News for 15 December 2013

All the news for Sunday 15 December 2013


SA hockey men lose fiery match by odd goal in five at Queensmead

JONATHAN COOK



Gowan Jones saves from Argentina's Lucas Rossi as team-mate Jonty Robinson looks on during the South Africa goalkeeper's man-of-the-match performance in the third Test at Queensmead in Durban Saturday. Argentina won 3-2. Photo: TERRY LEWIS

The South Africa men’s hockey team lost 3-2 to South American champions Argentina in an explosive third Test match at Queensmead in Durban Saturday after the score was 1-1 at half-time.

The win gives world number 11 Argentina an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series in KwaZulu-Natal, but the African champions made them work very hard for victory.

The clash was marred by a remarkable 10 players being sent to the sin bin – six Argentineans and four South Africans. Five players were banished to the bin in one particularly tempestuous 10-minute period during the second half.

Having lost the first Test 4-2 and the second Test 1-0, captain Rhett Halkett, head coach Charlie Pereira and the SA lads, ranked 12th in the world, were determined to pull one back and opened the scoring in the 20th minute through an Argentine own goal.

Captain Lucas Rey equalised from a penalty corner four minutes before half-time (31st) and his side went 2-1 up through a Facundo Callioni field goal 13 minutes from the end (57th) during a period when the musical chairs in the sin bin got particularly busy.

Five minutes later (62nd) Argentina established a two-goal cushion when Juan Ignacio Gilardi converted from the penalty spot. SA striker Craig Haley pulled one back after a penalty corner three minutes from full-time (67th) but the South Americans had done enough for a series-clinching 3-2 third Test win.

The SA side, missing regular captain Austin Smith and other starting line-up players in this series, might be 3-0 down with two to play but Halkett has always said that the five Test matches were about improving game by game - and the general indications are that Pereira’s lads, a host of whom are untried at this level, appear to be doing just that.

The fourth Test is on the Queensmead Hockey Stadium turf at 3pm Monday with the fifth and final Test match at the University of KZN Pietermaritzburg campus at 6.30pm Tuesday.

UKZN Pietermaritzburg’s turf in the Peter Booysen Sports Park will be the third club venue to see a Test match for the first time, the others being Riverside hockey club in Durban North (first Test) and at Kearsney College hockey club (second Test) on the school campus in Hillcrest.

Meanwhile, in a rare coincidence, South Africa Under-21 played Argentina U21 in the playoff for 11th and 12th places at the Men’s Junior World Cup in Delhi at the same time as Saturday’s Queensmead clash, and once again it was success for the South Americans, to the tune of 4-1.

SA/ARGENTINA KZN SERIES - RESULTS/FIXTURES


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

SA Hockey Association media release



Pakistan, Argentina, Spain and Egypt finish with wins in Delhi

Pakistan wins exciting match against India in shoot-outs

(9th-10th) - Pakistan vs. India: 1-1 (shoot-out: 4-2 - half-time: 1-0)


Last match of the day promised to be exciting, as always when India and Pakistan meet in international hockey.  The two neighbours have been giants of the hockey scene for the longest time and their classic rivalry always attracts big crowds, whether at senior or junior level, for a final or a 9th place as tonight.

Both teams were eager to get into action and the flag waving crowd was roaring in anticipation. The Indians, sporting their new bright yellow kit, rushed forward from the opening whistle. They created a few chances but, as too often in this competition, were too hasty in trying to conclude. They were surprised in the 7th minute when Pakistani Muhammad Dilber received the ball behind their defense and calmly passed it to Rizwan Ali left totally unmarked in the middle of the circle for an easy push in goal.

India tried to come back quickly but, encouraged by the crowd, were pushing their runs a tad too far, making it difficult for themselves to deliver useful passes. Pakistani goal-keeper Mazhar Abbas handled well some hot situations and Pakistan weathered the Indian storm calmly, dashing forward in bold counter-attacks each time they had an opening.

India were close, even very close, on multiple occasions but could not manage to slot one in goal and Pakistan were still holding their fragile one-goal lead going into the break.

The same pattern of play continued in second period, with India persisting in trying to penetrate the well regrouped Pakistani defense with individual runs. They had to rely on playing to the foot of a defender to earn a penalty-corner, but Gurjinder Singh’s high flick was calmly deflected by Mazhar Abbas.

The Pakistani players were on par with the Indians for individual skills, but playing more collectively, connecting well with each other in defense and in attack. The Indians players were inconsistent, displaying great skills to undress defenders but then sending their next pass astray.

Pakistan were saved once more by their keeper on a violent shot by Akashdeep Singh from the top of the circle. The crowd was getting impatient and the Indian players more and more nervous. They finally earned another penalty-corner in a messy scramble in the goal-mouth with five minutes left in the match and this time Gurjinder Singh managed to slot his low flick out of reach of the goal-keeper, tying the proceeding and sending the crowd in ecstatic ruptures.

The final minutes were played in a wild atmosphere but score remained tied and the outcome of the game had to be decided by a shoot-out competition, an exciting prospect with such individually talented players. The two goal-keepers saved one attempt each, but Satbir Singh missed for India and Muhammad Dilber was the hero for Pakistan, earning his team the 9th position in the competition and pushing India down to a modest 10th place.

(11th-12th) – South Africa vs. Argentina: 1-4 (half-time: 1-3)

The African and American Champions were certainly expecting more from this competition, especially Argentina, traditionally doing well at the junior level and widely named amongst the favorites before the start of this 2013 Hero Hockey Junior World Cup.

South Africa were faster off the starting blocks and up by one goal within three minutes of play by Matthew Brown on penalty-corner. Argentina recovered from their shaky start and were back on par in the 13th minute thanks to a powerful low drag-flick by Gonzalo Peillat that slid off the stick of the post-defender.

Argentina increased their pressure and were all over the South African circle. Isidoro Carlos Ibarra missed a deflection at the far post by a whisker and they were denied a penalty-corner on a video-referral, but were finally rewarded in the 21st minute when Lautaro Diaz managed to put an end to a wild pinball session in front of Rene De La Peyre in the South African goal.

