News for 14 December 2013

All the news for Saturday 14 December 2013


Fantastic French team books ticket for final in shootouts

Defending Junior World Cup Champions Germany again in the final



(Photo: Ali Lee)

(1/2 final) - France vs. Malaysia: 1-1 (shoot-out: 3-1 - half-time: 0-1)

Malaysia were quicker in action in this semi-final, surprising the French defense with a quick free hit drilled into the circle that found Azri Hassan totally unmarked in front of goal with plenty of time to beat Edgar Reynaud.

France had trouble finding their rhythm, but progressively pushed forward closer to the Malaysian circle. Simon Martin Brisac had a chance in the 20th minute after working hard on the back-line but was left with no angle and his shot went in the side net. After hitting the post on their first penalty-corner, the French had most of ball possession but could not penetrate the Malaysian defensive maze, bouncing back again and again.   

France hit the post again on their second penalty-corner. They were however depleting their backfield in their quest for the equalizer and Malaysia were dangerous on a few swift counter-attacks in the back of the French defense. Play was intense, with plenty of actions, but no more goals were scored and the Asian Champions went into the break with a very narrow one-goal lead. 

France took advantage of a yellow card to Helmi Jali early in second period to increase their pressure. Action was confined in the Malaysian defensive end but, for all their efforts, France could not get the elusive equalizer.

Action was exciting and entertaining, flowing back and forth at full speed, with some heated exchanges. France were briefly down two players and the Asian Champions also collected their good share of cards. Hafizuddin Othman saved a third penalty-corner flicked high in goal, but France were finally rewarded of their persistence in the 63rd minute when Jean-Laurent Kieffer managed a slight touch on a ball drilled into the circle to tie the proceedings, send the large group of French fans into raptures and set up a torrid end of match.

Both teams threw caution to the wind to force a decision. France had the momentum and peppered the Malaysian goal but to no avail and the match needed to be decided by a penalty shoot-out competition, the first of this competition.

France missed their first attempt but Corentin Saunier outplayed two Malaysian strikers to put his team back on top, with Hugo Genestet finishing the job to send Les Bleus in the final of the 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup.

(1/2 final) - Germany vs. Netherlands: 5-3 (half-time: 2-0)

Formidable encounter between two giants of the game, used to stand on podiums. This match-up was the final of the last Junior World Cup, when Germany narrowly prevailed over the Netherlands, but the Dutch finished one step higher than the Germans at the last Junior European Cup.

The chess game began from the opening whistle. Germany patiently worked their way up-field and earned a penalty-corner in their first incursion in the Dutch circle, scored by Lukas Windfeder with a high drag flick. The Orange seemed unphased and immediately went back to the task at hand.  

Germany seemed like an impregnable fortress and their goal-keeper Victor Aly was hardly seen any action. They had another penalty-corner in the 14th minute and Lukas Windfeder dutifully scored his second of the match, this time with a low flick. The Netherlands substituted their goal-keeper after this second goal and replacement Jan De Wijkerslooth was immediately into the match, calmly deflecting a high shot blasted from close range.

The Netherlands were keeping the German forwards well in check but only had their first real scoring chance on a penalty-corner at the very end of the period. They could not finish their elaborate option and Germany walked into the break with a relatively comfortable two-goal lead.

Tom Hiebendaal gave a scare to the German goal-keeper early in second period with an instant shot from the top of the circle that just shaved the outside of the post. Germany however increased their lead in the 47th minute after a phenomenal 50-meter run by Christopher Rühr through the whole Dutch defense concluded by a shot blasted over the keeper’s head for his eighth goal of the tournament.

The Dutch suddenly surged forward and scored two goals in a minute, first by Tom Hiebendaal on a penalty-stroke then by Thierry Brinkman on the next action, rattling the German confidence and setting the stage for an exciting end of game. Things got totally exciting in the 60th minute, when Tom Hiebendaal was pushed down while shooting on goal, earning a penalty-stroke which he converted himself to tie the score.

The Dutch now had the momentum for a while but Max Kapaun then Niklas Wellen gave back a solid lead to Germany going into the final minutes to earn their ticket for the final against France on Sunday, while the Netherlands will play for bronze against Malaysia.

FIH site



Win over Korea small consolation for Belgium

Narrow Australian win over Oceania rival New Zealand



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

(cross-over 5-8) - Belgium vs. Korea: 6-1 (half-time: 1-0)

Just a day after been booted of contention in the quarter-finals, it was a difficult match for both teams, especially for European Champions Belgium, widely expected to go all the way in this Junior World Cup.

Match started at a half-hearted pace. Belgium had some chances, including on an early penalty-corner, but play was marred by unforced errors and passes going astray. Belgium bobbled another penalty-corner, Korea wasted a three-on-two counter-attack, Alexandre Vanlinthoudt with time and space at the top of the circle blasted a shot wide and high in the stands…

Belgium finally scored on their third penalty-corner by Alexander Hendrickx in the 27th minute, but it was all they could produce and the break was reached with a meagre one-goal lead for the Europeans.

Belgium opened second period with two quick field goals by Maxime Plennevaux and their captain Mathew Cobbaert. The Korean players were clearly not at their best, accumulating the defensive errors and unable to string three passes in midfield. Gaetan Perez and Maxime Capelle added two more goals for Belgium within the same minute and the road seemed impossibly steep for the visibly exhausted Korean defenders.

With twenty minutes to go and the result not in doubt any more, Belgium gave some turf time to their alternate goal-keeper in replacement of Arnaud Flamand, who had hardly seen any action. Korea had a lone chance on a penalty-corner but top scorer of the competition You Seungju was way off target.

Korea finally scored on another penalty-corner by Nam Yunseon, temporarily filling in while You Seungju was resting in the sin bin. Belgium scored one more goal by Dorian Thiery with a sweet lob over diving Korean goal-keeper Lee Seyoung, and the European Champions ended with a clear win to book their birth for the 5th-6th classification match.

(cross-over 5-8) - Australia vs. New Zealand: 2-1 (half-time: 1-1)

Second cross-over 5-8 pitted Australia and New Zealand, the two teams that played for bronze medal in the last Junior World Cup. The Oceania rivals were clearly familiar with each other and play was neutralized in midfield for the opening twenty minutes.

New Zealand drew first blood in the 20th minute by Jared Panchia on penalty-corner, but Australia responded in the next breath by Cameron Joyce, also on penalty-corner. Australia had a slight edge on the proceedings, but the teams went into the break locked at one goal apiece.

Australia took the lead in the 44th minute, after a quick run by captain Daniel Beale on the right and a perfect pass to Dylan Wotherspoon alone in front of Ben Smith in the Black Sticks goal. The Kookaburras thought that they had made the break in the 52nd minute by Tyler Cowley, but the goal was disallowed by a video-referral.

New Zealand were awarded a penalty-corner with ten minutes to go but were denied by an excellent diving save by Edward Chittleborough. The Black Sticks pulled their goal-keeper with two minutes to go but could not really create much with the numerical advantage on the field. Score stayed close until the end, but Australia had a good handle on play and booked themselves a date to play Belgium for 5th place, while New Zealand will now play Korea for 7th place.

FIH site



France, Germany in title clash

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

No stopping France


France made it a memorable day, posting a thrilling come-from-behind 3-1 (1-1) win over Malaysia via penalty shootout in the first semi-final of the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup on Friday night.

The chips were down when Malaysia took the early lead – Azri Hasan scoring a field goal in the 4th minute – but France kept fighting in hope of an equaliser. Every effort was met with a staunch Malaysian defence, and the scenario continued till the 63rd minute, before Jean-Laurent Keiffer found the net.

France’s never-say-die spirit – their USP in this event so far – yet again came to the fore and the team took the fight to the end.

In the shootout, Malaysia’s Helmi Jali sounded the boards while Pieter van Straaten missed for France. But French goalkeeper Edgar Reynaud stood up to the task blocking the next three shots from Syamim Mohammed Yousuf, Firhan Ashari and Shahril Saabah. Simon Brias Martin, Gaspard Baumgarten and Hugo Genestet scored for France, while Viktor Lockwood missed.

Said Genestet, who scored the final penalty and was named the man of the match, “Before coming here, our federation had given us a top-six target, and that was all we were hoping for.

“To be in the final, is unbelievable. We have enjoyed our success, and every small step that we have taken towards the final. We are going to enjoy the final as well,” said Genestet.

