr scored first of his three goals, the other two coming in the 18th and 26th minutes.

In between, Lukas Windfeder converted a penalty corner in the tenth minute.

When Germany had taken 3-0 lead in the 18th min, there was ample time left for the former world champions to make up and make a match of it.

However, Arslan Qadir, who elbowed German captain Mathias Muller, got a red card, first in 10 matches played so far, and thus the team had to play with just 10 players in the remainder of the game.

Germany, who lost their match to Belgium, relished the situation and went on the strike three more goals, one by Ruhr and one apiece from Schllkopf and Niklas Bruns.

Pakistan's goal came in the dying moments, 70+, off a penalty corner strike by Shakeel Butt.

Pakistan coach Anjum Saeed termed the decision of the umpire too harsh.

Stick2Hockey.com



Germany thrash Pakistan 6-1, another win for Belgium

NEW DELHI: Christopher Ruhr scored a hat-trick as Germany thrashed Pakistan 6-1 in their Pool A match of the Hero FIH Junior Men's World Cup at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday.

Besides Ruhr, Lukas Windfeder, Alexander Schollkopf and Niklas Bruns netted once each.

In another Pool A match earlier in the day, Belgium, who yesterday stunned defending champions Germany 3-1, continued to dominate as they blanked Egypt 5-0.

The Germans took the lead in the second minute itself through a field goal by Ruhr. They doubled the margin in the 10th minute when Lukas Windfeder converted a penalty corner.

Pumped up by the early goals, Ruhr netted the ball twice in a gap of eight minutes in the 18th and 26th minute to take the upper hand. While the first one was a field goal, the next was a penalty corner conversion.

On the other hand, Pakistan, who survived a late scare before prevailing over lowly Egypt 3-2 in their tournament opener yesterday, continued to look off-colour against their formidable opponents.

They were hardly in contention in the match and even a couple of chances that they got, the Pakistanis simply failed to make use and went into the half-time with Germany having a huge lead of 4-0.

The second half saw some resistance from Pakistan, but Germany calmly waited for their time to strike. They kept pushing up the pace and successfully overwhelmed their opponents to further extend the lead in the 59th minute when Alexander Schollkopf converted a penalty corner.

10 minutes later Niklas Bruns netted the ball through a field goal to make it 6-0.

The Pakistanis scored a consolation goal in the final second of the match, in fact just at the final hooter, when Sakeel Ammad Butt converted a penalty corner to reduce the margin.

Pakistan's Arslan Muhammad Qadir got a red card when he elbowed a German player.

Pakistan coach Saeed Anjum said while his players' performance wasn't up to the mark, a few decisions also went against them.

"Boys did not perform well but umpiring was also partial. They gave decisions against us," Anjum said.

As far as the day's other match was concerned, with back-to-back victories, Belgium brightened their chances of booking a berth in the quarterfinals.

Belgium scored all their five goals in the second half of the match through Alexander Hendricks (38th, 51st and 66th), who slammed a hat-trick, and Mathew Cobbaert in 48th and 54th minute, both of which were field goals.

Although Egypt got off to a confident start against Belgium, the European Champions managed to have the maximum ball procession and played attacking hockey.

But the Egyptian defenders stood like a rock to deter their opponents from scoring in the first half.

They never gave much space to the Belgians forwards to create clear scoring chances and at the end of the first half, the scoreboard read 0-0.

Belgium had also earned a couple of penalty corners but they wasted the opportunities.

In the second half, however, Belgium totally changed the complexion of the game and turned out to be a far more dominant side on display, scoring as many as five goals.

Speaking on the possibility of making it to the next round, Belgium coach Goldberg Philippe said, "While we have won both the matches we still target to in the next one because if Germany manages to win their match again Pakistan and if we lose against Pakistan then our chances to go to the next round becomes difficult."

The Times of India



Germany thrash Pakistan

By Jugjet Singh


DEFENDING champions Germany bounced back in style to blitz Pakistan 6-1 in Group A of the Junior World Cup at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi yesterday.

After losing their opening match to Belgium 3-1, the Germans hit a sixer past Pakistan and will now have an easy three-point match against Egypt.

Belgium virtually qualified for the quarter-finals when they routed Egypt 5-0 in another Group A match. With six points, Belgium play Pakistan next and the Green Shirts are expected to face a torrid time.

After their commendable performance against Pakistan the day before (a narrow 3-2 loss), Egypt started their match against European champions Belgium with confidence. They defended well against the first Belgian penalty-corner and were not shy to take their chances with counter-attacks, showing excellent individual skills.