Joaquin Leonel Coelho added a field goal soon after and Argentina walked into the break with a fairly comfortable two-goal cushion. They carried their momentum in second period and Gonzalo Peillat added his second penalty-corner of the match in the 42th minute. South Africa collected a yellow card and, three goals and one man down, things looked rather bleak for them.

There were some heated exchanges and the umpires needed to distribute a number of cards to try and cool down the tempters, including a red one to Argentinean captain Gonzalo Peillat. The scoreline did not evolve anymore and Argentina finished the competition in 11th position, four places below their previous worst results in eight appearances in Junior World Cup.

(13th-14th) - England vs. Spain: 2-3 (half-time: 1-2)

England had collected a single point in pool play (against New Zealand) before handsomely beating Egypt in cross-over, while Spain had lost their three pool games before narrowly edging Canada in cross-over.

Spain were first on the scoreboard in the 5th minute when Albert Beltran made the most of a bouncing ball in the circle that eluded a couple of English defenders. The Spaniards kept pushing and England were on the back foot for the first fifteen minutes of play. Harry Gibson in goal kept them afloat with a spectacular diving save but could not do much in the 19th minute on a penalty-corner well taken by Lluis Mercade.

England reacted well and had a penalty-corner of their own. They could not trap it but opened their tally a few minutes later by Christopher Proctor, deflecting in front of Spanish keeper Mario Fernandez Garin a hard cross from the right. England kept the upper hand until the end of the period but Spain still had their narrow one-goal lead going into the break.

England carried their momentum in second period and managed to come back on par in the 45th minute by their captain Andrew Bull on penalty-stroke. They sometimes had trouble containing the energetic runs of the Spanish forwards, led by an Albert Beltran, but the English defense was well backed by Harry Gibson, in fine form and making a stunning series of saves on three consecutive shots from very close range.

Neither team could take full control and play was animated. England had two chances on penalty-corners and another one on a wild scramble in front of goal-keeper Mario Fernandez Garin but it was Spain that finally broke the deadlock in the 68th minute by their captain Alejandro De Frutos on the follow-up of a mis-trapped penalty-corner. England immediately pulled their goal-keeper but could not bounce back and were left rueing all their missed opportunities.

(15th-16th) - Egypt vs. Canada: 3-0 (half-time: 1-0)

The two lowest ranked teams entering the competition could not upset the odds and played each other for 15th position. Play started slowly in the midday heat, then Canada took a slight edge on the proceedings; they had a first opportunity on penalty-corner but Gordon Johnston was too slow to deliver his flick and the Egyptian runners thwarted his attempt.

Egypt had a long period of domination during which they created havoc in the Canadian defense but could not deliver the final blow. Canada had trouble untangling themselves from the Egyptian press when they had the ball and relied more and more on individual runs to progress towards the Egyptian circle. Vikramjeet Sandhu earned a penalty-corner after a long run on the left wing, but Gordon Johnston was again slow to unleash his flick.

Egypt opened the scoring in the 32nd minute by Ahmed Karem, completely alone in the circle after a swift counter-attack and a couple of long passes left the entire Canadian team in no-man’s-land. Canada were caught again on the back foot in the opening action of second period, conceding a penalty-corner. It was well executed by the Egyptians but shot marginally wide.

This was possibly the wake-up call that Canada needed and they started to play with more purpose. They forced a penalty-corner but once again could not capitalize on it. They took advantage of a temporary numerical advantage during an Egyptian green card to earn themseleves another penalty-corner but used the same straight forward option countered yet again by the fast Egyptian runners.

Canada mustered some momentum in the final ten minutes of play but scrambled another penalty-corner chance. Egypt were more efficient at the other end and Ashraf Said scored an insurance goal in the 67th minute, forcing Canada to pull their goal-keeper for a desperate last rush. It was however much too little and too late and Egypt were soon celebrating their first win of the competition while the Canadians were left dejected at the bottom of the standings.

FIH site



India finishes a disappointing 10th in Junior Hockey WC

Y. B. Sarangi



Pakistan goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas saves the penalty attempt by India's Imran Khan in the Hero hockey junior World Cup classification match. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

The biggest crowd gathered in the Junior World Cup hockey tournament so far, left the National Stadium with disappointment after a below-par India lost to Pakistan via tie-breaker to finish 10th here on Saturday.

India, which had beaten Pakistan 4-0 in their last meeting in the Sultan of Johor Cup three months ago, managed to draw the match beyond the regulation period with a 1-1 score line. Pakistan prevailed 4-2 in the penalty shootouts.

India ended up a rung below its finish in the previous edition of the event.

A superb Pakistani counterattack caught the Indians by surprise. In the seventh minute, No. 8 (Muhammad Umar Bhutta) passed it on to No. 9 (Muhammad Dilber) on the right and an unchallenged No. 10 (Rizwan Ali) completed the move by tapping it home.
Immense pressure

Pakistan’s lead put India under immense pressure. The host moved the ball well and initiated several forays from both the flanks. However, the forwards failed to perform the most crucial task of beating the solid Pakistani defenders.

Pakistan was content with its occasional raids, which were sharp and good enough to shake the Indian back line. The Indians missed an injured Ramandeep Singh upfront as their struggle continued in the second half because of their poor basics and mindless positioning.

Gurjinder scored from India’s second penalty corner to level the scores in the 66th minute.

The results (classification matches):

15th place: Egypt 3 (Ahmed Karem 32; Ashraf Said 67; Reda Ahmed 70) bt Canada 0.

13th place: Spain 3 (Albert Beltran 5; Lluis Mercade 19; Alejandro de Frutos 68) bt England 2 (Christopher Proctor 27; Andrew Bull 45).

11th place: Argentina 4 (Gonzalo Peillat 13, 42; Lautaro Diaz 21; Joaqun Lionel Coelho 24) bt South Africa 1 (Matthew Brown 3).

9th place: Pakistan 1 (Rizwan Ali 7) bt India 1 (Gurjinder Singh 66) via tie-breaker [Pakistan 4 (Muhammad Irfan, Muhammad Tousiq, Muhammad Umar Bhutta and Muhammad Dilber) bt India 2 (Gurjinder, Talwinder Singh)].