Germany down charging Dutch

Later, Germany took a step closer towards defending their title, surviving a late onslaught from Holland in a gripping semi-final, winning 5-3.

It all seemed well in control for the holders – who were ahead 2-0 after strikes from drag-flicker Lukas Windfeder – until Holland gave up on their cautious approach. In the second half, they exhibited their aggressive style of play, and were very penetrative in their attacks.

From 1-3 down to 3-3 in the 60th minute, the teams fought hard and fair, trying to outwit each other in skills and attack.

Down 0-2 in first half, the Dutch were trying to get their house in order when the Germans struck again. Christopher Ruhr displayed brilliant skills and presence of mind, weaving past three Holland defenders, to bring up the third goal in the 47th minute, and that seem to wake up the opponents.

A field effort from Theirry Brinkman and two penalty stroke conversions from Tom Heibendaal brought the game to life (3-3), and now Holland decided to go for the kill.

The Dutch had the Germans under pressure, creating a number of good moves from the centre, but the German defence foiled each one of it.

Strikers Timur Oruz and Niklas Wellen then ensured Germany had their nose ahead, scoring in the 66th and 68th minutes, as the team booked their place in the final.

The Asian Age



Defending champs Germany to play France for title

By S. Ramaguru


NEW DELHI: Defending champions Germany set themselves up for a sixth title when they stormed into the final of the Junior World Cup after a 5-3 win over Holland in the second semi-final here on Friday.

They will play France in an all-European final and will start as the overwhelming favourite to bag the title.

The Germans have been the most successful team in the Junior World Cup, having won five titles in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2009

Two well executed penalty corner 10 minutes apart saw the Germans taking a comfortable lead in the match against the Dutch.

Lukas Windfeder was the man who made the early goals with a direct drag flick n the fourth and 14th minutes.

The Dutch were simply unable to overcome the tight German defence that was well marshalled by Mathias Muller.

The Germans increased their lead in the 47th minute through Christopher Ruhr, who has now scored in every match the Germans had played in the tournament to take his tally to six.

It would have seemed that the Germans were in cruise control.

But the tide changed in the 49th minute when the German goalkeeper Victor Ally fouled a Dutch player in the D. A penalty stroke was awarded and Tom Hiebendaal converted to give his team a lifeline.

A minute later the Dutch came charging again and this time Thierry Brinkman was the scorer as they narrowed the gap to one goal.

Then in then 60th minute the Dutch found the equaliser when another penalty stroke was given for a foul inside the D.

Hiebendaal again scored and the match seemed to turn against the Germans.

But Timur Oruz and Niklas Wellen ensured a German victory with goals n the 66th and 68th minutes respectively. 

The Star of Malaysia



France to meet Germany in Junior Hockey World Cup final

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: Germany and France set up the unlikeliest of a final, coming up with victories in contrasting styles in the semifinals of the Hero Junior Hockey World Cup on Friday.

While five-time champions Germany started the tournament as favourites, nobody had given France the chance to survive so long. The Frenchmen proved everyone wrong by pulling the rug from under Malaysia's feet to make their maiden entry into the tournament's final. A confident Germany overcame a minor scare to record a dominant 5-3 win over the Netherlands.

Germany put themselves in a good position in the first part of the first half when Lukas Windfeder scored two goals off penalty corners in the 4th and 14th minutes. When Christopher Ruhr scored after a solo effort in the 47th minute, it looked all over for the Dutch.

But they bounced back in style with three goals in succession. Tom Hiebendaal's penalty stroke conversions in the 49th minute and 60th minutes along with by Thierry Brinkman's strike in the 50th threatened to take the match to penalty shootout.

But Germany pulled up their socks and attacked with renewed vigour to take it beyond the Dutch with strikes by Timur Oruz and NiklasWellen in the dying minutes.

France came from behind to beat Malaysia 3-1 in the penalty shootout - after the two were 1-1 in regulation time - to showcase their credentials as a rising hockey nation. Malaysia, who took the lead in the 3rd minute, were looking all set to advance but let France score the equalizer in the 63rd minute which took the match to the shootout.

France scored thrice in five attempts in the shootout while Malaysia converted just one in four attempts. France, clearly overwhelmed by their feat, celebrated the win in football style, jumping into the arms of the goalkeeper. "It was a tense but I had full confidence in my players," France coach Gael Foulard said.

On his team's dream run in the tournament, he said their focus was on the game at hand. "We didn't have any other objective... we just took a step by step approach and planned accordingly," he said.

Malaysian coach Muhammad Dhaarma Raj, disappointed as expected, said reaching the semifinal was still an achievement. "It's like we had one leg in the final. We had the lead but we could not maintain that till the end," he said.

In the classification matches, Belgium beat South Korea and Australia overcame New Zealand 2-1. The winners will play for the fifth place and the losers for seventh place.

The Times of India



France set up historic Junior WC final date against Germany

NEW DELHI: Unheralded French side on Friday set up a historic summit clash against defending champions Germany in the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup to be played at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday.

France scripted history by booking their berth in the summit clash of the World Cup for the first time, defeating Malaysia via penalty shoot-out in the first semi-final of the quadrennial event.

France, who never went past the pool stages since the introduction of the event in 1979, showed tremendous fighting spirit and came from a goal down to beat Malaysia 3-1 in the shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at the end of regulation 70 minutes.

It was a red letter day for French hockey as till date their best performance in the tournament was a seventh place finish at home in the introductory edition of the event in 1979.

But it won't be easy for the French as in Germany a mighty opponent awaits them in the final, and come Sunday the Germans would fancy a record sixth world title.

Holders Germany rode on two penalty corner conversions from Lukas Windfeder (4th minute, 14th) and field goals from Christopher Ruhr (47th), Timur Oruz (66th) and Niklas Wellen to beat last edition's silver medallist Netherlands 5-3 in the thrilling second semifinal.

But accolades must also go to the Dutch as they came from three goals down to level the scores in the final 10 minutes. For Netherlands, Tom Hiebendaal (49th, 60th) scored from two penalty strokes, while the other came via field effort from Tierry Brinkman's stick.

Netherlands will lock horns against Malaysia in the bronze medal match on Sunday.

Earlier in the day, Malaysia were quick to get off the blocks and surprised the French defence as early as in the fourth minute through a field goal from an unmarked Azri Hassan, who had plenty of time to beat Edgar Reynaud in France goal.

France had trouble finding their rhythm, but progressively pushed forward. Simon Martin Brisac had a chance in the 20th minute after working hard on the back-line but was left with no angle and his shot went in the side net.

After hitting the post from their first penalty-corner, the French had most of the ball possession but could not penetrate the Malaysian defence.

France once again struck the post from their second penalty-corner.

Play was intense, with plenty of actions, but no more goals were scored and the Asian Champions went into the break with a very narrow one-goal lead.

After the change of ends, Hafizuddin Othman in Malaysian goal denied France from their third penalty-corner.

But France, who stunned European champions Belgium in the quarterfinals, were in no mood to give up and were finally rewarded of their persistence in the 63rd minute when Jean-Laurent Kieffer got a slight touch to deflect the ball inside the net, sending their supporters into raptures.

In the shoot-out, France scored twice from one-on-one position while the Malaysians could find the back of the net just once.

Meanwhile in the fifth-eighth place classification matches earlier in the day, Belgium thrashed Korea 6-1, while Australia eked out a narrow 2-1 win over Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand.

Belgium will now face Australia in the fifth-sixth place play-off match, while Korea will play New Zealand for the seventh-eighth place.

The Times of India



France create history, reach maiden Junior Hockey WC final

NEW DELHI: Underdogs France on Friday scripted history by making their maiden appearance in the summit clash of the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup, defeating Malaysia via penalty shoot-out in the first semifinal of the quadrennial event at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

France, who never went past the pool stages since the introduction of the event in 1979, showed tremendous fighting spirit and came from a goal down to beat Malaysia 3-1 in the shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at the regulation time.

It was a red letter day for French hockey as till date their best performance in the tournament was a seventh-place finish at home in the introductory edition of the event in 1979.

Contrary to the result, Malaysians were quick to get off the blocks and surprised the French defence as early as in the fourth minute through a field goal from an unmarked Azri Hassan, who had plenty of time to beat Edgar Reynaud in France goal.

