News for 14 March 2010

All the news for Sunday 14 May 2010

World Cup goes to Australia!

The Gods of hockey were finally on Australia’s side in at the Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 in Delhi: the Kookaburras edged a promising German team (2-1) in an exciting Final, the third World Cup Final in a row between the two countries. For the Bronze Medal, The Netherlands overcame a two-goal deficit at half-time to finally beat a valiant English team (4-3).

Game 38 – Final – Germany v. Australia: 1-2 (half-time: 0-1)

The final between Germany and Australia was the 6th World Cup in a row where these 2 teams have played each other in their last match of the tournament, initially in the 3rd-4th matches, then of course in the last two Finals, both won by Germany by one goal (2-1 in 2002 and  4-3 in 2006). Australian Liam de YOUNG and German Matthias WITTHAUS are the only players in the current squads to have played in the last two Word Cup Finals.

The final was really showcasing the best two teams of the competition, with Germany still unbeaten in Delhi, with 4 wins and 2 draws, while Australia had won 5 games in a row since their loss to England on opening day. The match started in a festive atmosphere with a full venue for the first time for a game not featuring the home team. Australia were quick into action and jump into the lead in the 6th minute by Edward OCKENDEN, managing to find the ball in a goalmouth scramble to push it out of reach of Tim JESSULAT in the German goal.

The young Germans, possibly initially impressed to play in such an important game, reacted well and started to develop their impressive collective game, led by Benjamin WESS and Philip WITTE. They forced a penalty-corner after a play that saw Australian keeper Nathan BURGERS intervene as high as the 25 meter line, but it was shot wide by Martin HÄNER.

Australia had another chance on a penalty-corner but Tim JESSULAT made a superb stick save that earned him a warm ovation by the crowd. The game was played at a frantic pace and the German forwards overwhelmed the Australian defense on a few occasions, however they could never get close enough for a shot on goal and halftime was reached with the lone early goal for Australia.

Second period started in a fiery atmosphere and the experienced Australians managed to unsettle enough the German defense to earn another penalty-corner, saved on the line by Maximilian MÜLLER behind his keeper. The young German skipper, 22 years old, played extremely well during this whole competition, as a defender and as a leader, and has a bright future in front of him.

Germany suddenly pushed forward and Matthias WITTHAUS had two decisive breaks into the circles, pushing Australia on their heels for a while. They forced a penalty-corner and this time Moritz FÜRSTE propelled the ball in goal after an elaborate combination perfectly executed.

The Indian crowd had now adopted the German team and was roaring in ecstasy at each of their moves. With fatigue coming it, there was more space available and Germany were taking better advantage of it. They forced another penalty-corner, deflected high by Nathan BURGERS, and kept besieging the Australian circle, going through Australian defenders suddenly looking very tired. Australia were nevertheless awarded a penalty-corner on a confused action in the German circle and Luke DOERNER scored with a straight flick, tying in the process Taeke TAEKEMA at the top of the Goal Scorers list for the competition.

Maximilian MÜLLER forced a penalty-corner but the flick hit Nathan BURGERS straight on the helmet and the opportunity to level the score was lost. The last five minutes were played in a boisterous atmosphere. Tim JESSULAT kept his team in the game with two phenomenal saves in quick succession but a desperate final German push could not penetrate the circle and the Kookaburras could finally lift the World Cup trophy that had eluded them in the last two finals.

Match facts (Germany v. Australia):
> Australia win the world title for the first time in 24 years.
> Australia (2G-2S-2B) and Germany (2G-2S-2B) both collect a record 8th World Cup medal.
> Luke Doerner’s championship winning PC goal was his 8th at Delhi 2010.
> Luke Doerner and Taeke Taekema (NED) share the top goal scorer title this tournament (8 goals).
> Australia have scored a total of 27 goals to become the top scoring team at Delhi 2010.
> Australia’s 27 goals came from 15 FG, 11 PC and 1 PS.
> Australia and Spain have conceded fewest goals at Delhi 2010 (8).
> Germany have scored most PC goals at Delhi 2010 (13).
> Australia have been awarded most penalty corners (36)
> Ric Charlesworth (AUS) has now won the World Title as a player (1986) and as a coach (2010).