Belgium were, however, never in danger and seemed to calmly wait for their time to strike. They pushed up the pace in the final 10 minutes, often overwhelming their opponents, but the Egyptian defence held tight and the break was reached with no score.

Belgium did not wait long in the second period to draw blood. Alexander Hendrickx beat goalkeeper Wael Noureldin during a penalty-corner in the 38th minute while Mathew Cobbaert added a superb goal 10 minutes later.

With the floodgates now open, Hendrickx added a penalty-corner in the 51th minute and Mathew Cobbaert also scored his second goal of the match soon after.

Hendrickx completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute with a penalty-stroke.

New Straits Times



Pakistan hit for a dozen



Germany needed to redeem themselves after their loss to Belgium on opening day and it only took them two minutes to stake their claim on the match when Christopher Rühr stole a careless pass from the defense, eliminated an opponent at full speed and blasted a shot that Amin Yousaf in the Pakistani goal nearly stopped but could not prevent from trickling over the line.

They doubled their tally on the 10th minute mark by Lukas Windfeder with a powerful penalty-corner drag flick high in goal. Christopher Rühr displayed then again his incredible talent in the 18th minute when he outran the whole Pakistani defense and delivered a reverse shot that left absolutely no chance to Amin Yousaf.

Pakistan did not help their cause when Muhammad Arslan Qadir picked up a red card, leaving his side 3 goals down and one man short. Germany immediately capitalized on the situation, Christopher Rühr completing his hat-trick with this time a superb penalty-corner drag flick high in the corner, taking his side into the break with a comfortable 4-goal cushion and a total grasp on the proceedings. 

Germany stayed firmly in control in second period, circulating the ball in midfield away from their opponents and thwarting any Pakistani attempt at reducing the score. Play was fast paced and entertaining, but scarce in goals until the final ten minutes of play. Germany added a penalty-corner goal by Alexander Schöllkopf in the 59th minute and a last minute goal by Niklas Bruns, while Pakistan managed to salvage some pride with a penalty-corner on the buzzer by Ammad Shakeel Butt.

Germany were satisfied with this crucial win that pushes them ahead of Pakistan after two days of matches in Pool A and a strong chance to make it through to the quarter-finals. 

Hockey Asia



Belgium first to make quarters

NEW DELHI: Belgium became the first team to secure a quarterfinal berth with a 5-0 crushing win over Egypt to top Pool A with six points in the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday.

Later in the day, defending champions Germany bounced back from their defeat to Belgium Friday by drubbing Pakistan 6-1 in another Pool A clash to keep alive their quarterfinal hopes.

Egypt started their match high on confidence, defending well against the Belgians by stopping the penalty corners. The African side were also not shy to take their chances on swift counter-attacks, showing excellent individual skills.

Belgium, however, calmly waited for their time to strike. They pushed up the pace but the Egyptian defence held tight and the break was reached with no score.

The Europeans did not wait long in the second half and put the first dent when Alexander Hendrickx beat goalkeeper Wael Noureldin on a 38th minute penalty corner. Mathew Cobbaert added another goal 10 minutes later. Hendrickx scored his second to take his side to 3-0 via a 51st minute penalty corner.

Belgium were on a roll and skipper Cobbaert scored his second goal three minutes later. Hendrickx completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute with a penalty stroke for a final score of 5-0, booking their quarterfinal berth.

In the second Pool A match, Germany needed to redeem themselves after their loss to Belgium and it only took them only two minutes to stake their claim on the match when Christopher Rahr blasted a shot that Pakistan keeper Amin Yousaf nearly stopped but could not prevent from trickling over the line.

The defending champions doubled in the 10th minute with a Lukas Windfeder penalty corner. Rahr then displayed incredible talent in the 18th minute. He beat the Pakistani defence and delivered a reverse flick which went straight in.

Pakistan did not help their cause when Muhammad Arslan Qadir picked up a red card, leaving his side 0-3 down and a man short.

Germany immediately capitalised and Rahr completed his hat-trick with another precise drag flick, taking his side into the break with a four goal cushion.

Germany stayed in control in second period and added another penalty corner goal by Alexander Schallkopf in the 59th minute. In the 69th minute, Niklas Bruns scored Germany's sixth and last goal while Pakistan managed to a goal in the final minute with a penalty corner by Ammad Shakeel Butt.

Germany and are now second in the pool ahead of Pakistan on goal difference.

The Times of India



Belgium first into the Quarters



After their good performance against Pakistan the day before (narrow loss 2-3), Egypt started their match against European Champions Belgium with confidence. They defended well the first Belgian penalty-corner and were not shy to take their chances on swift counter-attacks, showing excellent individual skills.