The Hindu



India ends the way it started

s2h team


India again failed in front of five thousand cheering crowd, only to blossom in between to falter again in the shoot out (2-4) to the arch rivals.

This brittle Indian team, that started the Delhi campaign shakily with a single goal margin defeat to The Netherlands, lost the last game today to their arch rivals Pakistan 5-3, after held by 1-1 at regulation time.

Pakistan took the lead early in the match, at the stroke of seventh minute but India came from behind to annul the slenderest of the lead with an immaculate low drag of Gurjinder Singh with almost six minutes left in the clock.

Its was Gurjinder's second penalty corner effort that thrilled the crowd who braved the chilly open air stands, but in the ensured penalty shoot out, greenhorn Imran Khan and Satbir Singh fizzled out to inform goalie Mazhar Abbas of Pakistan.

Earlier in the first Penalty Corner attempt, Mazhar rose to his height to palm away a high drag of Gurjinder, which otherwise had all trappings of a goal.

Its is surprising to see the greenhorns preferred for the penalty shoot out instead of 'experienced' Akashdeep and Mandeep Singh were not selected.

Even had India won today, nothing would have changed for Indian hockey, however the academic interest that lies with India-Pak feat is also lost.

Its totally a disappointing show for India over all

Stick2Hockey.com



Final heartbreak for Indian boys

The hosts finish 10th after losing 4-2 to Pakistan through a penalty shootout


New Delhi - Hosts India drew curtains to their disastrous campaign at the Junior Men's Hockey World Cup by finishing a disappointing 10th after losing to arch-rivals Pakistan in a classification match at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, here today.

Pakistan finished ninth after beating India 4-2 in the one-on-one penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 end to regulation time. Pakistan stunned the home spectators in the seventh minute with a field goal from Rizwan Ali, before Gurjinder Singh drew parity for India just four minutes from end by converting the home team's second penalty corner.

But it was not to be India's day as they scored just twice in the shoot-out against Pakistan's four conversions.

Gurjinder and Talwinder Singh were on target from the first two attempts, while Imran Khan and Satbir Singh missed.

Though India dominated the lion's share of possession in the first half, the hosts were far from impressive.

Pakistan, on the other hand, looked more co-ordinated and threatening in their forays. The Pakistanis used both the flanks to perfection to build their attacks.

Man-to-man marking was the hallmark of Pakistan's defence as they did not give any space to the Indians inside their circle.

As has been the story so far in the tournament, the Indians were once again guilty of conceding a goal in the first 10 minutes.

Pakistan capitalised on India's defensive error when Muhammad Rizwan Jr. found an unmarked Muhammad Dilber inside the Indian circle. Dilber set up Rizwan Ali who pushed the ball home from close range.

Missed chances were the order of the day for India as their forwards fizzled out once inside the opposition circle. Malak Singh missed a clear chance from close range before skipper Manpreet Singh shot wide after a fine one-two move with Mandeep Singh from the right flank.

After the change of ends, the Indians improved their game and put pressure on the Pakistani goal with relentless raids, but the goals eluded them.

Credit should also go to Mazhar Abbas in Pakistan goal, who saved his side on two clear occasions.

Ten minutes into the half, India got their first penalty corner but Gurjinder's high flick was palmed away by an alert Abbas. Minutes later, he again came to Pakistan's rescue as he kept Akashdeep Singh's fierce shot out.

India finally managed to level the scores in the 66th minute when Gurjinder converted a penalty corner with a low drag-flick.

It was a really disappointing performance from the boys today. It is possibly our worst performance in the World Cup. We were not able to dribble the ball. Our defence, circle penetration and trapping were weak. The team did not do justice to the game. They was under pressure and did not handle it properly.
Gregg Clark, India coach

Results


Egypt bt Canada 3-0
Spain bt England 3-2
Argentina bt South Africa 4-1
Pakistan bt India 4–2

The Tribune



India finish disappointing 10th in Junior Hockey World Cup

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: There was stunned silence in the stadium when Muhammad Dilber scored the decisive goal in the penalty shootout. The Pakistanis celebrated as if they had won the World Cup while the Indian team looked completely dejected.

But the fans soon started cheering the winners from across the border, probably realizing that they deserved to win more than the Indians.

Having already lost the battle for a medal, India took on Pakistan in a bid to take the 9th position in the Junior Hero World Cup here on Saturday and salvage some pride.

But they were not up to the challenge as they came up with a below-average fare to finish the competition in the 10th position.

India were never in the hunt, especially with the brand of hockey they displayed at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium. They were simply lucky to take the game to the penalty shootout, having trailed 1-0 for most part of the match. "Yes we are quite disappointed with the result. The boys did not do justice to the talent they have," said coach Gregg Clark. India missed the services of Ramandeep Singh who sat out due to a sore shoulder. "We missed the edge up front without Ramandeep," Clarke added.

It was a very ordinary show by India in the first half as they struggled to get into a rhythm. There was no coordination between the players as they made numerous errors in their game. The trapping was abysmal, their passing below par. They had more ball possession than their rivals and made more forays into the rival defence but most of their circle penetrations failed to test the goalkeeper as the Pakistani defence stood firm.

Pakistan, on the other hand, had their own problems but they showed better skills than the hosts. At least their moves looked more threatening and they looked more likely to score goals from whatever chances they got. A blunder by Surender Kumar gave Pakistan the opportunity to take the lead when captain Muhammad Umar Bhutta passed the ball to an unmarked Dilber inside the circle. Dilber's quick pass was tapped in by Ali Rizwan.

India struggled to get the equalizer but failed to go past a dodged Pakistani defence. They finally made it 1-1 in the 66th minute when Gurjinder converted a penalty corner. Earlier, Argentina came from behind to down South Africa 4-1 to take the 11th position. Spain overcame a fighting England 3-2 to take the 13th spot, while Egypt surprised Canada with a 3-0 win to finish 15th and avoid the wooden spoon.