Game 37 – 3rd-4th – England v. Netherlands: 3-4 (half-time: 3-1)

The match for the Bronze Medals was between two teams that started well the competition in Delhi, but fizzled in their last games: England won 4 in a row before losing to Spain (0-2) then Germany in semi-final (1-4), while The Netherlands won their first three matches then drew with Germany (2-2), lost to Korea (1-2) and to Australia in semi-final (1-2), their longest non-winning streak in the World Cup since 1982.

This was the seventh game in two weeks for both teams and play started tentatively in the afternoon heat. England forced a penalty-corner but Ashley JACKSON, officiating since the injury to usual striker Richard MANTELL, could not slot his flick passed the Dutch runners. England had another chance by Barry MIDDLETON, very active in the attacking zone, however Guus VOGELS in the Dutch goal was never in real danger until the 11th minute when Richard ALEXANDER arrived alone in front of him and VOGELS needed to commit and meet him at the top of the circle.

The Dutch thought that they had opened the scoring in the 14th minute by Rogier HOFMAN, pouncing on an innocuous ball crossing the circle and eluding the English defenders, but the goal was denied after a referral to the video-umpire. England had three more penalty-corners in a row and tried unsuccessfully various options, with two of them stopped on the line by Geert-Jan DERIKX. The Netherlands finally took the lead in the 22nd minute by Teun DE NOOIJER, at the conclusion of an impressive penetration by Robert VAN DER HORST, but they had not finished celebrating that England was back level by Alastair BROGDON!

England finally scored on their 5th and 6th penalty-corners, Ashley JACKSON propelling first a low flick then a high one through the Dutch defense to establish a substantial two-goal lead going into half-time. The Netherlands of course immediately pushed forwards in second period, creating some good chances including a golden one for DE NOOIJER, alone in front of goal with the English defense in disarray but propelling his shot high in the crowd. England needed to work harder for a while after a yellow card to Alastair WILSON; they absorbed the pressure well until the 48th minute, when Taeke TAEKEMA reduced the Dutch deficit on penalty-corner, becoming in the process the second highest scorer in World Cup history with 21 goals.

The European Champions were going through a rough patch, struggling to contain the orange attacking waves and Klaas VERMEULEN finally tied the game with a ball from close range deflected by a defender out of reach of James FAIR in the English goal. The Dutch momentum was briefly affected by two green cards, giving a chance to Barry MIDDLETON to threaten Guus VOGELS, but the ball was soon monopolized again by the Dutch. They could not however find any space in the crowded circle and the score was still tied with five minutes to go. It took a desperate effort by Rogier HOFMAN in the 67th minute, pouncing on a ball mishandled by the English defense and finding some space to slot it in goal, to decide the game.

Soon the Dutch were celebrating their Bronze Medal, while the English were lying exhausted across the field, dejected to have let their half time lead slip away.

Match Facts (England v. Netherlands):
> Netherland claimed the bronze medal, beating England 4-3 as they did in their pool match at the 2006 World Cup.
> This is Holland’s best World Cup result on 8 years, since winning bronze in 2002.
> Netherlands are now on 7 World Cup medals, Germany and Australia will collect their 8th medal this tournament.
> England finish 4th, their best World Cup ranking since winning silver in 1986.
> Dutch captain Teun de Nooijer (1G-1S-2B) has equalled the record for most World Cup medals collecting his 4th medal in the competition. He joins Pakistan’s Akhtar Rasool (3G-1S-0B) (1971-1982).
> Taeke Taekema (NED) scored once to equal Ties Kruize’s total of 21 World Cup goals. Only all-time WC top scorer Paul Litjens (NED) has scored more WC goals (26 goals).
> Taekema has scored 8 goals at Delhi 2010.
> Ashley Jackson scored two PC goals to lift his Delhi 2010 total to 7 goals.
> England have lost their last three WC matches at Delhi 2010 going down to Spain (2-0), Germany (4-1) and Netherlands (4-3).