France had trouble finding their rhythm, but progressively pushed forward. Simon Martin Brisac had a chance in the 20th minute after working hard on the back-line but was left with no angle and his shot went in the side net.

After hitting the post from their first penalty-corner, the French had most of the ball possession but could not penetrate the Malaysian defence.

France once again struck the post from their second penalty-corner.

Play was intense, with plenty of action, but no more goals were scored and the Asian Champions went into the break with a very narrow one-goal lead.

After the change of ends, Hafizuddin Othman in Malaysian goal denied France their third penalty-corner.

But France, who stunned European champions Belgium in the quarterfinals, were in no mood to give up without a fight and were finally rewarded of their persistence in the 63rd minute when Jean-Laurent Kieffer got a slight touch of deflect ball to send the large group of French fans into raptures.

In the shoot-out, France scored twice from one-on-one position while the Malaysian could find the back of the net just once.

France will now face the winner of the second semifinal between defending champions Germany and The Netherlands in the summit clash on Sunday.

The Times of India



Dream French run continues

Uthra Ganesan



The French hockey team celebrating after defeating Malaysia in the semi final of the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup Hockey Match in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

As they took off their shirts and dived across the field amidst wild celebrations, shouts of ‘Viva la France’ and repeated chants of Hugo Genestet, the Frenchmen created history by reaching the final of the hockey junior World Cup at the National Stadium here on Friday.

The underdog of the competition continued its dream run in the competition, defeating Malaysia 3-2 in tie-break after the teams were level on 1-1 in regulation time. The win also proved France’s progress was no fluke — Malaysia was the third continental champion, after Belgium and Argentina, it overcame in the tournament.

It was a game of two halves with Malaysia dominating the first and France fighting back in the second. The French were better organised compared to their previous outings in the tournament but the cautiousness seemed to have taken away their sharpness. France did have its chances, creating two penalty corners, but wasted them.

Helmi Jali’s hit in from the right was deflected in by Azri Hassan to put Malaysia ahead in the fourth minute. The Malaysians attacked with a plan, creating gaps down both the flanks before centering it inside the striking circle. Captain Fitri Saari was omnipresent, marshalling the midfield and being the fulcrum of all Malaysian attacks.

Post break, France came out a different team. An ecstatic Man of the Match Genestet admitted that pep-talk during the break helped the team get back its cohesion. “The coach changed the positions of 1-2 players and we decided to play our normal game and not worry. That helped,” he said.

There were hardly any chances for Malaysia in the second half as the French defence tightened up, its passing became sharper and the attack regained the desperation that had been visible in earlier games, resulting in Jean-Laurent Kieffer’s equaliser in the 63rd minute. “I guess in the end, we just wanted to win much more than the Malaysians,” Genestet said after scoring the winning shot in the tie-break.

“It is disappointing to lose out one step away from the final. In the end it was all down to pressure. But our target had been to finish in the top-six so I am satisfied,” Malaysia coach Muhammed Dhaarmaraj said.

Earlier, Belgium whipped Korea 6-1 in a 5-8 classification match.

The results: Semifinal: France 1 (Jean-Laurent Kieffer) bt Malaysia 1 (Azri Hassan) in tie-break; 5-8 playoff: Belgium 6 (Alexander Hendrickx, Maxime Plennevaux, Mathew Cobbert, Gaetan Perez, Maxime Capelle, Dorian Thiery) beat Korea 1 (Nam Yun Seon).

The Hindu



France qualify for final

France surprised everyone and qualified for the Hockey Junior World Cup final defeating Malaysia 3-1 in a penalty shoot-out in the semifinal at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Friday.

France, which had never even reached the top-4 of any previous edition of the prestigious tournament, came back from a goal-down, to first level the match 1-1, and then beat Malaysia in the semifinal.

They will play the winner of the other semifinal between Germany and the Netherlands in Sunday's final.

Malaysia were quick in action by surprising the French with a quick free hit drilled into the circle that found Azri Hassan totally unmarked in front of goal with plenty of time to beat stopper Edgar Reynaud.

France had trouble finding their rhythm but pushed forward to the Malaysian circle. Simon Martin Brisac had a chance in the 20th minute but was left with no angle and his shot went in the side net.

After hitting the post in their first penalty corner, the French had most of ball possession but could not penetrate the Malaysian defence and went into the break trailing 0-1.

France were briefly down two players in the second half and Malaysia also collected their share of cards.

Hafizuddin Othman saved a penalty corner flicked high in goal but France were finally rewarded with their persistence in the 63rd minute when Jean-Laurent Kieffer managed a slight touch on a ball drilled into the circle to tie the proceedings and maintained the scoreline till the 70th minute, forcing a penalty shoot-out, the first of this competition.

France missed their first attempt but goalie Corentin Saunier outplayed two Malaysian strikers to put his team back on top, with Hugo Genestet finishing the job to send the 'Les Bleus' in the final.

DNA



Malaysia’s Junior World Cup dream ends on penalties

By S. Ramaguru



A dejected Malaysia Junior World Cup hockey team walk off the pitch after losing to France in the semi-final on penalties in New Delhi on Friday. - Satwant Singh

NEW DELHI: France and Malaysia went into the Junior World Cup semi-finals at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium with the same ambition – to qualify for the final for the first time.

It was even stevens at the end of regulation time, with Mohd Azri Hassan opening accounts for Malaysia in the fourth minute and Jean Laurent-Kieffer equalising for France in the 63rd minute.

It was then down to a shootout. France prevailed 3-1.

The only Malaysian player who scored in the shootout was Faiz Helmi as Mohd Syamin Yusof, Mohd Firhan Azhaari and Shahril Saabah missed theirs.

France got their shootout goals through Simon Martin Brisac, Gaaspard Baumgarten and Hugo Genestet.

Malaysian coach K. Dharmaraj was disappointed to see his team lose in the shootout, especially “since we had practised the shootout many times and were prepared for it”.

“I just don’t know why the players failed to score. We practised the shootout in our training sessions,” he said.

He was also perplexed as to why his boys did not play their usual attacking game.

“We kept telling them to attack but the players just didn’t follow the instructions. I just cannot understand it.

“You have to give credit to the French for the fightback. They are a good side to have come this far.

“This was a game we should have won ... we had of a good chance to create history,” he said.

Although Malaysia played defensively, they didn’t take long to open the scoring. Faiz Helmi Jali sent in a teasing cross from the 25-yard line and it was well met by Azri, who easily slotted the ball past goalkeeper Edgar Reynaud.

It was Azri’s first goal of the tournament.

Instead of going for the kill, Malaysia retreated into a defensive mode, allowing France to come at them.

Malaysia were lucky to troop off at half-time 1-0 up.

There was no improvement in Malaysia’s play when play resumed.

And it was no surprise when France levelled the score in the 63rd minute. Viktor Lockwood took a free hit from the 25-yard line and Laurent-Kieffer deflected it into goal.

Anticipating a shootout, Malaysia changed their goalkeeper by bringing in Mohd Hazrul Faiz to replace Mohd Hafizuddin Othman.

Malaysia were proven right. The game did go to a shootout.

But the change of goalkeeper didn’t matter. Malaysia still lost.

France coach Gael Faoulard said they had the belief that they could win the match and “that is why my players did not give up even when they fell behind”.

“It was not easy ... Malaysia had a good line-up. But we knew that by keeping the pressure on them they would snap and we were lucky to score the equaliser at the right time.

“This is a big break for French hockey as this is the first major final for us. I am proud of my players,” said Faoulard.

The Star of Malaysia



So near yet so far

Malaysia came agonisingly close to making their first ever Junior World Cup final but were beaten in a shoot – out against France.

It was bitter end to a good start as Malaysia took an early lead but trying to defend their lead caused the downfall as France drew level eight minutes from time.

And the Malaysia cause was no helped by the fact that they had to play twice with only 10 men as Mohd Syamim Yusof and Rashid Baharom were yellow carded.

“We lost to a better team and it was just not our day. The players were nervous and after leading they failed to play how they do normally,” said coach K. Dharmaraj who could not bear watch the shootout.

“We could not hold the ball and hardly attacked after leading. I am pround that the players gave their best but it was not oner of our best performances.

“We have to regroup and try win the bronze but that is easier said then done. I have no regrets as I tried my best but could not make the final with the team.”