Results (classification matches): 15th place: Egypt 3 bt Canada 0; 13th place: Spain 3 bt England 2 ; 11th place: Argentina 4 bt South Africa 1 ; 9th place: Pakistan 1 bt India 1 via tie-breaker

The Times of India



Today was India's worst performance in Junior WC: Clark

NEW DELHI: India finished a disappointing 10th in the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup after losing to arch-rivals Pakistan in the penalty shoot-out and chief coach Gregg Clark said it was the home team's "worst performance" in the 16-team quadrennial event.

Pakistan finished ninth after beating India 4-2 in the one-on-one penalty shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at the regulation time at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here today.

Pakistan stunned the large home spectators in the seventh minute with a field goal from Rizwan Ali before Gurjinder Singh drew parity for India just four minutes from the hooter by converting the team's second penalty corner.

"It was really a disappointing performance from the boys today. It is possibly our worst performance in the World Cup," a fuming Clark told reporters after the 9th-10th place classification match.

"We were not able to dribble the ball. Our defence, circle penetration and trapping was weak. We slipped on the quality of game execution and our strategy was not good either," he said.

He congratulated Pakistan and said India buckled under pressure in the home tournament.

"The team did not do justice to the game. Team was under pressure and did not handle it properly. There was lot of gap in the performance. Well done Pakistan. We couldn't handle the pressure throughout the tournament," Clark said.

India captain Manpreet Singh was of the view that conceding early goals throughout the event cost them dearly.

"We missed a lot of chances. We were also guilty of conceding goals in the first 10 minutes in most of the matches. We need to work on these areas," he said.

The Times of India



Pakistan beat India in Junior Hockey World Cup

NEW DELHI - Pakistan beat hosts and arch-rivals India in the Junior Men's Hockey World Cup to finish on a disappointing ninth spot at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium Saturday. Pakistan finished ninth after beating India 4-2 in the one-on-one penalty shoot-out after both the teams were locked at 1-1 at the regulation time.

Pakistan stunned the large home spectators in the seventh minute with a field goal from Rizwan Ali before Gurjinder Singh drew parity for India just four minutes from the hooter by converting the home team's second penalty corner. But it was not to be India's day as they scored just twice in the shoot-out as against Pakistan's four conversions.

Gurjinder and Talwinder Singh were on target from the first two one-on-one opportunities in the shoot, while Imran Khan and Satbir Singh missed. M Imran, M Tousiq, M Umar Bhutta and M Dilber scored for Pakistan, while M Rizwan Jr was the only miss. Though India dominated the lion's share of possession in the first half, the hosts were far from impressive. It is ought to be India's worst performance in the tournament as their trapping was horrendous and mostly played in their own circle.

Pakistan, on the other hand, looked more coordinated and threatening in their forays. The Pakistanis used both the flanks to perfection to build their attacks. Man-to-man marking was the hallmark of Pakistan's defence as they did not give any space to the Indians inside their circle. As has been the story so far in the tournament, the Indians were once again guilty of conceding a goal in the first 10 minutes of the match.

Pakistan capitalised on India's defensive error when Rizwan Jr found out an unmarked Dilber inside the Indian circle who set it up for Rizwan Ali to push the ball home from close range. Two minutes later, Pakistan got another scoring chance when they earned their first penalty corner but wasted it. Missed chances were the order of the day for India as their forwards fizzled out once inside the opposition circle. Malak Singh missed a clear chance from a close range before skipper Manpreet Singh shot wide after fine one-two with Mandeep Singh from the right flank.

After the change of ends, the Indians dished out a much-better performance and kept up the pressure on the Pakistani goal with relentless raids, but what eluded them was goals. Credit should also go to Mazhar Abbas in Pakistan goal as he saved his side on two clear occasions. Ten minutes into the second half, India got their first penalty corner but Gurjinder's high flick was palmed away by an alert Abbas.

Meanwhile, Argentina finished 11th, followed by South Africa (12th), Spain (13th), England (14th), Egypt (15th) and Canada (16th). While Argentina beat South Africa 4-1 in the 11th-12th place play-off match, Spain eked out a hard-fought 3-2 win over England in the 13th-14th place classification game. Earlier in the day, Egypt defeated Canada 3-0 to avoid the wooden spoon.

The Nation



Argentina beat South Africa, finish 11th

NEW DELHI: Argentina beat South Africa 4-1 to finish 11th in the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, Spain beat England 3-2 to secure the 13th position while the 14th spot went to the latter.

In the 15-16 position playoff, Egypt scored their first win of the tournament by defeating Canada 3-0 for the 15th spot while the North American team ended 16th and last.

South Africa were faster off the starting block and were up by a goal in the third minute when Matthew Brown scored from a penalty corner.

Argentina recovered from their shaky start and were back on par in the 13th minute, thanks to a powerful low drag flick by Gonzalo Peillat.

The South Americans increased the pressure and were all over the South African circle and were finally rewarded in the 21st minute when Lautaro Diaz managed to put an end to a wild pinball session in front of Rene De La Peyre in the South African goal to take a 2-1 lead.

Joaquin Leonel Coelho added a field goal soon after and Argentina walked into the break with a comfortable two goal cushion.

Argentina carried the momentum to the second half and Peillat added his second penalty corner goal in the 42nd minute.

There were some heated exchanges and the umpires gave out seven cards in total, including a red one to Argentine captain Peillat.

The scoreline did not change and Argentina finished the competition in 11th position, four places below their previous worst results in eight appearances in the tournament.

The Times of India



Last minute goal means disappointment for England U21 Men


England U21 v Spain, Phil Roper, by Stanislas Brochier

England Under-21 Men battled back from two goals down to level their final match in the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup in India, but rivals Spain grabbed a late winner two minutes from time to end England’s hopes of ending on a high.

A strong second half performance from Jon Bleby’s side saw them hit back from two-nil behind to level with goals from Chris Proctor and Andrew Bull, but the Spanish snatched a late goal to clinch the win.

“After a poor first half, I couldn’t have asked for any more of the players in the second half,” said Bleby. “The first 20 minutes put us well behind, but it’s to the players’ credit that they fought back to level the game, and on another day we may well have taken the win.”