For additional information, pictures, video clips, official game sheets, and more, please check the special FIH event site @

Hero Honda FIH World Cup 2010 (men) – Delhi, India
Results Day 13 - Saturday 13 March 2010

Final – Germany v. Australia  1:2 (0:1)

AUS   6mn  Edward OCKENDEN (FG)  0:1
GER  48mn  Moritz FÜRSTE (PC)  1:1
AUS  67mn  Luke DOERNER (PC)  1:2

3rd-4th – England v. Netherlands  3:4 (3:1)
NED  22mn  Teun DE NOOIJER (FG)  0:1
ENG  23mn  Alastair BROGDON (FG)  1:1
ENG  30mn  Ashley JACKSON (PC)  2:1
ENG  34mn  Ashley JACKSON (PC)  3:1
NED  48mn  Taeke TAEKEMA (PC)  3:2
NED  55mn  Klaas VERMEULEN (FG)  3:3
NED  67mn  Rogier HOFMAN (FG)  3:4

Final Standings:
1) Australia
2) Germany
3) Netherlands
4) England
5) Spain
6) Korea
7) Argentina
8) India
9) New Zealand
10) South Africa
11) Canada
12) Pakistan

Player of the Tournament: Guus VOGELS (NED)
Goalkeeper of the Tournament: Guus VOGELS (NED)
Defender of the Tournament: Maximilian MÜLLER (GER)
Top Scorer: Luke DOERNER (AUS) and Taeke TAEKEMA (NED), 8 goals
Fair Play: New Zealand


Australia's 24-year wait for glory ends

Germany's hat-trick hopes dashed; Netherlands finishes third

S. Thyagarajan

— Photo: R.V. Moorthy

ON TOP OF THE WORLD:The Australian team presents a happy picture after regaining the World Cup by dethroning Germany at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.

New Delhi: The Aussie dream of regaining the glittering hockey World Cup was realised after a hiatus of 24 years on Saturday.

With a display that underscored the efficacy of efficiency and effort, not to mention admirable athleticism, Australia won 2-1 in the Hero Honda-sponsored championship at the Dhyan Chand Stadium to deny the Germans a hat-trick of triumphs.

Doerner nets winner

The trump card for coach Ric Charlesworth, was Luke Doerner, who produced a whiplash of a shot from a penalty corner in the second half, to signal Australia's second triumph. The victory also confirmed the fact that Australia's win against Germany in the Champions Trophy was no aberration.

If there was commiseration for Germany it was truly spontaneous. Everyone played his heart out but none more than the lithe skipper Max Muller, whose work in the zone, especially in the circle, was outstanding. His save of a Luke Doerner's shot, after goalkeeper Tim Juessulat was beaten, was mind-boggling.

The role of Aussie skipper Jamie Dwyer was admirable. Moving smoothly on the flanks, he sent the huge crowd into raptures. Useful work by Desmond Abbott, Mark Knowles and Grant Schubert projected Australia's strength in attack and defence.

Goalkeeper Nathan Burgers also deserves mention for the saves he made, especially when the Germans attacked, prompted either by Matthias Witthaus or Benjamin Wess.

What brought Australia's display into full bloom was the early lead.

A rare, momentary confusion in the German defensive zone, following a free hit, culminated in Edward Ockenden slotting in.

Goalkeeper Jessulat blocked at least one dangerous hit by Doerner and rendered a few more attacks fruitless.

Germany increased the pace after the break and the heavy pressure at the Australian end signalled danger. Moritz Furste slammed in the equaliser amidst vociferous cheers.

The 1-1 scoreline transported the encounter to a different octave. Ten minutes before the hooter, the memorable moment for the Aussies dawned when Doerner pumped in the match-winner.

As the final whistle sounded, the Aussies emoted joyfully even as the Germans fell to the ground in disappointment. A weeping Jessulat had to be consoled by one of the German officials. The scene was a clear picture of ecstasy and agony.

Earlier, Rogier Hoffmann triggered an impromptu celebration as the Netherlands, fighting a 1-3 leeway at half-time, came back to claim the bronze.