Malaysia came flying off the blocks from the opening whistle and it only took them three minutes to mark their presence as a cross from Faiz Helmi Jali from the right flank was easily deflected home by Muhammad Azri Hassan who was unmarked at the far post.

France then nailed Malaysia back in their own half for a good period of time and their pressure only paid off in the 20th minute when they were awarded with their first penalty corner of the match.

The initial drag out was not perfect, but Hugo Genes Tet r-eadjusted himself in time to unleash a powerful hit that found the post and bounced clear.

K.Dharmaraj’s side seemed to be more focused on protecting their slender lead rather throw a few more players forward.

Against the run of play though, Malaysia could have doubled their lead in the 22nd minute when skipper Mohd Fitri Saari weaved his way past three French defenders and moved into the circle but his attempt was too weakl to trouble the opponents keeper.

Malaysia continued to live dangerously after that as they opted to sit back and welcome the French attack.

Three minutes before the half time hooter France earned their second penalty corner of the evening, This time Fitri Saari lived up to his duty as a post-man when the skipper was on hand to clear the ball off the line which ensured Malaysia go into the break with the slim lead.

The second half started where it ended as the French continued to press forward with Malaysian defending stoutly.

Malaysia were down to 10 players in the 56th minute as Mohd Syamim Yusof was tellow carded and france took advantage to pile the pressure and were awarded their third penalty corner in the 57th minute.

But keeper Hafizuddin Othman stood tall to palm away the attempt by Hugo and Malaysia was living dangerously.

And France took advantage of the defensive minded Malaysia tyo strike the equaliser in the 62nd minute via a deflection by Jean Laurent Kieffer.

Rashid Baharom was yellow carded in the 66th minute and Malaysia defended well and were even denied a penalty corner 90 seconds from time.

And the two teams headed for a shoot-out where only Faiz Helmi could find his way to goal while Syamim, Firhan ans Shahril Saabah put their attempts wide.

Hockey Asia



Germany pips the Netherlands

Y. B. Sarangi


The Germans’ love story with the junior World Cup hockey tournament continued unabated. Germany edged past a resilient Netherlands 5-3 in a charged-up semifinal.

The fluent Germans were too hot to handle. Their midfield gelled exceedingly well and centre-half Mats Grambusch led the show by relaying the ball nicely to his superfast colleagues on the front line.

The Germans seized initiative through Lukas Windfeder’s fourth-minute goal from the first penalty corner. Windfeder’s shot kissed a defender’s stick before beating Dutch custodian Piet Noordam on the right. Germany applied constant pressure by penetrating the rival circle at will. Winning back possession was an important facet of the German domination.

Windferder’s second short corner conversion in the 14th minute pushed the Dutch completely on the back foot and they replaced Noordam with reserve goalkeeper Jan de Wijkerslooth three minutes later.

Milan van Baal’s 20th minute rare intrusion into the German arch was single-handedly thwarted by a brave Victor Aly. The German goalkeeper was again in focus foiling Netherlands’ first penalty corner in the 35th minute.

Christophre Ruhr’s magical solo effort made it 3-0. But the Dutch strikers managed a few raids after the change of havles until a moment of indiscretion cost the Germans a penalty stroke and things fell apart.Tom Hiebendaal narrowed the lead and Thierry Brinkman slotted home from an organized Dutch invasion. With new found energy, the Dutch attacked vehemently and Germany conceded another penalty stroke with 10 minutes to go. Hiebendaal sounded the board.

Max Kapaun and Niklas Wellen found the mark in the last five minutes.

The results (semifinal): Germany 5 (Lukas Windfeder 4, 14; Christopher Ruhr 47; Max Kapaun 66; Niklas Wellen 68) bt the Netherlands 3 (Tom Hiebendaal 49, 60; Thierry Brinkman 50).

Classification matches: Australia 2 (Cameron Joyce 23; Dylan Wotherspoon 44) bt New Zealand 1 (Jared Panchia 20).

The Hindu



Australia, Belgium win in 5-8 position playoffs

NEW DELHI: Australia and Belgium beat New Zealand and South Korea respectively, in their 5-8 position playoffs of the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Friday.

Now Australia and Belgium will face off for 5-6th positions while New Zealand and South Korea will play for 7-8th places Sunday before the final.

Australia beat Oceania rival and neighbours New Zealand 2-1 in a close encounter.

The Kiwis drew first blood in the 20th minute by Jared Panchia on a penalty corner but Australia responded in the next breath by Cameron Joyce, also on a penalty corner.

Australia had a slight edge on the proceedings but the teams went into the break locked at a goal apiece.

Australia took the lead in the 44th minute after a quick run by captain Daniel Beale on the right and a perfect pass to Dylan Wotherspoon alone in front of Ben Smith in the 'Black Sticks' goal. The score stayed the same till the end and the 1997 edition champions came out on top.

Earlier, Belgium beat Korea 6-1 in a one-sided affair. A day after both were booted out of the quarterfinals, it was a difficult match for the teams.

Belgium scored on their third penalty corner via Alexander Hendrickx in the 27th minute but it was all they could produce and the break was reached with a 1-0 lead.

However, the Europeans opened the second period with two quick field goals by Maxime Plennevaux and their captain Mathew Cobbaert. Gaetan Perez and Maxime Capelle added two more goals within the same minute and the road seemed impossibly steep for Korea.

With six minutes to go, Korea had a chance on a penalty corner and Nam Yunseon scored a consolation goal. Belgium scored one more goal through Dorian Thiery with a sweet lob over diving Korean goalkeeper Lee Seyoung, booking a Sunday date with Australia.

The Times of India



Burras to face Belgium for 5th

Joyce & Wotherspoon seal 2-1 win over New Zealand's Junior Black Sticks



Photo: Stanislas Brochier / World Sport Pics

The Burras, the Australian U21 men’s team, will play off against Belgium for fifth place at the Junior World Cup in Delhi following a 2-1 victory over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand on Friday night.

National Junior Coach Paul Gaudoin said afterwards that he felt it was a "tired" performance  by the Australian men who had to pick themselves up after suffering a narrow defeat to Germany in the quarter-finals just 24 hours earlier. Goals from Port Pirie’s Cameron Joyce (SA) and Mulwillumbah’s Dylan Wotherspoon (QLD) helped the Burras come from behind to take victory. And the margin may have been greater but for the disallowing of Tyler Cowley’s well placed goal strike midway through the second half.

But Gaudoin said, "We didn't play well today; we played poorly and we've got a lot to do to make sure we play well against Belgium. Perhaps we were a bit tired from the match against Germany and I'd question if the players were switched on mentally but that's a lesson to learn. We played well in patches and to win without playing well is good."

Speaking about Sunday's opposition, Belgium, he added, "They're a good team. Realistically I don't think they're a fifth-sixth playoff team but neither are we. It's how the seedings for the pools worked out."

The Burras fell behind to a penalty corner conversion by New Zealander Jared Panchia. However, as it had 24 hours earlier, the Burras’ response came immediately. From a penalty corner of their own Cameron Joyce’s flick deflected off the stick of a Junior Black Sticks defender and into the roof of the net for 1-1.

The Burras were then grateful for a double save from goalkeeper Ed Chittleborough on the stroke of half time that kept the score level.

In the second half, Australia took the lead through Dylan Wotherspoon’s goal in the 44th minute. Breaking at pace, Australian captain Daniel Beale’s pinpoint pass from the right of the circle found his fellow Queenslander with the time and space to pick his spot inside the post.

Victorian Tyler Cowley appeared to have stretched Australia’s lead further in the 51st minute but his powerful low strike into the bottom corner was disallowed following a referral to the video umpire by New Zealand. The goal was subsequently ruled out after officials reviewed a series of infringements in the build-up.

At the other end, several good stops by Chittleborough kept the Burras ahead in the final stages, sealing their progress to Sunday’s 5th/6th place playoff against European Junior Champions Belgium.

Men's Junior World Cup
Delhi, India
5th-8th Playoff

On Twitter: #burrashockey and #HJWC

BURRAS 2 (1)

Cameron Joyce 23 (PC)
Dylan Wotherspoon 44 (F)

NEW ZEALAND 1 (1)
Jared Panchia 20 (PC)

Hockey Australia media release



Junior Blacks Sticks to battle for 7th place


Nick Elder goes in for a tackle, Photo Stanislas Brochier

The Junior Black Sticks will playoff for 7th/8th after being narrowly defeated 1-2 by Australia at the Junior World Cup in India this morning (NZ time).