Belgium were however never in danger and seem to calmly wait for their time to strike. They pushed up the pace in the final ten minutes of the period, often overwhelming their opponents, but the Egyptian defense held tight and the break was reached with no score.

Belgium did not wait long in second period to put the first dent on the score sheet, Alexander Hendrickx finally beating goal-keeper Wael Noureldin on penalty-corner in the 38th minute. Mathew Cobbaert added a superb goal ten minutes later, running through the whole circle and around the keeper before shooting the ball high in goal from an impossibly narrow angle.

With the floodgates now open, Alexander Hendrickx added a penalty-corner in the 51th minute and Mathew Cobbaert also scored his second goal of the match soon after.

Despite the large deficit, Egypt never stopped trying and still managed to create some chances. The Belgium were however on a roll and Hendrickx completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute with a penalty-stroke clinically taken, for a final score of 5-0 for the Red Lions that booked them a quarter-final berth in the second stage of the competition.

Hockey Asia



Belgium’s rise and the reasons

Uthra Ganesan


Forget a temperamental Pakistan, an inconsistent India or a fluctuating Malaysia. If there is one team that defies its ranking in world hockey today, it is Belgium. And its under-21 side here is a perfect example.

In the last two editions of the tournament in 2005 and 2009, Belgium finished 11th. This time, it came as the European champion and one of the favourites for the title. An emphatic 3-1 victory over defending champion Germany followed by a 5-0 routing of Egypt only strengthened the claim.

Philippe Goldberg, coach of the junior side and an assistant to Marc Lammers with the senior team, said: “the strength of my team is that it is a team.

“We do not have stars. I will struggle to name one player who is more special than the rest. We attack together, we defend together and we play together. That’s the simple secret of success,” he added.

Captain Matthew Cobbaert explained it further.

“We have included in our team rules that nobody’s parents or any relation will stay with the team during any competition. We live as a group, we do everything together in a tournament — there is no place for family. The team is our family when we play,” he said nonchalantly.

Lammers, here as a consultant with the team, pointed to the strong club culture back home. The Belgian league runs from September through May with weekend games, keeping the players match ready.

One common system

“All our teams, from under-14 to the senior squad, train and play with each other, so there is one common system from bottoms-up.

“It was a conscious decision by the federation to overhaul the entire system, the facilities and the talent scouting. Belgium is a small country so that helped a lot,” Goldberg said.

The system ensures there is continuity through the ranks.

The Hindu



Holland edge Korea

Both teams having won their match on opening day, this was a crucial encounter for the lead in Pool C. The Netherlands were first on the scoreboard in the 4th minute, when Thierry Brinkman was on hand in front of the keeper to deflect a perfect pass drilled into the circle by Pepijn Luijkx.

Korea forced a penalty-corner soon after but their ace-striker You Seungju was this time slightly off target. They were more successful on their next attempt in the 17th minute, thanks to a deflection by Seo Inwoo just in front of the keeper.

Korean custodian Lee Seyoung maintained his team afloat with a series of saves, including a formidable double-save on Dutch shots from very close range, but he could not do much on a low strike by Tristan Algera in the 25th minute. Not to be outdone, You Seungju scored in the next minute at the other end, also on a penalty-corner, and the match was back to square one going into the break with the teams tied at 2-2.

The Netherlands jumped back into the lead early in second period when Milan Van Baal, left unmarked in the circle, pounced on a ball that seemed to be going wide and coolly redirected it in goal under the incredulous eyes of the grounded Korean keeper.

This seemed to take some wind from the Korean sails and the Netherlands controlled play for a while, creating dangerous chances but without getting an insurance goal. Korea had a last chance on a penalty-corner earned on a video-referral, but Piet Noordam in the Dutch goal was up to the task, preserving the narrow lead for a precious win that put the Netherlands solidly in control of Pool C and book them a quarter-final berth.

The Asian Age



India stays alive with thrilling win

Y.B. Sarangi



Mandeep Singh (left) who scored the first goal in actin during the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup Hockey match in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Despite frittering away scores of chances, India rallied to eke out a laborious 3-2 victory over Canada in its second Pool C match of the junior hockey World Cup at the National Stadium here on Saturday. The host, with three points from this thriller, needs to win its final pool engagement against Korea to make it to the last eight.

Against one of the fittest sides in the tournament, India needed to seize the initiative and maintain pressure throughout. Instead, it invited trouble by letting Canada gain the advantage in the third minute.