The Dutchmen deserve unalloyed commendation for their fortitude and focus to overcome England 4-3, the match-winner coming three minutes before the final whistle. This was the three-time champion's second bronze after the one in 2002 at Kuala Lumpur.

It was an emotional moment to cherish for veteran Teun di Nooijer at the end of his fifth World Cup. His touch and elegance were there for all to see when he gave the Dutch the lead in the first half after a pass by Joeren Heartzburger.

England fought gamely thanks to a goal by Alistair Bragdon, followed by two superbly executed penalty corners by Ashley Jackson.

But the Dutch came roaring back, with Taeke Taekema's penalty corner conversion and the equaliser by Klaas Vermeullen. What followed when Rogier Hoffmann hit the boards is now part of Dutch folklore.

The results: 3-4: The Netherlands 4 (Teun di Nooijer, Taeke Taekema, Klaas Vermeuellen, Rogier Hoffmann) bt England 3 (Alistair Bragdon, Ashley Jackson 2). HT 1-3.

Final: Australia 2 (Edward Ockenden, Luke Doerner) bt Germany 1 (Moritz Furste). HT 1-0.

Final positions: 1. Australia, 2. Germany, 3. The Netherlands, 4. England, 5. Spain, 6. Korea, 7. Argentina, 8. India, 9. New Zealand, 10. South Africa, 11. Canada, 12. Pakistan.

Special awards: Man of the final: Luke Doerner (Aus); Man of Steel of the final: Martin Haner (Ger); Best goalkeeper of the tournament: Guus Vogels (Ned); Man of Steel of the tournament: Maximilian Muller (Ger); Top-scorers of the tournament (eight goals each): Luke Doerner (Aus) and Taeke Taekema (Ned); Man of the tournament: Guus Vogels (Ned); Fairplay trophy: New Zealand .

The Hindu

Kookaburras win 2010 World Cup!

The Kookaburras have won their first World Cup in 24 years, defeating Germany 2-1 in the 2010 World Cup final in New Delhi, India.

The match was the third consecutive World Cup final to be competed by Australia and Germany, with Germany winning the two previous encounters.

The victory is Australia’s second ever World Cup title, and puts the Kookaburras back as the world’s number 1 ranked team.

It also goes some way in enhancing coach Ric Charlesworth’s status as one of Australia’s greatest coaches. Since taking over the Kookaburras at the beginning of 2009 the team has won the two biggest international events on the hockey calendar, first the 2009 Champions Trophy and now the 2010 World Cup.

Charlesworth, who was a player during Australia’s previous World Cup victory in 1986, now becomes only the second person to ever win the World Cup as player and coach after Hans Jorritsma won as a player in 1973 and then as coach in 1990 and 1994.

With both teams ranked first and second in the world, it was always going to be a tense final as Germany attempted to become the first country to win three consecutive World Cup titles.

As they have done so many times throughout the tournament, the Kookaburras looked to strike early. In a piece of individual brilliance by Eddie Ockenden they did just that, with the young Tasmanian showing elite ball control skill to beat the goalkeeper and score the first goal of the match at the six minute mark.

Germany were given an opportunity to respond when awarded a penalty corner after working the ball onto Luke Doerner’s foot in the circle, however the shot on goal was marginally wide.

The Kookaburras were determined to make it as difficult as possible for Germany to move the ball out of defence, and placed an enormous amount of pressure in Germany’s back half.

While this resulted in more circle penetrations for the Kookaburras, Germany’s defence were as equally determined, restricting any real genuine shots on goal with the score line reading 1-0 as both teams headed for the half time break.

In a similar trend to the first half the Kookaburras looked to extend their lead early, with Des Abbott creating a penalty corner only three minutes into the half. However the shot was saved and then cleared from the goal line by German captain Max Muller.

From here Germany lifted their intensity and began to work their way on top of the Kookaburras in a bid to equal the score.

Eventually they were given an opportunity when they received a penalty corner after the umpire penalised defender Fergus Kavanagh for hitting the ball away after the whistle had been blown. Germany made the most of it, with their variation beating goalkeeper Nathan Burgers and bringing them back into the game.

Sensing the momentum swing Germany went on the hunt for another goal and would have had it if not for a brilliant save from Burgers from another penalty corner attempt from Germany with 13 minutes remaining.