With the score locked 1-1 at halftime, the Burras delivered a second half goal which the Kiwis couldn’t respond to despite a valiant effort.

The Junior Black Sticks now play Korea in the 7th/8th classification game at 8.45pm tomorrow night while Australia go on to face Belgium for 5th place.

Today’s game was well balanced from the outset, with both sides creating early chances.

The Junior Black Sticks were first to score in the 18th minute with Jared Panchia swooping on the rebound from a penalty corner flick and drilling the ball past the keeper.

Australia regrouped quickly however, and equalised less than three minutes later thanks to a powerful drag flick from Cameron Joyce on a penalty corner.

Early into the second half the Burras took the lead for the first time off a fast break, with Dylan Wotherspoon converting a text book deflection from a ball sent across the face of goal.

The Junior Black Sticks fought hard to try and find an equaliser and did have a chance with a late penalty corner, but Australia’s defence held firm.

The Junior Black Sticks are part of the Sir Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks programme which is about providing specialised coaching, training and international competition experience for the next generation of Black Sticks.

Junior Black Sticks 1: (Jared Panchia)
Australia 2: (Cameron Joyce, Dylan Wotherspoon)
Halftime: Tied 1-1

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Koreans hammered

Just a day after been booted of contention in the quarter-finals, it was a difficult match for both teams, especially for European Champions Belgium, widely expected to go all the way in this Junior World Cup.

Match started at a half-hearted pace. Belgium had some chances, including on an early penalty-corner, but play was marred by unforced errors and passes going astray. Belgium bobbled another penalty-corner, Korea wasted a three-on-two counter-attack, Alexandre Vanlinthoudt with time and space at the top of the circle blasted a shot wide and high in the stands…

Belgium finally scored on their third penalty-corner by Alexander Hendrickx in the 27th minute, but it was all they could produce and the break was reached with a meagre one-goal lead for the Europeans.

Belgium opened second period with two quick field goals by Maxime Plennevaux and their captain Mathew Cobbaert. The Korean players were clearly not at their best, accumulating the defensive errors and unable to string three passes in midfield. Gaetan Perez and Maxime Capelle added two more goals for Belgium within the same minute and the road seemed impossibly steep for the visibly exhausted Korean defenders.

With twenty minutes to go and the result not in doubt any more, Belgium gave some turf time to their alternate goal-keeper in replacement of Arnaud Flamand, who had hardly seen any action. Korea had a lone chance on a penalty-corner but top scorer of the competition You Seungju was way off target.

Korea finally scored on another penalty-corner by Nam Yunseon, temporarily filling in while You Seungju was resting in the sin bin. Belgium scored one more goal by Dorian Thiery with a sweet lob over diving Korean goal-keeper Lee Seyoung, and the European Champions ended with a clear win to book their birth for the 5th-6th classification match.

Hockey Asia



Traditional rivalry takes centre stage

Harpreet Kaur Lamba


For the first time in the Junior Hockey World Cup in New Delhi, the organisers are in a quandary over the persistent demand for passes. India and Pakistan are set to clash for the 9th place here on Saturday night, and even though both the teams are out of the top race, the excitement and expectations among the fans is high.

India coach Gregg Clark too acknowledged the importance of the clash. “The game is very important,” said Clark, after the team’s training session here. “The traditional rivalry between the two nations is huge and even though we are not in the reckoning for top places, we will like to finish 9th and not 10th.”

India will be without striker Ramandeep Singh, who suffered a shoulder injury in the game against Argentina on Thursday night. The think-tank was still awaiting an MRI result, after initial tests had ruled out a fracture. The 20-year-old forward is expected to be out for at least two weeks.

An India-Pakistan clash, almost always, evokes the best in both the teams. There is an extra dash of aggression and effort, and coach Baljeet Singh Saini said it will be important to keep emotions under check.

“We should take it as just another game. The fans enjoy such encounters, but we cannot afford to get carried away.”

The 9th-place encounter though is a sad reflection for hockey in Asia. Both the teams have struggled in the tournament, and even though India have a stronger team on paper, it hasn’t shown in the results.

Reflecting on India’s campaign so far, Clark said, “We all agree that we could have been more accurate. We didn’t get our small moments right.

“The tournament format is such that anybody can win. Germany lost one game, and are there at the top. We also lost just one game, but did not take our chances.”

Clark, coaching the team for one last time, added that he was yet to discuss his future plans with Hockey India.

The Asian Age



India-Pakistan renew rivalry

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: They may be playing for ninth place in the junior World Cup but the Indians are aware of the challenge at hand when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Saturday.

The match will offer the hosts a chance to salvage some pride as well as provide entertainment after the disappointment of having missing out on a quarterfinal berth.

"India versus Pakistan is always a big match, regardless of what the setting is. The traditional rivalry will be there. I don't know about pressure (on players), but everybody is focused on the big match," chief coach Gregg Clark said on Friday.

India have a problem with striker Ramandeep Singh, who has a sore shoulder. Ramandeep hurt his shoulder while scoring the second goal against Argentina a day earlier. "We are still waiting for some test results. The x-ray shows no damage but we are waiting for scan reports. He was pretty sore this morning."

Clark said India have a bright future in spite of not having qualified for the quarterfinals. "We have lost one game by one goal and now we are playing for ninth place. If that represents failure, I don't know. Sometimes results are not always the indicator of where a team stands.," the South African said.

Pakistan coach Anjum Saeed said the Indians would be under pressure playing at home.

"My team is under no pressure and the boys are confident. The pressure will be on the Indian team as it is their home ground and crowd expectations will be huge. While the game is big, let the best team win."

The Times of India



India to clash with Pakistan in Junior Hockey World Cup

Even if it is for the 9-10th position playoff, the Hockey Junior World Cup will come to a standstill as hosts India take on arch-rivals Pakistan at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Saturday.

Both teams won their respective 9-12 position playoff matches Thursday after finishing third in their respective pools and are ready to give hockey fans a treat come Saturday.

"The India vs Pakistan game is always a big match, it is a traditional rivalry. There won't be any pressure in terms of the classification match we are playing in. We have to be sure of every shot we play. It's disappointing that we could not make it to the quarterfinals but we have to now focus in our next game," said India coach Gregg Clark Friday.

The South African added that the Asian rivalry is important in terms of world hockey.

"Tomorrow will be a big stage on which the team has to deliver and we are totally focussed. It is always an important match in terms of world hockey. It is important to win."

Pakistan coach Anjum Saeed said that the pressure will not be on them but on India, who are playing at home.

"The team is under no pressure and the boys are confident for tomorrow's game. The pressure will be on the Indian team as it is their home ground and crowd expectations will be huge. While the game is big, let the best team win," Saeed said.

DNA



India play for pride, take on Pakistan in classification match

NEW DELHI: Their dreams of a podium finish shattered, hosts India would be desperate to redeem some pride when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in what promises to be a cracker of a contest in the 9th-10th place classification match at the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup on Saturday.

India and Pakistan crashed out of the knock-out stage of the ongoing event after finishing third in their respective pools.

Both the sub-continental rivals have had similar outings in the tournament so far, having finished their pool engagements with four points apiece with one win, one loss and one drawn result.

And come tomorrow, it will be a battle between two equally-matched outfits which have a history of fierce rivalry on the ground.

After a disappointing campaign in the pool stages, India and Pakistan registered comfortable victories in their 9-12th place classification games to set up a mouth-watering clash against each other at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

While India got the better of Argentina 4-2 last night, Pakistan thrashed South Africa 4-0 earlier in the day.

Being the hosts, the Indians had high expectations from the tournament but their hopes fizzled out after Korea held them to a 3-3 draw in their must-win last pool match.

But the Indian colts now have a very good chance to bring smiles back on the faces of the country's hockey fans as a win against traditional rivals Pakistan in any sport is looked upon as a big achievement.

For the sports loving fans of both the nations, any Indo-Pak rivalry is always considered special and tomorrow's match is no different.

But India's national coach Baljit Singh Saini refused to give too much significance to the high-profile encounter and said the hosts were approaching the match as just another game.

"India-Pakistan encounters may be special for spectators and media but not for us. We can't treat it as a special match because if we do so there are chances of committing mistakes. We will take it as just another game," Saini said.