Spain hit the ground running and scored their first goal after just five minutes, Albert Beltran scoring after an attack down the left side was poorly defended by England.

And on 19 minutes they doubled their lead, Luis Mercade scoring with a hard flick from a 19th minute penalty corner. However, England hit back on 27 minutes.

An excellent run from the half way line by Phil Roper led to the ball finding Jonny Gall at the top of the D, and his shot was tipped in by Proctor to give England hope of a comeback shortly before half time.

Captain Andrew Bull stepped up for a penalty stroke on 45 minutes, awarded after a melee in the circle and a hard stick tackle, and after the referee’s decision was referred he scored the resulting shot.

England pushed forward in search of a winner, and had several chances which they just failed to get on the end of.

Ultimately, Spain took the win after Alejandro de Frutos scored from a 68th minute penalty corner. England pulled off their goalkeeper and threw on an extra man in search of a way back into the match, but the Spanish held firm.

England Under-21 Men’s Squad v Malaysia

Started

Harry Gibson (GK) – Loughborough Students
Jonathan Griffiths – Loughborough Students
Jonathan Gall - Surbiton
Andrew Bull (capt) – East Grinstead
David Goodfield – Sheffield Hallam
James Albery – Cambridge City
Phil Roper - Wimbledon
Luke Taylor – East Grinstead
James Gall - Surbiton
Nick Bandurak – Cannock
Joseph Sharp - Beeston

Substitutes used
Daniel Faulkner – Loughborough Students
Brendan Creed – Sheffield Hallam
Sam French – Univ of Birmingham
Robert Farrington – Loughborough Students
Chris Proctor – Beeston

Did not play
Arjan Drayton-Chana – Sheffield Hallam
Thomas Pinnegar (GK) - Univ of Birmingham

England Hockey Board Media release



France will look to oust ‘favourite’ Germany for a first-time win

Y. B. Sarangi


What a moment it will be for French hockey if its under-21 boys take back home the Roger Danet Trophy, which was instituted by the French Hockey Federation (FHF) in the name of its former president while hosting the inaugural Junior World Cup 34 years ago!

France may not be a force to reckon with in world hockey, but the FHF’s efforts to shore up the sport have started showing the results.

France, which had never made it to the semifinals of the event, reaped the benefits of its discipline and strong work ethic to reach the title clash for the first time. Now, the Blueberries have five-time champion Germany between themselves and ‘their’ trophy.

Whether rank outsider France earns its first world title or the Germans transform their tears of an early shock into tears of joy, the National Stadium promises a drama-filled Sunday night.

France’s was a journey of surprises, at least for outsiders. It stunned two traditional hockey nations, Spain and Argentina, to reach the quarterfinals, and put up a brave fight against Australia at the pool stage.

By pipping a strong Belgium in a high-scoring last-eight encounter, the French proved that their progress was not a story of fluke.

Holding the nerve in the penalty shootouts against the gritty Malaysians was an evidence of the harder side of their character. France’s coach Gael Foulard admitted that the final would be a “high pressure game,” but banked on the toughness of his boys.

Title holder Germany was proud of itself as it overcame a shock start against Belgium to march on in style. Keeping its cool in the nerve-racking semifinal against the Dutch was the key to the team’s success and it would have to do it once more to record its sixth World Cup triumph in seven final appearances.

“If a team has reached the final, it has to be a good team. We won’t take France lightly,” said German coach Andre Henning.

With some match-winners in its ranks — such as top-scorer Christopher Ruhr, skilful midfielder Mats Grambusch and one-man army in goalkeeper Victor Aly — Germany is, too, formidable as an opponent.

France, with the services of experienced Hugo Genestet, Pieter van Straaten and Jean-Laurent Kieffer, will have to go through a stern test of resistance. Dragging the match of the tournament to shootouts may help France as it has nothing to lose.

With its favourite tag and the burden of expectation, Germany may not find itself in the comfort zone in such a crunch situation.

The battle of classes may make the final an affair to remember.

The Hindu



France hope to continue dream run

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: First time finalists are up against five-time champions. France will start as underdogs in the Hero Junior hockey World Cup title clash, and would be hoping to go all the way when they take on Germany on Sunday.

France's journey in the competition has been a Cindrella story — no one thought that they could go this far. Their success has come from hard work, dedication and self-belief. They were a bit lucky as the Germans played big teams like Australia and the Netherlands in the knockout stages while France only had to deal with a tough Belgium on their way to the final.

France had made it clear after winning their semifinal match that they would prefer playing the Dutch over the Germans. With Germany making the grade, the Frenchmen will have to play out of their skin to have a chance of toppling the defending champions.

Germany have been clinical in the tournament. When they were stretched by the Dutch in the semifinals, they raised their game to come out victorious. "The mental strength of the young team was on display in the semifinals. The Dutch tried to take the match away when they levelled the score at 3-3, but we did not allow them to do that. I am very proud of the team and its great performance," Germany's coach Andre Henning said.

Interestingly, Germany had started their campaign with a loss against Belgium, a team which France later beat in the quarterfinals. "France are very strong opponents. If they have reached the final of the tournament they must be a good team," Henning said.

In the bronze medal match, the Netherlands will play Malaysia for a podium finish.

The Times of India



Germany favourites for sixth Junior World Cup title

By S. Ramaguru



The Germany team celebrate after scoring a goal against Holland in the Junior World Cup semi-final match which they won 5-3 on Friday. The 5-time defending champions are hot favourites to retain the title in the final against France on Sunday. - events.fih.ch

NEW DELHI: Germany is looking good for a sixth Junior World Cup title as they prepare to face France in the final of the 10th edition at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday.

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

For France it has been a fairytale run as they qualified for their first-ever final showdown.

Their best placing was a seventh position achieved in 1979 when they hosted the event.

But all indications point to Germany winning as they have steamrolled all opposition except for Belgium in their run-up to the final.

The Germans lost 1-3 in a surprise defeat to the Belgians in the opening group tie.

But apart from that single hiccup they have played excellent hockey. Their resilience and character was best indicated in the semi-final game against the Dutch.

The Germans held a 3-0 lead and allowed the Dutch to come charging back to square the game at 3-3 with less than five minutes remaining.