Showing the signs of a champion team, the Kookaburras withstood the German attack and countered it, receiving a penalty corner with 10 minutes remaining. After Germany called for the video referral questioning the corner Ric Charlesworth produced a clever coaching tactic, bringing regular flicker Luke Doerner back onto the field while the video referral was taking place, technically subbing him back onto the field before the corner had been awarded and making the substitution legal.

The move paid off, with Doerner converting his 8th goal of the tournament to put the Kookaburras back in front in the dying stages of the match.

Despite some close calls Germany could not break through the determined Kookaburras defence, with Australia holding on to win a memorable final and re-establish themselves as the best team in the world.

Kookaburras 2 Germany 1 (1-0 half time)

Goals – Aus Ockenden 6m FG, Ger Furste 48m PC, Aus Doerner 59m PC

Hockey Australia media release

Gold for Australia after 24 years hiatus

s2h Team

Australia established its supremacy here in Dhyan Chand Stadium. Charlesworth's boys held the World Cup atop, after narrowly defeating Germany 2-1.

Edward Ockenden scored very early in the first half, which Mortiz Furste neutralized 42 minutes later. In the high voltage drama after that equalizer, ten minutes before the hooter, cool Luke Doerner struck through a penalty corner. The over all top scorer got glorious phase of striking the winning goal for Australia's second world cup gold in 24 years.

Gold medallist of the 1986 World Cup team, and also top scorer of that epoch making Wisdon World Cup member Charleswoth entered the history book as the gold winning coach as well.

Unlike in 1981 when we hosted the world cup, there was full stands here, cheering the good moves. That India not in the match hardly deterred the enthusiasm of the crowd, which will go a long way in seeing India as the hockey loving nation.

First half of the match was laden with caution, dull and drab affair. The game came alive once Germany struck the equalizer.

Germany got a couple of penalty corners after the euqlizer, but could not make use them.

Final Ranking
1. Australia
2. Germany
3. Netherlands
4. England
5. Spain
6. Korea
7. Argentina
8. India
9. New Zealand
10. South Africa
11. Canada
12. Pakistan

Australia breach German wall

Harpreet Kaur Lamba

Ric Charlesworth made his way to the stands as the Australian and German players lined up to clash at the biggest stage — the final of the 12th Hockey World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here on Saturday. For once, the Aussie legend did not have any instructions for his bunch.

The 57-year old has been plotting this victory for over a year now, and it was time his players put all the learning to use.

On the field, the Aussies played their roles to perfection. It was fairytale stuff as the Kookaburras finally broke the shackles to down nemesis Germany 2-1 to clinch the World Cup title after a gap of 24 years.

With this, Charlesworth achieved the distinction of winning the World Cup both as a player and coach. He was a member of Australia’s World Cup winning squad in 1986.

The Kookaburras put up a spectacular display on the day. Runners-up in the last two editions, the Aussies were eager to put the past behind and went into attack mode from the beginning.

Australia broke through the opponents’ defence as early as the 6th minute. Striker Edward Ockenden beat Germany goalkeeper Tim Jessulat in a goalmouth scramble to make it 1-0.

The Aussies tightened their grip thereafter and skipper Jamie Dwyer played like a dream, feeding the forwards with his brilliant work. Glenn Turner and Grant Schubert attacked in tandem and had the German defence engaged for most parts.

Germany’s resilience came to the fore in the second half. Skipper Maximillian Muller and Martin Haner were clinical at the back and thwarted almost every Aussie effort.

The Germans played beautifully but what they possessed in defence was clearly lacking upfront. The lack of a genuine striker hit the team’s chances hard. Penalty corners were perhaps their only chance to a victory and the Germans pressed hard for them. Their moment came in the 48th minute when Morits Fuertse scored off a superbly executed variation. The equaliser put a spring in their steps and the match was thrown wide open.

The Aussies relied on counter-attacks at this stage but found it tough to breach the German wall. Muller, in particular, stood like a rock.