"But I must admit pressure would be there on the boys before the match but once they take the field it is like just another game."

With a top-eight finish already out of the reckoning, Saini said India will do their best to finish as high as possible in the 16-team event.

"We had high expectations from this tournament but now we are playing for pride. We are definitely disappointed that we couldn't finish on top eight. But the good thing to take from this tournament is that we lost only to one world class team so far," he said.

"We now would be playing to prove that we can bet top teams of the world."

Conceding soft goals and missed chances has been the story so far for India in this tournament. What has hurt India the most in the tournament is the performance of its backline. The Indian defence looked fragile when put under pressure and has been guilty of conceding soft goals so far in the event.

"In the pool stages, we conceded goals in the first 10 minutes and that disturbed our gameplan. The boys are young and they will learn with experience," Saini said.

And come tomorrow it will be a test of character for the Manpreet Singh-led side to get its act together.

India boast of a strong forwardline in Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Malak Singh and Talwinder Singh.

Ramandeep, who secured the highest bid of USD 81000 (approx Rs 50 lakh) from Uttar Pradesh Wizards during a closed-bid auction for the second season of the Hockey India League (HIL), finally proved his worth last night by scoring two brilliant field goals against Argentina.

But just when it seemed he has found his lost touch, a freak shoulder injury in the dying stages of the match against Argentina has cast a doubt on his availability in tomorrow's game against Pakistan.

"We still don' know the extent of Ramandeep's injury. It seems he did not dislocate his shoulder but he is in immense pain. We can take a call on him only after assessing his medical reports," Saini said.

The Times of India



India colts have bright future despite failure in Jr WC: Clark

NEW DELHI: India might have failed to qualify for the quarterfinals of the ongoing Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup, but chief coach Gregg Clark feels his wards have a "bright future" despite them producing an inconsistent show in front of home crowd in the mega-event here.

India had lost just against The Netherlands in the league stage but still they were crashed out of the quarterfinal race after finishing third in their pool.

"You guys can draw your own conclusions about the quality of our performance. We lost just one game by one goal and we are playing for 9 and 10th. If that represents failure I don't know. Not everybody can make it to the top position," he said.

"The format was pretty tough. Only two teams from each pool went through. There is lot of good teams that haven't done well in this tournament.

"Sometimes result is not always an indicator of how good a team is. One of the semifinalists, Malaysia, we played them six times this year and are undefeated. I still believe that the next couple of years are bright for the Indian team," Clark said.

The coach listed out the areas India needed to work upon in the future.

"We could have been more accurate in some of the pool games. We didn't get small moments right which made a big difference. Our temperament before a big match or in the last 10 minutes of a big match is certainly an area we need to look at," he explained.

"The team has played really well in patches. We couldn't produce the best when it really counted. Overall, we have produced some pretty good hockey.

"As I said, we produced some good hockey and statistics say that. Apart from the match against the Dutch, we made more circle entries and got more penalty corners," the South African said.

India will now play arch-rivals Pakistan tomorrow in what promises to be a cracker of a contest for the 9th-10th place.

"India-Pakistan is always a big match irrespective of what the setting is," Clark said.

"I think the pressure is off in terms of the fact that we are not in a medal position. But the traditional rivalry will be there. Not sure about pressure but everybody will be focused on the big match," he said.

Ramandeep Singh, who secured the highest bid of $81000 (approx Rs 50 lakh) from Uttar Pradesh Wizards during a closed-bid auction for the second season of the Hockey India League (HIL), finally proved his worth last night by scoring two brilliant field goals against Argentina.

But just when it seemed he has found his lost touch, a freak shoulder injury in the dying stages of the match against Argentina has cast a doubt on his availability in tomorrow's game against Pakistan.

"We are still waiting for some tests. The X-ray shows no damage but we are waiting for the MRI scan report. But he was pretty sore this morning," Clark said.

Clark, whose tenure with Indian colts ends after the ongoing World Cup, is still uncertain about his future.

"After tomorrow my involvement still has to be discussed with the powers that be. I wanted to finish this project and then everyone needs to make the decision about my involvement," he said.

The Times of India



From darkness to light: Life comes a full circle for SA drag-flicker

Harpreet Kaur Lamba


It takes a lot to slow down an athlete. But much like life, sport too often throws up situations reminding that even the toughest in the business are not invincible.

Such was the case of South Africa’s Under-21 defender Matthew Brown, whose life underwent a sea change last year.

Hale, hearty and a popular face among families and friends, Brown was making rapid progress in hockey and studies. Until one day, he suddenly lost his senses and emotions. Brown was detected with autoimmune encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain.

“It all started in February 2012,” says Brown in a chat with this paper. “I began to feel like I wasn't quite myself. I felt very tired and lazy when usually I am full of energy.

“I just wanted to be on my own and was keeping to myself a lot which was not like me at all, as I am a very social person,” says the Johannesburg based youngster, who is part of the South African team at the Junior World Cup here.

“Initially, my mom took me to see a doctor who recommended sleep and some energy boosters. However, I felt no different. In fact, I was feeling even worse. My moods were changing I was getting really depressed and then really happy and back to being depressed. I knew this wasn't right.”

Detailed tests revealed Brown was suffering from autoimmune encephalitis, an acute inflammation of the brain. Gradually, he lost his emotions, ability to do small things in life and even memory. He was admitted to hospital for a period of five months, of which the youngster doesn’t “remember a thing”.

“I only know that I was taken there on Day One. And that is it.

“My parents were by my side throughout, so was my younger brother. It was a lot to handle for them too. My mother told me that I used to get extremely violent and was under severe medication.

“But in the end, it all fell in place,” says Brown.

Once out of the hospital, Brown was determined to return to the hockey field. “I could not walk, sit in the bed without support, or even talk properly… But I decided to be positive. So did my family, who are accompanying me here.”

The rehabilitation time of four months focused on one step at a time, and when Brown walked out after four months, he was a “new person”.

“Life makes us go through so much sometimes. I am here, playing for my country and what better could it be for me,” said Brown, who is now an inspiration for his team mates.

“I have learnt so much from it, from valuing every small thing in life to giving my best on the hockey field. I am glad am here and playing, and will continue to do so,” says the youngster with a huge smile.

The Asian Age



Malaysian women's hockey team thrash Myanmar


Noor Hasliza Md Ali (centre in blue) trying to pass the ball to team-mates during the Malaysian women's hockey match against Myanmar at the Thein Phyu Hockey Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, on Dec 13, 2013.

YANGON: The Malaysian women’s hockey team coach, Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim, was far from impressed despite watching his charges open their SEA Games account with a 6-0 thrashing of hosts Myanmar at the Thein Phyu Stadium here.

With less than 24 hours recovery period before returning to action against Cambodia on Saturday, Nasihin was irked that the Malaysians made a meal of the match.

The national women’s team are one of the favourites for the gold medal in Yangon but struggled to break down Myanmar’s resistance in the first half.

Despite being camped in their opponents’ half for much of the first half, the Malaysians only had a 27th minute strike by Rabiatul Mohamed to show at half time.

A tongue lashing from Nasihin at the break seemed to do trick as the floodgates opened in the second half.

Fazilah Silin (41st), Nurul Nabila Mansur (46th), Norhidayah Bokhari (48th), Rabiatul again (62nd) and skipper Nadia Abdul Rahman (64th) were all on target against a Myanmar side coached by former Malaysian international K. Embaraj.

Judging from Cambodia’s 26-0 capitulation to Thailand in their opening tie, Malaysia should not face much problems in overcoming them on Saturday.

The Star of Malaysia

 



A whipping for Myanmar

THE national women’s hockey team netted five times off penalty corners in the 6-0 win over minnows Myanmar in Yangon yesterday.

The defensive Myanmar side and the bumpy turf made it difficult for Malaysia but the more experienced Nasihin Nubli’s team finally found the net through Rabiatul Mohamed in the 27th minute for a 1-0 lead at half-time.

Striker Fazillah Silin scored the second in the 41st minute before Nurul Wabila Mansur (46th), Norhidayah Ahmad Bokhari (48th), Rabiatul and Nadia Abd Rahman (64th) completed the rout. Nasihin praised his players for doing well under difficult conditions.

“Myanmar were ultra-defensive and it was not easy to get goals.