Pradeep Mor failed to clear the ball, which rebounded off the right post and allowed Sukhi Panesar to cash in. It was a vital breakthrough for Canada. For India, the unexpected goal was like a mountain on its head.

The ruffled host hit back with an array of aggressive moves. But the rival wall was too strong to breach. Led by the towering Gordon Johnston, the Canadian defenders moved fast, closed the gaps and cleared the ball swiftly.

The Indians showed signs of nerve and fumbled in their passing and receiving. The forwards rushed through their shots on several occasions and messed up at least two fine scoring opportunities.

India’s persistence paid off after an anxious and painstaking wait of 27 minutes. Mandeep Singh deflected in an Amit Rohidas flick off the team’s third penalty corner and the host took a much needed break with honours shared.

Johnston (51st) converted Canada’s first short corner, but a stunning goal from Akashdeep Singh (57th) levelled matters. In a sensational conclusion, which involved video referrals, Gurjinder Singh scored the winner from a 69th minute penalty corner.

Germany cruises

Pakistan received a setback after being routed 6-1 by Germany. After conceding three goals within the first 18 minutes, the Asian team’s woes were compounded when Muhammad Arslan Qadir received a red card for elbowing a German player in the 23rd minute.

Belgium and the Netherlands too recorded wins to virtually seal their quarterfinal spots.

The results: Pool A: Belgium 5 (Alexander Hendrickx 38, 51, 66, Mathew Cobbaert 48 & 54) bt Egypt 0; Germany 6 (Christopher Ruhr 2, 18, 26; Lukas Windfeder 10; Alexander Schollkopf 59; Niklas Bruns 69) bt Pakistan 1 (Shakeel Ammad Butt 70+).

Pool C: The Netherlands 3 (Thierry Brinkman 4, Tristan Algera 25, Milan van Baal 39) bt Korea 2 (Inwoo Seo 17, Seungju You 27); India 3 (Mandeep Singh 30, Akashdeep Singh 57, Gurjinder 69) bt Canada 2 (Sukhi Panesar 3, Gordon Johnston 51).

Sunday’s matches: Australia vs Spain (2 p.m.); Argentina vs France (4 p.m.); South Africa vs Malaysia (6 p.m.); New Zealand vs England (8 p.m.).

The Hindu



Gurjinder gives India first win in Junior Hockey World Cup

Biswajyoti Brahma

NEW DELHI: Home supporters erupted in joy when Gurjinder Singh scored with 90 seconds to go for the final hooter. The goal from a penalty corner gave India the lead for the first time in the match. They held on to it for a hard-fought 3-2 verdict to keep alive their hopes of securing a quarterfinal berth in the Hero Junior Hockey World Cup.

Canada went ahead twice and India fought back on both occasions. But despite their best efforts it took some time before they could score.

India pressed the panic button when Canada, capitalising on a defensive lapse, scored in the third minute of the match. They tried hard to draw parity but in their effort to score began making silly errors. They made inroads into the rival defence but failed to give finishing touches to the chances they created. The desperation was evident; so was the confusion.

It was thrust and parry in the initial moments of the match. Ramandeep Singh had the best chance to level the score in the 17th minute when he received the ball unmarked inside the 'D'. But he took too long to take the shot, allowing the rival defenders to regroup and take control of the situation. India even forced two penalty corners but Amit Rohidas and Gurjinder failed to find the back of the post. With five minutes to go for the breather, India earned their third penalty corner and Rohidas' shot was deflected in by Mandeep Singh.

The charged-up Indians came back in the second half looking more determined. But their failure to make the most of the opportunities continued.

"There were anxious moments, we had so many chances. We got the victory right at the end but we dominated the match," India's coach Gregg Clark said after the match.

India now need to win their last league match against South Korea to advance to the quarterfinals.

Earlier, Germany dealt a big blow to Pakistan's chances beating them 6-1 with Christopher Ruhr scoring three goals. Pakistan played with 10 players after Arslan Qadir was shown the red card for elbowing a rival player in the 23rd minute. "It was an unfair decision," captain Umar Bhutta said after the match.

Added coach Syed Anjum: "Umpiring was one-sided with 2-3 decisions going against us. The red card was not required for that foul. Yellow would have been apt."

Pakistan now must beat a resurgent Belgium to nurture any hope of making the quarterfinals. "We will qualify if luck is with us," said coach Anjum. Belgium, meanwhile, virtually booked their place in the quarterfinals with a 5-0 win over Egypt.

This was their second win in as many matches. Alexander Hendrick scored three goals and Mathew Cobbaert slammed home the other two.