The Australians though had the last laugh. In-form Luke Doerner — the tournament’s top scorer along with Holland’s Taeke Taekema — pumped in the winner in the 59th minute, sending a powerful flick past goalkeeper Jessulat.

The match saw its tense moments in the last ten minutes. Germany went all out for an equaliser but failed to find an opening as the minutes ticked by. The Aussies withstood the pressure and went berserk as the hooter went off. They had finally deciphered the code to the German defence and were crowned the new world champions.

German gesture wins Indian hearts

The Germans were heart-broken after the 1-2 loss, but they won many Indian hearts with their special gesture after the final. The crowds supported the defending champions and reserved their greatest applause whenever a Germans move came into play.

The Germans in turn carried a huge poster reading, “Thank you fans for your support. We appreciate all your efforts,” when they took the lap of honour, much to the delight of the spectators.

The Asian Age

Australia win World Cup

Australia 2 Germany 1

Australia have won the Hockey World Cup for the first time in 24 years with a 2-1 victory over defending champions Germany in New Delhi.

Luke Doerner scored the winning penalty corner 11 minutes from the end after Edward Ockenden had put Australia ahead in the sixth minute and Moritz Furste drew level for Germany in the 48th.

Doerner's eighth goal in the tournament made him the joint leading scorer with another penalty corner specialist Taeke Taekema of Holland.

Australia, whose previous Hockey World Cup title came way back in 1986, had lost the last two finals against Germany in 2002 and 2006.

The Germans, hoping to become the first team in history to bag a hat-trick of titles to add to the Beijing Olympic gold medal two years ago, were outpaced by the speedy Australians.

Australia's legendary coach Ric Charlesworth watched the final from the stands behind the goal, rather than on the bench, just as he had done in the semi-final against the Netherlands.

Charlesworth, who was part of Australia's Cup winning squad in 1986, became only the second man after Dutchman Hans Jorritsma to win the World Cup both as a player and coach.

Earlier, Holland clinched the bronze with a 4-3 win over England in the third and fourth place classification game.

The Telegraph

Wonder from Down under

Prabhjot Singh

Australia could not have asked for more. A lucky video referral, a disallowed substitution and above all a familiar surface that incidentally came from Downunder were all factors that helped Australians to end their 24-year-old wait to regain World Cup before nearly packed Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium here.

And chief coach Richard Charlesworth, again sat in the stands. His superstition perhaps prevents him from sitting on the team bench in crucial games. The 2-1 win for Aussies deprived Germany from completing a hat-trick of gold medal triumphs at the World Cup.

It is a different brand of hockey that top teams play now. They start aggressively in a bid to take early lead, consolidate it and then control the game by dominating midfield play besides seeking better ball control and possession.

This pattern of play was evident as both Germany and Australia did mount relentless attacks to utilise any gaps, free or unmarked positions to get the score moving.

It was in the fifth minute that Edward Ockenden got the Australians lead with a brilliant goal. First penalty corner in the game had to wait till the 20th minute when Witthaus worked his way into the circle before being obstructed. The award did not produce any result.

Though Australians had tough time on controlling Germans rampage even after taking an early lead, they managed to hang on to the lead till the breather. But after exchange of ends, Germans had the consolation of drawing equal in the 46th minute when Fruste flicked across the goal to beat Nathan Burgers in the Australian goal.

It was in the 59th minute that luck smiled on Australia. Abbot asked for video referral after the umpire had blown for a free hit for Germany. Video umpire, however, overruled the field umpire and awarded a penalty corner to Australia.

Though Australians wanted Luke Doerner to be substituted by Kavanagh, it was disallowed as substitutions is not permitted once penalty corner has been awarded. And Luke Doerner proved lucky. He was destined to score the World Cup winning goal with a powerful flick that beat Max Weinhold in the German goal.

Final standings: Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, England, Spain, Korea, Argentina, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and Pakistan.

Man of Steel of the Tournament - Max Mueller (Germany), Goalkeeper of the tournament - Guus Vogels (the Netherlands), Top scorer of the tournament - Luke Doerner (Australia) and Taeke Taekema (the Netherlands), Hero Honda Player of The Tournament - Guus Vogels (the Netherlands), Fair Play Trophy - New Zealand, Man of the Steel (final) - Martin Haner (Germany), Hero Honda Man of the Match - Luke Doerner (Australia).