Any other team would have collapsed but the Germans scored twice in the last four minutes to clinch the game.

Germany coach Andre Henning said the semi-final was the most difficult and crucial in their run-up to the final.

“The semis tie against the Dutch was the most difficult for us during the tournament. But the boys showed good character and mental strength in winning the game. We had a good lead of three goals but they came back good.

“We played them earlier so we knew the right ways to tackle them.

“For the final we have to be focused and cannot take France lightly as they have been having an excellent run in the tournament.

“It is clear that they will have extra motivation to achieve their best ever result in the Junior World Cup and will be all out to beat us,” he said.

The Germans have in Christopher Ruhr an excellent forward whose darting runs into the D have troubled many teams. He has also been on the score sheet in all matches played.

And skipper Mathis Muller has been a top leader and marshals the defence well.

What makes the German team stand out is their workman-like performance and ability to attack and defend in numbers. Whether it is their senior team or juniors, the Germans have a well-structured game plan and are almost impossible to stop once they get going.

France, despite their win, are vulnerable at the back but their players have good skills. They came back from a goal down to draw with Malaysia in the semi-final and win after a penalty shootout.

France coach Gael Foulard said the Germans usually play their best game in the final.

“So we know that we are up against one of the best hockey teams in the world.

“People back home have been following this team and it’s a prestigious moment for the boys to have reached this point.

“The final will be a pressure game and a big one, too. We were hoping to get the opportunity to face Holland but they were defeated.

“We have faced Germany in the past and we expect a tough time but our players have vowed to give their best in order to win the title,” he said.

It is a tall order indeed for the French when one considers that the Germans have always won when making the cut or the final.

But upsets do happen and the French will be hoping for one on Sunday.

The Star of Malaysia

 



Final push

Malaysia need to get past Netherlands for a podium finish


NEW DELHI: HAVING failed to make the Junior World Cup final after going down to France in a shootout on Friday, Malaysia have the opportunity to redeem themselves in the bronze medal playoff against the Netherlands today.

The Dutch too suffered heartbreak against defending champions Germany in their semi-final, losing 5-3 after having come back from a 3-0 deficit to draw level.

It will thus be a question of which team get over the disappointment faster and at the same time lift themselves for one final push for a place on the podium.

Malaysia have never been on the podium since the inaugural edition in 1979, twice finishing fourth.

Hence the Malaysian players have everything to play for as they will be the most successful junior team ever with a bronze.

"We have been working on the players after the semis defeat as they are mentally down," said manager Mirnawan Nawawi.

"Playing the Dutch will not be easy but we need to show the desire and hunger to win the bronze.

"Frankly, even I cannot get over the defeat to France but we need to move on and win a medal.

"This is a good team and I hope their efforts are rewarded. The Dutch are a great team and would have made the final had they avoided Germany,"

In order to defeat the Dutch, Malaysia need to lift their game and play hockey as they normally do, thereby shedding the defensive approach they adopted against France.

Players like Mohd Syamim Yusof need to pull up their socks as he has been a huge disappointment in the tournament thus far.

Syamim was shown the yellow card in the 56th minute against France and with a player short, the Malaysian game plan went to pieces.

"I am not at all happy with his performance and that yellow card was unnecessary as we had to play a man short," said coach K.Dharmaraj.

"And overall, he has not contributed much to the team, this is so sad as he is one of our better players.

"We need to control the pace of the match against the Dutch and be patient and strike when the opportunity presents itself."

Meanwhile Germany will be gunning for their sixth world junior title and start off as favourites against the French.

However if one were to look at history, the team that defeated Malaysia in the semis will go on to lift the trophy, as Pakistan and Germany did in 1979 and 1982 respectively.

France have shown tenacity and a high skill level to defeat the likes of Argentina, Belgium and Malaysia en route to their first final appearance.

Thus if the well oiled Germans fail to click, then an upset could well be on the cards.

New Straits Times



One final hurrah for juniors to make podium

By S. Ramaguru



Shortlived. The Malaysia team celebrate after scoring the first goal against France in the Junior World Cup semi-final match on Friday. The Malaysians went on to lose the match on penalties and will face Holland in the third placing playoff on Sunday. - events.fih.ch

NEW DELHI: Malaysia have never been lucky when it comes to fighting for third placing in the Junior World Cup.

In the 1979 edition, they met Holland and were beaten 3-1. In 1982, Pakistan defeated them in the playoff match.

So, could third time be the charm for Malaysia when they face Holland on Sunday?

Malaysia had a great chance to make the final against France in the semi-final on Friday. Coach K. Dharmaraj’s boys had, after all, won all their previous four outings – three group matches and one quarter-final clash. And in a couple of those matches, they won despite playing poorly.

In the semi-finals, they took the lead and then went into a defensive mode. This allowed France to come back and hold them to a 1-1 draw in regulation time.

Malaysia actually have good attacking options. So, there was no reason for them to be on the back foot.

But the damage’s done.

Well, at least the team achieved their top-four target, although making the podium would be a great way for the players to end their junior days.

None of these players will feature in this tournament again as they will be over-aged and the least they could do is to try and finish third.

It won’t be easy, but there’s no harm in giving it a shot.

Dharmaraj said that his main problem would be to motivate the players to get them back to playing their best game after the semi-final disappointment.

“We have played against Holland in friendlies and we know they are a very tough team to beat. They will also be well motivated like us after the disappointment of missing the final,” said Dharmaraj.

“But one-off matches are always harder to play as you do not get a second chance to get it right.

“But we have won the Junior Asia Cup before ... and have the experience playing at this stage.

“So, we’ll have to just buck up and get the job done. The Dutch won’t make it easy ... they have top players who are in good form.

“They are fast and have a good defensive set-up. We will have to raise our game a couple of notches to match them.”

But even Dharmaraj is more concerned with motivating his players rather than working on the game plan.

“Frankly, even I still can’t get over the loss (to France)... I guess but we need to move on and win a medal,” he said.

“This is a good team and I hope their efforts in the tournament will be rewarded with a podium finish. The Dutch are a great team and would have made the final had they avoided Germany.