The Netherlands overcame South Korea 3-2 to become to first team to book a berth in the quarterfinals of the mega event.

Results: India 3 (Mandeep Singh 30, Akashdeep Singh 57, Gurjinder 69) bt Canada 2 (Sukhi Panesar 3, Gordon Johnston 51); Belgium bt Egypt 5-0; Germany bt Pakistan 6-1; Netherlands bt South Korea 3-2

The Times of India



India bring campaign back on track by beating Canada 3-2

NEW DELHI: India kept themselves in the hunt for the knock-out stage after eking out a hard-fought 3-2 win over Canada in a Pool C match of the Hero FIH Junior Men's hockey World Cup, on Saturday.

India had started as favourites but they had to toil hard at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand Stadium as twice the hosts had to come from a goal down to grab three points.

Drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh scored the winner for India in the penultimate minute of the match after Mandeep Singh (30th) and Akashdeep Singh (5th) sounded the nets to level the scores.

For Canada, Sukhi Panesar (3rd) scored from a field effort while Gordon Johnston made use of their lone penalty corner in the 51st minute

India now need to beat Korea in their final pool match to secure their quarterfinal berth.

Both India and Korea are on three points each from two outings but Korea has better goal difference than the Indians and only a draw in their last match would be enough for them to pip the home team and go forward.

With two wins out of as many games, Netherlands have already qualified for the quarterfinals from Pool C. Netherlands edged past Korea 3-2 to book their place in the quarterfinals of the event.

Against Canada today, the Indians were in for a rude shock early in the match as Canada stunned the handful of spectators present at the ground striking in the third minute through Panesar, who capitalised on a defensive lapse to slot home the ball after Brenden Bissett's initial shot struck the corner of the Indian goalpost.

Thereafter it was all India as they dominated the entire opening half and created chances after chances but only to see them go abegging.

The Indians got their first scoring chance in the 10th minute but Malak Singh's deflection from Pradeep Mor's cross from the right flank tantalisingly sailed past the Canadian goal.

Malak was once again at the wrong end as two minutes later, from close range he failed to connect to Mandeep's high reverse shot.

Missed chances were the order of the day for India. Six minutes later, it was Mor's turn to shot wide. The Indians then earned two penalty corners in a span of three minutes but wasted both.

India finally drew parity in the 30th minute through a penalty corner earned and executed by Mandeep, who neatly deflected in Surender Singh's grand flick as India went for improvisation.

After the change of ends it was a more balanced contest as Canada came out with more purpose and managed to take the play to the Indian half.

Canada once again shocked India in the 51st minute by taking the lead through Johnston who perfectly converted their lone penalty corner.

But six minutes later, India drew level again when Akashdeep neatly deflected in skipper Manpreet Singh's piercing pass from the centre.

Knowing very well that only a win can keep them afloat in the tournament, the Indians went for all out attack and created numerous chances only to be denied by the Canadian defence, led by their goalkeeper Kevin Pereira, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his splendid show under the bar.

But India's persistent pressure resulted in their fifth penalty corner in the 69th minute of the match and this time Gurjinder made no mistake in converting it to sent the sparse crowd into raptures.

India will now face Korea in their last pool match on December 10 while Canada will be up against Netherlands.

The Times of India



We deserved to win, says India coach

NEW DELHI: India's chief coach Greg Clark begs to differ with his Canadian counterpart that the hosts were lucky to earn the 3-2 win on Saturday, saying his wards were the deserving winner in the Pool C encounter as they completely dominated the match.

It was a hard-earned victory for India as twice the hosts had to come from a goal down to salvage three points from the encounter.

Drag-flicker Gurjinder Singh scored the winner for India in the penultimate minute of the match after Mandeep Singh (30th) and Akashdeep Singh (5th) sounded the nets to level the scores.

By virtue of this win, India has kept alive their hopes in the tournament but they need to beat Korea in their final pool match to secure their quarterfinal berth.

"I don't think so because we had far more opportunities than Canada. Statistics shows that we had twice as many circle penetrations. We also had five penalty corners against their one," Clark said when asked about Canada coach Aaron Guest's comments.

"We got the victory right at the end but we fully dominated the match. If we would have taken the chances it would have been a comfortable victory," he said.

Just after the match, Guest said that India should consider themselves lucky to pocket full three points from the match.

Clark, however, sounded cautious and said the Indians had to work on their accuracy if they wish to prolong their journey in the mega-event.

"The nature of the win raised a few alarm bells but there were a lot of positives to take from this match," he said.