The bumpy turf made it even more difficult as we couldn’t play our normal passing game,” said Nasihin who expects another goal fest against Cambodia today.

New Straits Times



Malacca face impossible task at U21 meet

By Ashreena Pillai


KUALA LUMPUR: Malacca are left in a pickle after being held to a 2-2 draw by Sabah in their Group A match of the MHC Under-21 hockey tournament at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The defending champions desperately needed to secure all three points on Friday after their one win and one loss left them in fourth place – behind Perak, Terengganu and Pahang – in Group A, with only three points after two matches.

Malacca’s Muhammad Afiq Zulkifli opened the scoring in the 15th minute through a penalty corner before team-mate Mohd Rasydan Saiful made it 2-0 with a field goal five minutes later.

However, Sabah pulled one back through Mohd Shahadat Abdul Laja’s field goal in the 30th minute to go 2-1 down at the break.

Sabah put on a spirited display in the second half as they eagerly searched for the equaliser.

With Malacca fast fading, their efforts were rewarded when Mohd Izzat Afifi Mahmood scored a field goal in the 49th minute to give Sabah their first point of the tournament.

“Credit to Sabah. They played very well and deserved the point. That’s all I can say ...” said Malacca coach Azrul Effendy Bistaman.

“If you can’t pass the ball well ... it just all went wrong for us today and we couldn’t play our game. I think we were very lucky not to lose the match in the end.”

The draw does not bode well for Malacca, who must win all their remaining matches – against Perak (Sunday), Penang (Monday) and Pahang (Tuesday) – to have any chance of moving on.

The Star of Malaysia



SA hockey men looking for more improvement against Argentina on Saturday

JONATHAN COOK


Buoyed by their narrow 1-0 loss to Argentina in the second Test at Kearsney College Thursday, the South Africa men’s hockey team will be intent on victory when they take on the South American champions at 3 pm on the Queensmead Hockey Stadium turf in Umbilo, south Durban Saturday.

“The second Test was a tight affair that we could have won had we taken our chances and scored first,” SA head coach Charlie Pereira said Friday. “Jacques Le Roux was superb in the SA goals and we managed to keep out five penalty corners before they converted number six.

Pereira said the SA performance was a “big improvement” on Wednesday’s first Test at Riverside Sports Club in north Durban, where soft goals played a part in the host country losing 4-2.

“We limited our defensive errors at Kearsney and moved the ball down the outside channels.

“We played three new caps in Dylan Coombes, Dean Symons and Nic Spooner [all Southern Gauteng] and for this young and inexperienced group to perform at the level they did is commendable. Our objective [in this series] - to give players a chance and find players for certain positions - is working. We are also privileged to have the opportunity of playing Test hockey in our country,” said the SA head coach.

Commenting on the first Test defeat, Pereira said that some unforced errors “cost us soft goals”.

“It is always difficult to win games from that point. Our back four were too static at Riverside and Argentina pressed very well, with two strikers and four links, forcing us down the middle, where they were able to turn over possession and hit us on the counter.”

Pereira said that it will take time to develop players that can withstand the pressure that top strikers apply.

“Our local players have not played a competitive match since IPT (SA interprovincial tournament in August) and this was evident in the first half at Riverside. The second half was better and we will improve as the series unfolds and we get more match time.”

Hernan Pablo Barrios, the top Argentine hockey writer, said before the series that four key players - Juan Manuel Vivaldi (goalkeeper), Lucas Vila (forward), and the brothers, Lucas Rey (midfielder) and Matias Rey (defender), would likely be the South Americans’ trump cards in this series and no doubt the SA lads are very aware of the challenges they pose.

Meanwhile, in a remarkable coincidence, SA and Argentina will be playing international hockey against each other on two contenants at the same time Saturday.

South Africa U21 will play Argentina U21 on Saturday at 2.10pm SA time (live on SuperSport 7) in the playoff for 11th and 12th places at the Junior World Cup in Delhi, while the countries’ senior sides will be taking the field in the third Test at 3pm SA time in Durban.

RESULTS/FIXTURES

1st Test – Argentina 4 South Africa 2; 2nd Test – Argentina 1 South Africa 0; 3rd Test - Saturday (Queensmead 3pm); 4th Test – Monday, December 16 (Queensmead 3pm); 5th Test – Tuesday, December 17 (UKZN Pietermaritzburg 6.30pm).

SA Hockey Association media release



Finals time for Nolands PSI Nationals boys and girls U16s and U18s

JONATHAN COOK in Cape Town


East Rand Quaggas girls' U16A coach Tebs Moepye and captain Elana Espag reflect on their team's superb 4-2 semi-final win over favourites the Namibian Hawks at the Good Hope Centre in CapeTown Friday. Photo: ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY


The level of junior indoor hockey in Friday’s third stanza of the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals U16 and U18 boys’ and girls’ sections continued to find new frontiers on the courts at the Good Hope Centre (GHC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Bishops and the University of Cape Town (UCT).

And it all comes down to this … Saturday is finals day and there are some mouthwatering contests in store for the fans who are expected to descend on the Good Hope Centre for the gold medal matches.

One wonders who might have engaged the services of astonishing mentalist Larry Soffer, who has kept the players spellbound in two evening appearances at the 7th Nolands PSI Nationals, in a bid to get the edge going into Saturday’s coveted gold medal matches.

On reflection, though, these promising players know that it all comes down to hard work and smart indoor hockey when talking about winning gold.

The Girls’ U18A section semi-finals at GHC Friday were absolute crackers and the East Rand Quaggas and Johannesburg Gryphons pulled off superb wins that surprised more than just a few pundits.

Quaggas girls U18A coach Tebs Moepye and captain Elana Espag inspired their side to a 4-2 semi-final win over the Namibian Hawks and scored some fantastic goals in the process. What was impressive was the Quaggas’ superb team spirit and fight when the semi-final match looked to be turning against them at times.

The Gryphons from Johannesburg put in a great effort to beat the Cape Town Seals 5-3 in the other semi-final at Girls’ U18A level - and essentially much of the reason was the Gryphons’ better penalty corners.

The Girls’ U18A final at 10.30 am on Good Hope Centre Court 2 on Saturday is going to be an absolute thriller.

The Boys’ U18A final on GHC 1 at 10.50 am Saturday is between the impressive Gryphons and Namibian Hawks.

The Cape Town Seals U18A boys – studded with national age-group outdoor hockey players – will no doubt reflect back on the 7th Nolands PSI Nationals as a tournament where they did not fulfil their potential.

The much-anticipated Boys’ U16A final in a very strong section will see the Quaggas take on the Boland Foxes at 9.10 am on GHC 2, while the Girls’ U16A final features the Seals and Foxes at 8.20 am.

The medal ceremony and announcement of the coveted Nolands PSI Franchise of the Year takes place immediately after the last final.

Check out this You Tube piece on Thursday’s thrilling action on and off the court.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFd74pIQd2o

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

The PSI Nationals U13 and U14 boys’ and girls’ competitions, which took place from last Saturday to Tuesday this week, had 77 teams and more than 750 participants playing 336 games of indoor hockey in four days, while the PSI Nationals U16 and U18 boys’ and girls’ competitions, which includes 65 teams and more than 630 participants playing 290 indoor matches, saw the on-court action explode on Wednesday - with the gold medal finals day on Saturday morning.

Everything you require regarding the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals - from results to logs to fixtures and much, much more - can be found at www.psihockey.co.za and with videos and more, it’s well worth a look.

PSI Media release



Ireland National Squad Named For Spanish Tour



National Coach Darren Smith has named his squad for Ireland’s upcoming tour to Terrassa, Spain  from the 7th – 16th January, which will include four matches against the world number 14’s.

Smith has rested a number of his more experienced internationals giving way to some fresh faces to make an impression and gain experience at this level, "Over the October and November national training block we selected some new players to join the training which allowed us to look at some of the exciting talent coming through the school, club and age-group programs and expose them to the senior training sessions".