“We need to control the pace of the match against Holland and be patient ... and strike at the right time.”

Dharmaraj is right. The players should forget about the semi-final defeat and take it as a lesson.

They should go out there and show everyone that Malaysian hockey is not about to ride into the sunset, as many are saying, but capable of taking on the best and beating them.

The Star of Malaysia



Indian hockey has a lot of depth: Aussie coach

NEW DELHI: Triple Olympic medallist Matthew Wells of Australia sees a lot of depth in Indian hockey and believes the eight-time Olympic champions will soon be competing against the best.

Wells, who was part of the Australian hockey team that won the 2004 Athens Olympics gold medal, feels that Indian hockey is now quite exciting, having seen and played against them for 15 years.

"Indian hockey is very exciting at the moment. I just think they are slowly getting better. Over the last 15 years I have seen quite a few India sides, but there is depth now. Obviously, they have not got the results they are looking for, but they will come soon and they will be competing against the best," Wells, who is here as the manager of the Australian side playing in the Hockey Junior World Cup, said.

"India has got a lot of young guys. It is fantastic to watch the amount of talent India has. With this kind of talent, they should be pushing themselves harder than they have ever pushed before and if they don't, they won't make the next level," added the Tasmanian, who also won bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Like Wells, experts often talk about the abundance of talent India has but he reasons out why the team is not producing the results.

"See technically and individually they are very good, as good as anybody in the world. All they need to do is to be more disciplined tactically. They need to play as a team rather than showing individual brilliance. A well-knit team can take on the best in the business," said the 35-year-old.

"When they can get their act together, they will be a very hard team to stop. I believe they are a bit too individualistic, but it is slowly changing. The culture is definitely changing and they are working a lot harder, the change can be seen and they should be up there soon," added the defender, who is the only member of the Kookaburras to have played in each of the medal winning teams from Sydney to the Beijing Olympics.

Asked if there is any Indian player who has impressed him, the Australian said forward Mandeep Singh is very stirring to watch.

"I like watching Mandeep upfront. He is young and has had a few games out there. He is quite exciting and is the one I would like to watch. I watched him in the Hockey India League (HIL) earlier this year for the first time and he was quite exciting," said Wells.

Mandeep was central to the Ranchi Rhinos winning the title at the inaugural HIL in February.

The Times of India



India, Pak need strong development programmes: Tahir Zaman

NEW DELHI: Pakistan hockey legend Tahir Zaman feels both India and his country need strong youth development programmes and quality home-grown coaches instead of looking for "short-cuts" if the two nations want to reclaim their glorious past in the game.

Both eight-time Olympic champions India and Pakistan might have an illustrious history, but the two nations are presently struggling to match the standards of teams like Australia and European countries.

While Pakistan hockey suffered a major jolt in August when the four-time champions failed to qualify for 2014 World Cup for the first time, India narrowly secured a berth in the quadrennial event to be played at The Hague, Netherlands after Australia won the Oceania Cup.

Asked what was the way forward for the sub-continental giants, Zaman simply said, "There is no short-cut to success."

"From my point of view the need of hour for both India and Pakistan is to work on development programmes. We need to work on youth, provide international level training to youngsters so as to help them grow as quality players," the former Pakistan captain said.

"If we keep on searching for shortcuts and expect results in just six months, it won't be a realistic approach. The realistic approach is to work at grassroot level. It's high time we correct our process, give a new direction to the working system," he said.

Zaman said without quality coaches, both India and Pakistan would not be able to produce world-class players.

"We need to develop and educate our players and for that we need 10-12 educated coaches in the country who are abreast with needs of modern day hockey. Until and unless there is a good teacher, there can't be a good student. As long as, we don't upgrade knowledge of our coaches, we don't facilitate our coaches. I don't think we are going in the right direction," Zaman said.

"We need quality coaches, educated coaches. I feel if we can produce quality players in the next three to four years, then we can compete with the top teams of the world."

Of late, foreign coaches have been the trend for India and Pakistan. Even though Zaman is not against foreign coaches in the subcontinent, but he gave simple explanation why they can't be successful.

"India and Pakistan's culture are completely different from the West. It takes at least two years for a foreigner to understand our culture. But we being result-oriented nations, we want instant results," said Zaman, who is the coach of Pakistan's senior team and is here as a consultant with the national side for the Hero Junior World Cup.

Both India and Pakistan cut a sorry figure in the ongoing Junior World Cup having failed to qualify for the quarterfinals.

Asked what went wrong with the two sides, Zaman said India and Pakistan performed way below their potential in the 16-team event.

"I think it was pressure of World Cup. The World Cup phobia got over the heads of our boys. I think they could not settle under the immense pressure of expectations, pressure of delivering. There was an also element of anxiety in their performance," he said.

"To be very honest, Pakistan did not play to their potential in any of the matches so far in this tournament. Losing against Germany was nightmare because we were in a pool of death," said Zaman, a member of Pakistan's 1994 World Cup-winning side.

"Similarly I feel for the Indian team. I have seen these Indian players. I have seen some of these Indian players playing in senior side. I feel that the Indians too could not give their best performance. The Indians had the pressure of home crowd and I feel they could not settle under that pressure," he said.

"Both India and Pakistan have capacity and potential to play much better hockey."

Both India and Pakistan fielded some players from the senior side in this Junior World Cup and Zaman said the decision might have backfired for both the nations.

"Somewhere down the line we also need to ask the question that is some of the players overused. They keep on rotating between the junior and senior side. I feel some of the players are lacking the hunger to play hockey.

"When you compare it with other teams, they have separate junior and senior sides. They are very less players in other sides who are playing or have played in the senior side. So you could see the vigour and hunger in their eyes," he said.

Zaman feels both India and Pakistan need to adopt a realistic approach to revive bilateral ties between the two countries, a must to improve the standard of the game.

The Times of India



Clash of big guns in U-21 hockey meet

By Ashreena Pillai


PETALING JAYA: Kuala Lumpur and Selangor square off in a crucial Group B match of the MHC Under-21 hockey tournament at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

Both sides have six points from two games, with KL on top on goal difference after scoring two more than Selangor, who have netted 11 times. Both teams have conceded just one goal each.