"We created plenty of chances. It was just about being accurate once you are inside the opposition circle."

Both India and Korea are on three points each from two outings but Korea have better goal difference than the Indians and only a draw in their last match would be enough for the Koreans to pip the home team and go forward.

India, on the other hand, face a must-win situation as Netherlands have already qualified for the quarterfinals with two wins from as many matches.

Asked Clark about India's crucial last pool encounter, the South African said, "After the result against Netherlands we knew we had to get two results in or favour. So the scenario remains the same."

The Times of India



Upbeat SA U21 hockey men face Asian champs Malaysia

JONATHAN COOK


The South Africa U21 men’s hockey team’s Pool D opening 2-1 win over favourites England in Delhi, India on Friday has put them in a good position to push for an unprecedented top eight finish at the 16-nation Junior World Cup finals event.

The FIH reports that England dominated the early exchanges and in the fifth minute a neat deflection by Arjan Drayton-Chana off a hard pass into the strike zone was finished off by David Goodfield.

Despite England enjoying the lion’s share of possession, the hardworking South Africans fought back and the payoff came when Andrew Manson buried a rebound off England stopper Harry Gibson one minute (34th) before half-time.

The fierce struggle and pace of the game continued unchecked after the changeover and the SA defence held firm in the face of mounting England pressure before the winner came 11 minutes (59th) from the end when skipper Dylan Swanepoel got a stick on the ball following a South African penalty corner.

Head coach Darryn Gallagher’s SA side meet Asian champions Malaysia, 3-2 winners over New Zealand on Friday, at 2.25 pm (SA time) Sunday in a clash to be televised live on SuperSport 7 (repeat at 8.30 pm on SS6).

SA U21 TEAM
Adrian Abrahams (Western Province), Daniel Bell (WP), Matt Brown (Southern Gauteng), Chad Cairncross (Eastern Province), Richard Curtis (KZN Coastal), Taylor Dart (SG), René de la Peyre (Northern Blues), Ross Hetem (KC), Marc Fourie (WP), Grant Glutz (NB), Ross Gonsalves (NB), Keenan Horne (WP), Damian Kimfley (KZN Inland), Ignatius Malgraff (North West), Andrew Manson (KC), Mohamed Mea (vice-capt, KC), Daniel Sibbald (KC), Dylan Swanepoel (capt, WP).

SA Hockey Association media release



Malaysia as chaotic as Delhi traffic...


MALAYSIA were not at their best, but the three points they shaved off New Zealand was a valuable step towards their target of finishing among the best in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

Skipper Fitri Saari and his men were as chaotic as the New Delhi traffic, where rules are made to be broken by every form on wheels. Whizzing in and out, honking like crazy, and daring the other driver to cross their path is the attitude of the typical India driver.

And not to mention the carts pulled by horses, elephants, and even camels freely intermingling with the traffic with chaotic harmony.

But there was no harmony in Malaysia's 3-2 win over the Kiwis, as they almost lost the script in their chaotic approach of the match.

And coach K. Dharmaraj summed it up when he said "we were lucky". But luck sometimes runs out of the New Delhi drivers too, as almost almost the cars, bikes and trucks have dents and scars to remind one of their mistakes on the road.

Malaysia can no longer depend on luck in their remaining matches against England and South Africa. For the record, South Africa beat England 2-1, and Malaysia will be meeting the Africaans today at the Dhyan Chand Stadium.

"At times, we were really reckless against New Zealand and we can't affford that in the remaining two matches. Starting with South Africa, we need to win all matches and not rely on other results to move into the last-eight," said Fitri.

The Evel Knievel dare-devil attitude must only be displayed in the opponents semi-circle, and not in ther own back-yard which gave away nine silly penalty corners to the Kiwis.

"Reallistically speaking, there ar no easy teams in the World Cup. Every team came here with a mission, and to take South Africa lightly would be foolish," said Dharmaraj.

Foolish were Pakistan, when they toyed around with Egypt in Group A, and the score stood at 2-2 at one time, before they had to bring out their best to win 3-2.

South African coach Darryn Galagher, knew the score when he said: "We came here knowing well that Malaysia would be the team to beat in our Group (D) and it will not be an easy match, as we need to counter their speedy strikers."

Speedy, but not sharp, were the Malaysian strikers in their opening match.

"Now that the first match of the tournament is out of the way, I believe my players would be much more settled after a day's rest. We came here with a mission, and at no cost, would stray from it," said Dharmaraj.