Smith who is happy with the young talent he sees coming through has also included four U18 players who will join the tour for a five day period (7th -12th January) "We have asked four outstanding players who played in the U18 interprovincial tournament to travel to Terrassa and do some work with the senior squad. Kilkenny based Emma Duncan who played as the midfield anchor for South East, Sara Twomey who performed a similar role for Leinster, Ulster defender Zoe Wilson was outstanding throughout the interprovicials in Cork and Ayeisha McFerran who is now amongst the top keepers in Ireland and is proving this in training with the senior squad"

Smith further expanded on their selection "These 4 players were outstanding for their provinces and deserve to be involved in Spain next month. What is also exciting is that although there are four underage players travelling with the squad for next month there are more on the horizon that we definitely have our eye on. I can see this in the national U18 squad that Coach Graeme Francey is trying to narrow down at the moment"

In addition to the four U18’s Yvonne O'Byrne, Kate Lloyd, Vanessa Surgeoner and Chloe Brown will be making their test debuts during the series. Talking about their selection Smith commented "Yvonne is a snappy and competitive defender who brings a hard nosed mind-set to the group. She is a quality tackler and we have been watching her for a while now. Kate, Vanessa and Chloe are three young strikers who have been training in the group for the past nine months and now deservedly get a chance to show their qualities on the international stage. I've been happy with their development and look forward to seeing them in green next month"

Once the group finish the nine day camp the players will move back into club hockey before a squad to play in the Champions Challenge is named along with a squad that will train over the summer from April-September.

The tour will be led by Coach Graham Shaw, because Darren is expecting his first child and will remain in Ireland. Darren will be providing support for Graham and the tour via match and tactical analysis and attending meetings via Skype.

Pamela Smithwick -  Old Alex - Goalkeeper
Emma Gray - Hermes - Goalkeeper
Ayeisha McFerran – Randalstown - Goalkeeper
Kate Dillon – Railway Union - Defender
Michelle Harvey – Pegasus/Leuven - Defender
Ali Meeke – Loreto - Defender
Yvonne O'Byrne – Cork Harlequins - Defender
Audrey O'Flynn – Hermes - Defender
Cliodhna Sargent – Cork Harlequins - Defender
Zoe Wilson – Randalstown - Defender
Emily Beatty - UCD - Midfield
Nicci Daly – Loreto/Holcombe - Midfield
Emma Duncan – Old Alex - Midfield
Megan Frazer – Ballymoney/Holcombe - Midfield
Lisa Jacob – Hermes/SCHC - Midfield
Gill Pinder – UCD - Midfield
Sara Twomey – Hermes - Midfield
Chloe Watkins – UCD/Club de Campo - Midfield
Naomi Carroll – Catholic Institute - Striker
Chloe Brown – Ards - Striker
Deidre Duke – UCD - Striker
Nikki Evans – UCD - Striker
Kate Lloyd – Railway Union - Striker
Katie Mullan – UCD - Striker
Anna O'Flanagan – UCD - Striker
Vanessa Surgeoner – Pegasus - Striker

Coaching / Management for Spain Tour
Graham Shaw - Head Coach
Arlene Boyles - Assistant Coach
Eilis Dolan - Physiotherapist
Mary Goode - Manager
George Petrakos - Trainer
Nigel Henderson - GK coach

Match Details – All times listed are Irish Times (Spain is +1hr):
Terrassa, Spain

January 11th        Ireland                  v              Spain     5.00pm
January 12th        Ireland                  v              Spain     5.00pm
January 14th        Ireland                  v              Spain     11.00am
January 15th        Ireland                  v              Spain     11.00am

Irish Hockey Association media release



National U18 squad announced

The U18 Scotland men and women teams have been announced; below are the squad lists for the 2013/14 season. The squads boast a wide range of players from across Scotland, with the men having six players from Glasgow School of Sport.

Well done to all for making the squad and best of luck in your upcoming tournaments in the new year.

U18 Men

U18 boys squad list

U18 Women

U18 women squad

For any more on the Scottish National teams please click here.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



FIH to introduce Hockey5s

Y. B. Sarangi



Leandro Negre.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has drawn up a strategic plan to revitalise the sport in the coming years and it includes the introduction of Hockey5s.

After the uncertainty over wrestling’s tenure in the Olympics earlier this year, the FIH has woken up to take the sport to a wider audience and make it more contemporary.

“We had some challenges this year with the (International) Olympic Committee. I can assure you that hockey is not in danger. But we need to learn that we cannot be in a siesta,” FIH President Leandro Negre told The Hindu. “We need to improve the promotional aspect of hockey. We need to approach the fans...We know we are weak in some aspects but we need to implement to prevent all these things.”
Salient features

Among several initiatives taken up by the FIH, Hockey5s — which promises a faster, higher scoring, action-packed format played with five players per team on smaller pitches for shorter duration — has an important role to play as it is aimed at attracting youth and non-traditional spectators.

Negre said in the FIH’s scheme of things, India, which has been assigned some major international events in the next five years, would play a big role.

“India is the key for hockey, not only for the best of hockey in India, but for hockey all around the world. Now with new technologies, everybody looks for figures — figures in television, figures in Twitter — and only India can give that to hockey.”

Also, Hero Motors’ long-term commitment to the sport had a role in the FIH giving priority to the country. “I hope the relationship will remain forever.”

Concern for India

Negre was concerned about India, one of its favourite destinations, not performing well on the pitch, but said that the country should have the patience to build its men’s team into a world-beating side.

“We understand that hockey in India is very important, because in the past you have won eight gold medals (in the Olympics).

“You are putting a lot of pressure just to win tomorrow. To build a team you need six-seven-eight, even 10 years.

“It is not only skill, but also tactics, physical and mental very much. And for me, the mental thing is the main problem. The performance of India in the Olympics was lower than what we were expecting. I was very upset about that.”

Negre said the FIH was willing to provide all possible help to lift the standard of Indian hockey.

About the ongoing tussle between two factions, Hockey India (HI) and the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), Negre said it was pitiful that despite FIH’s efforts one side was not willing to reach an agreement.

“Every day, every month, every year passing, the IHF is losing power. That is clear and it is not possible now to get the same demands they put on the table three or four years ago. But that is the irresponsibility,” said the FIH President.

The Hindu



Fancy an A-level internship?

Would you like to gain experience in sports marketing and PR?


We are looking for a sports-minded (cooperative) trainee for the period January - June 2014.

PRO SPORTS is one of the oldest leading sports marketing agencies in the Netherlands . Our team of 8 permanent staff advise and serve - from Hilversum - a wide range of clients within the triangle of sports, media and business. Thus, since 2007 we have organized together with the European Hockey Federation , the annual Euro Hockey League where the best 24 clubs from 12 countries will compete for European title.

The internship

During your internship period, during January to June 2014, you will become acquainted with the sports marketing and PR profession. A large part of your internship, you will work intensively on Euro Hockey League ( EHL ) account. The EHL was conceived and initiated by PRO SPORTS. It's the Champions League of Hockey. The best men’s club teams from Europe compete against each other in three weekends at three different locations during the season and the winner can call himself the best in Europe.

The Challenge

You are the linking pin in maintaining press contacts for the EHL, sending out press releases and coming up with content for social media channels. In addition, you will work on location, events and maintain contacts with participating clubs and players as well as the media in the vicinity of all clubs.

We require

We are looking for someone has field hockey flowing through their veins. You are a real hockey fan, and quite aware of the ins and outs of the ( top ) hockey in the Netherlands, and preferably outside. You feel more at home in an environment that can be hectic and demanding. Obviously you are sports minded and energetic. Experience with media and / or PR is preferred. You have written literacy it is in Dutch or English. Social media is part of your life and you are aware of its opportunities to communicate.

We offer

An exciting and challenging internship with a sports minded, team-oriented , informal and professional team. We provide experienced guidance and give you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. Not only in the field of sports marketing, but also PR you offer.

Besides an excellent command of Dutch, you also have a very good knowledge of English. Writing in English should not be an issue for you. Your college or university education should be in the field of  media, communications, (sports ) marketing or PR.

Your talent

You're the proactive type, a self starter. You keep calm in stressful situations. You are a no nonsense "get it done" type and that makes you flexible.

The conditions

It is a working internship for 36-40 per week with a willingness to be present events in the weekends where necessary. You will receive an allowance (based on 40 hours p/w). You will be based in Amstelveen and / or Hilversum.

Apply

Apply for this internship?

Direct your response ( and CV ) for January 10, 2014 to :

Pro Sports Netherlands BV

t.a.v Bart de Wilde ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

OR

Porter Novelli

Attn Juriaan Vergouw ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

020 543 7600

Euro Hockey League media release