After losing to Malacca in the 2011 final, powerhouse KL aim to make amends by regaining the crown.

So far, they have made a prefect start – winning both their matches against Kedah (9-0) and Perlis (4-1).

But Selangor are hot on their trail, having beaten Negri Sembilan 3-1 on Wednesday before thrashing Kedah 8-0 the next day.

The Group B teams have had the luxury of a two-day break and KL team manager P. Silvaraj expects things to heat up as both teams go for maximum points in their push to get past the group stages.

“We’ve had a great start to the tournament, with two wins from two matches ... but we didn’t expect such a big scoreline against Kedah,” said Silvaraj.

“We’ve got a crucial match against Selangor tomorrow (today), and then Negri on Tuesday. These are the two teams we’ve really got to watch out for. So, we still have everything to play for.”

In Group A, leaders Terengganu, with 10 points from four games, take on second-from bottom Sabah today confident of another three points.

Second-placed Perak, who have seven points and a game in hand, have a tougher game in store against defending champions Malacca.

The champions are desperate to salvage their campaign with a win after securing only four points from three matches.

Penang, who also have a match in hand, are joint third with Pahang on six points and should have no problem against basement side Kelantan.

The Star of Malaysia



Champs East Grinstead beat rivals Reading

REIGNING men’s indoor champions East Grinstead got their title defence off to a great start on day one of the Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championship Premier Division at Kings Heath in Birmingham on Saturday, ending the day top of the table as the only team with a 100 per cent record.

They battled back from behind to beat last season’s finalists and arch rivals Reading 6-8 in the day’s thrilling final match which saw East Grinstead score three goals in the final minute to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Added to their earlier 6-2 win over outdoor league leaders Beeston, it leaves East Grinstead in pole position heading into Sunday’s matches at Cocks Moor Woods Leisure Centre.

Reading were 4-2 ahead at half time and extended that to 5-2 early in the second half, but East Grinstead closed the gap to 6-4 before four unanswered goals in the final four minutes – including one in the dying seconds – sealed the win.

Captain Glenn Kirkham led by example with a hat-trick, while for Reading Simon Mantell scored two to add to the two he had scored earlier in their 7-6 win over Canterbury.

Sevenoaks lay second in the table following a 5-2 win over Doncaster and a 6-6 draw with Bowdon, who are third on goal difference having beaten Holcombe 5-4.

Holcombe had got the day off to a cracking start when they drew 9-9 with Beeston, but neither side ended the day with a win.

Canterbury beat Loughborough Students 8-3 with Kwan Browne scoring four times and will consider themselves unlucky to lose 6-7 to Reading, a defeat which leaves them fourth in the early table.

The Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Finals will be played on 2 February 2014 at Wembley Arena. You can get more information and buy tickets at www.englandhockey.co.uk/maxi5s

Results from Saturday, December 14 2013:

Beeston 9, Holcombe 9; Bowdon 6, Sevenoaks 5; Doncaster 6, Loughborough Students 6; Canterbury 6, Reading 7; East Grinstead 6, Beeston 2; Holcombe 4, Bowdon 5; Sevenoaks 5, Doncaster 2; Loughborough Students 3, Canterbury 8; Reading 6, East Grinstead 8.

Fixtures for Sunday, December 15 2013:

Bowdon v Doncaster 09:00
Canterbury v East Grinstead 10:00
Holcombe v Sevenoaks 11:00
Loughborough Students v Reading 12:00
Beeston v Bowdon 13:00
Doncaster v Canterbury 14:00
East Grinstead v Holcombe 15:00
Sevenoaks v Loughborough Students 16:00
Reading v Beeston 17:00

England Hockey Board Media release



Slough lead the Premier Division in women's Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championship

SLOUGH lead the women’s Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Championship Premier Division after day one at Bromsgrove School on Saturday.

Victories over Canterbury and Olton and West Warwickshire mean the Berkshire side are the only ones with a 100 per cent record heading into Sunday’s fixtures.

Reigning champions Reading were narrowly beaten 6-5 by Bowdon Hightown, but ended the day on a high with a 5-0 win over Leicester to claw their way back to fifth in the table.

Last year’s beaten finalists, Sutton Coldfield are one of four unbeaten teams and lay third following a 4-2 win over Harleston Magpies and a 5-5 draw with Canterbury.

Slough had Alex Scott in good form, and she ended the day with five goals – two against Harleston Magpies and a hat-trick against Canterbury.

Ruth Gordon bagged a hat-trick in East Grinstead’s 9-2 win over Olton and West Warwickshire, and added another in the 3-3 draw with Bowdon Hightown, for whom Tina Cullen scored five times throughout the day.

Also scoring five goals was Emma Lee-Smith of Harleston Magpies; a hat-trick in their 4-3 win over Leicester, and another two in their defeat to Sutton Coldfield.

Canterbury will be disappointed to end day one without a win, but they face Olton and Harleston Magpies on Sunday and so will be aiming to climb the table.

The Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Finals will be played on 2 February 2014 at Wembley Arena. You can get more information and buy tickets at www.englandhockey.co.uk/maxi5s

Results from Saturday, December 14 2013:

Bowdon Hightown 3, East Grinstead 3; Olton & West Warwickshire 2, Slough 4; Canterbury 5, Sutton Coldfield 5; Harleston Magpies 4, Leicester 3; Reading 5, Bowdon Hightown 6; East Grinstead 9, Olton & West Warwickshire 2; Slough 8, Canterbury 3; Sutton Coldfield 4, Harleston Magpies 2; Leicester 0, Reading 5.

Fixtures for Sunday, December 15 2013:

Olton & West Warwicks v Canterbury 09:00
Harleston Magpies v Reading 10:00
East Grinstead v Slough 11:00
Sutton Coldfield v Leicester 12:00
Bowdon Hightown v Olton & West Warwicks 13:00
Canterbury v Harleston Magpies 14:00
Reading v East Grinstead 15:00
Slough v Sutton Coldfield 16:00
Leicester v Bowdon Hightown 17:00

England Hockey Board Media release