Dharmaraj's personal target, just like the other 15 coaches, is to see his charges win the gold. And the first step towards it would be to collect full nine points in Group D, and not wait for other results to work in their favour to play in the quarter-finals.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Malaysia face tough challenge against South Africa

By S. Ramaguru



The South African team during a practice session ahead of their Junior World Cup Group D clash against Malaysia.

NEW DELHI: Malaysia have better be prepared for a tough evening when they take on South Africa in their second Group D match at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday.

South Africa, on a high after their opening 2-1 win over England on Friday, will be motivated to go as far as they can in this tournament as a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, their former president.

But then again, Malaysia too are on a high – having edged favourites New Zealand 3-2 in their opening tie.

As far as National Juniors coach K. Dharmaraj is concerned, it doesn’t matter who is on the opposite side. All he wants is a win.

“A win will set us on the road to the quarter-finals. We do not want to leave it until the last match against England,” he said.

But that will be easier said than done against a team who will be playing for a true statesman. One who embraced sports wholeheartedly.

Mandela died on Thursday at the age of 95.

South Africa skipper Dylan Swanpoel said they heard of Mandela’s passing just before the game against England and “we were determined not to lose the match”.

“He was an inspiration to all sportsmen in my country ... we have lost a leader and a statesman. The team were in no mood to lose and we want to continue with our winning ways. Malaysia are tough side and can match any of the top teams. But we have the motivation to win,” he said.

South Africa coach Darryn Galagher admitted that it was important to keep the winning momentum going.

“It’s good to get to have scored two goals in the first game ... it has boosted team morale. The players are all geared up for the game against Malaysia.

“The demise of Mr Nelson Mandela, a messiah to us, has saddened us to no end. We dedicate this win (against England) to the great man.”

So, Malaysia had better not take the South Africans for granted.

The Star of Malaysia



Pakistan juniors want to make up for senior's failure: Coach

NEW DELHI: Pakistan junior hockey coach Saeed Anjum sees the ongoing Junior World Cup as a major pointer to the future of the sport in his country, having failed for the first time to qualify for the next year's senior World Cup.

Pakistanis, he says, are seeing the failure of the senior team to make it to the World Cup as some sort of a crisis and they think the youngsters here will pull it out of it with an impressive showing here.

The Pakistan junior team made an impressive start here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium with a 3-2 win over Egypt in their opening match.

Saeed, who was a member of the side that last won the senior World Cup in Sydney in 1994, said that the juniors know that the expectations are huge and they have to come trumps here.

"The public expects a good performance from our junior team so that we could make the countrymen forget the loss the seniors suffered and restore their confidence in the sport. We have prepared well for the tournament and we will try our best," said Saeed, who also played in the team that won the bronze in 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Saeed said several factors had led to the dismal performance of the senior at the Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, which was their last chance of qualifying for the World Cup.

But Pakistan have bounced back after the loss. They won the Asian Champions Trophy in Japan and nine of that team are here.

"Our boys made a lot of errors, particularly upfront, and the defence made could not cope with the pressure. But I think the team is recovering. The boys are good and they will produce good results," said the 45-year-old.

Saeed, however, admitted that playing in India will be a real challenge for the boys.

"It is natural for the boys to be under a bit of pressure as most of them are playing in India for the first time. They have just played in Europe but India brings with it a different kind of pressure. So will an Indian team be when it plays in Pakistan," said Saeed.

Saeed said the team management is trying to keep the atmosphere light.

"But we are trying to make the boys relax. They are talking to the people here, whether at the hotel or the stadium. The atmosphere is congenial and the conversation light-hearted. This will put the players at ease," added Saeed.

Besides hockey, the team also wants to visit the famous Ajmer-e-Sharif, shrine of the famous Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, in Ajmer.

"We have a lot of plans but as you know there have a lot of issues between the two nations. But if there is one place I want to visit, it is Ajmer-e-Sharif. It is a desire which has been in my heart for years but let's see. Now that we are finally in India, I really want to take blessings from Khwaja Saheb," said Saeed.

The Times of India



Samiullah wants fresh PHF elections

Muhammad Asif Khan


KARACHI: Former hockey stalwart, Samiullah Khan has termed the recently held elections of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) “bogus” and urged the Prime Minister to intervene. “That was not the election; it was an engineered effort to achieve the desired results. Elections from the districts to the top level were bogus”, claimed Samiullah, while talking to this correspondent, for News One TV.

“I urge the Prime Minister to dissolve the existing PHF set-up and call fresh elections under impartial caretakers”, said Samiullah “I will only take part in the elections under a neutral caretakers”, added Samiullah, who was titled “the flying horse” because of his lightening speed on the field.

The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has had the elections last month, after which Akhtar Rasool and Rana Mujahid were elected as President and Secretary General respectively.

“Only faces have changed, the policies will remain the same”, felt Samiullah

On a question, Samiullah acknowledged that the PHF was in dire straits due to short of funds, however added that a lot of money was wasted in the past tenure.

“The Government should provide the PHF with its due

Fieldhockey.com



Goals galore during Pro Series Indoor (PSI) day one action in fairest Cape

JONATHAN COOK in Cape Town



The Investec South Africa women's hockey team's Quanita Bobbs (front) and Illse Davids enjoy the moment amongst the 750 girls and boys at the opening ceremony of the 7th Nolands PSI Nationals (U13s and U14s) that took place at Ratanga Junction in Cape Town Friday. Photo: ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

Day one of the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals is cooking at five venues in Cape Town Saturday with goals coming thick and fast at the Good Hope Centre (GHC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of Cape Town (UCT), Bishops and Somerset College.

The sheer numbers are startling. No less than 142 teams, nearly 1 400 players and an incredible 626 matches in eight days.

The teams taking part include new franchises the Pretoria Pitbulls, Bloemfontein Bears, KZN Midlands Stallions and the Southern Cape Sables, as well as regulars the Boland Foxes, Boland Scorpions, Cape Town Seals, Cape Town Sharks, Cape Town Sunbirds, the Durban Panthers, Durban Tigers, East London Jaguars, East Rand Quaggas, Namibia Hawks, Namibia Eagles, Port Elizabeth Vipers, Johannesburg Gryphons, West Coast Barracudas and the West Coast Stingrays.

The PSI Nationals U13 and U14 boys’ and girls’ competitions, which includes 77 teams and more than 750 participants playing 336 games of indoor hockey in four days, finishes on Tuesday, while the PSI Nationals U16 and U18 boys’ and girls’ competitions, which includes 65 teams and more than 630 participants playing 290 indoor hockey matches, sees the on-court action explode on Wednesday - with the finals day on Saturday, December 14.

There is also a Men’s and Women’s Nolands PSI event running in the evenings at Good Hope Centre with the finals being played on Saturday, December 14 at 10am. The U18 boys’ and girls’ championship finals are played directly after, at 10.45am, with the final prize-giving at 11.45am at the GHC.

The daily programme (including fixtures) for Event One, the U13 and U14 boys’ and girls’ divisions, can be found at www.psihockey.co.za with results on display by 9 pm every night.

The daily programme (including fixtures) for Event Two, the U16 and U18 boys’ and girls’ competitions, which get under way on Wednesday, will be available on www.psihockey.co.za by Tuesday.

Individual awards evenings for the various age groups in the respective events will take place at the Nelson Mandela Boulevard Garden Court on Monday and Friday, with awards from the various medals matches on Tuesday and Saturday at Good Hope Centre.

Check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3CXZ353JkM&feature=youtu.be for the U13 and U14 fun and games and Opening Ceremony at Ratanga Junction on Friday, December 6. Investec South Africa women's hockey team players Illse Davids and Quanita Bobbs also chatted with the aspiring young PSI players.

A special moment saw all the PSI participants link hands to sing the South African national anthem in honour of the late, great and most revered Madiba, Father of the Nation, Nelson Mandela.

PSI Media release



Tribal rickshaw puller's daughter makes it big in hockey

Smita Mainkar


RAIPUR: Bhavna Netam, a Class X student from Amaguda near Jagdalpur in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh is scripting her own 'success story' by making it to the state hockey team.

Playing under junior and sub-junior level, Bhavna undergoes training sessions under the guidance of her coach Mohammad Azim. Belonging to a poor family, Bhavna has not been able to study in a school as her father is a rickshaw puller and has to fend for a large family which includes her six siblings. "I am completing my school studies as a private student," she said.

Bhavna took to hockey five years ago. "Playing with the hockey stick has always fascinates and inspires me. It was this reason, I took up this game." In the last five years, she has represented the state in several tournaments. "I always endeavour to be the best on ground wherever I play." she added.

Playing at the right-out position, she has made her team proud. Despite facing several odds, she is motivated to make it to the national team. Sharing her dreams, she said, "I know it's not easy to be a part of the national team as many others are also vying for the same. I am working hard to prove my mettle."

Talking to TOI, Nauman Akram, women's hockey team official, said, "State's women hockey team has not attained a respectable position. The players get a nominal dearness allowance which is not at all sufficient. Due to lack of resources, team has never gained a significant victory and has played only up to the quarters or pre-quarter level".

The Times of India