The Tribune

Australia beat Germany, win Hockey WC

B Shrikant

It was a test of Australian aggression against Germany’s calm, composed short-pass game. It was a clash between the star-studded flamboyant Australian forward line and the determined German defence that had got the better of them in two World Cup finals in the last eight years.

However, the third successive clash between Australia and Germany in a World Cup final ended in favour of Ric Charlesworth’s men as they won 2-1 to deny Germany a historic hat-trick of titles. Germany had won the title in 2002 and 2006 but, on Saturday, Australia played aggressively to deny their rivals space and opportunities to score. This was Australia’s second title triumph after 1986 in England which they had won under Charlesworth’s captaincy.

The big crowd at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium cheered lustily the spellbinding action as both teams played superb hockey. Australia surged ahead in the sixth minute when substitute Edward Ockenden scored in a goalmouth scramble. They created some good chances but were denied twice by German goalkeeper, Tim Jessulat, as the Kookaburras went into halftime, leading 1-0.

The young German team upped the ante in the second session but found the Australian defence tough to crack. Mark Knowles, Matthew Butturini, Liam De Young and Fergus Kavanagh --- the last two coming in as substitutes --- put up a solid display along with goalkeeper Nathan Burgers, who pulled off a couple of superb reflex saves to keep the Kookaburras on top.

Germany created some good chances in the second half and one of them paid off when Mauritz Furste levelled the scores with a drag-flick.

Both teams played end-to-end hockey as they attacked repeatedly in search of the winner. But just when it looked the Germans would thwart them again, Australia sealed the match as Luke Doerner’s powerful flick beat Jessulat.

Australia’s domination can be gauged from the fact that they had 13 shots at the goal of which only three were wide. The Germans, who won many hearts by unveiling a banner thanking the spectators for their support, had only five, of which only two were on target.

Hindustan Times

Australia win hockey World Cup with 2-1 win over Germany

From Kuldip Lal in New Delhi, India

Photo by AP

Power-packed Australia proved third time lucky as they won the men's field hockey World Cup after a 24-year wait with a 2-1 win over defending champions Germany.

Luke Doerner scored the winning penalty corner 11 minutes from time after Edward Ockenden had put the Kookaburras ahead in the sixth minute and Moritz Furste drew level for Germany in the 48th.

Doerner's eighth goal in the tournament made him the joint leading scorer with another penalty corner specialist Taeke Taekema of the Netherlands.

Australia, whose previous World Cup title came way back in 1986, had lost the last two finals against Germany in 2002 and 2006.

Germany, hoping to become the first team in history to bag a hat-trick of titles to add to the Beijing Olympic gold medal two years ago, were outpaced by the speedy Australians.

Kookaburras' legendary coach Ric Charlesworth watched the final from the stands behind the goal, rather than on the bench, just as he had done in the semi-final against the Netherlands.

Charlesworth, who was part of Australia's Cup winning squad in 1986, achieved the distinction of winning the World Cup both as a player and coach.

"I am too noisy and too excited on the bench, so I preferred to be calm in the stands," said Charlesworth. "There was nothing superstitious about it.

"I am very, very pleased. We played a good game with a lot of control and authority. Scoring that early goal was very helpful.

"I am pleased to win both as player and captain. In 1986, the scoreline was the same, but the opponents (England) were different.

"The next goal now is the London Olympics."

Germany captain Max Muller said the penalty corners proved decisive.

"We too got one in the end, but could not score," he said. "We are a young side and maybe got overawed by the occasion.

"Today we are disappointed, but when we think of it tomorrow morning, we will be pleased we reached the final."

The Netherlands, meanwhile, gave veteran goalkeeper Guus Vogels a retirement present by winning the bronze medal with a 4-3 win over England earlier in the day.

Fox Sports

Australia claim hockey World Cup

Australia won the men's hockey World Cup for the first time since 1986 by defeating holders Germany 2-1 in an absorbing final on Saturday.

"Our solid defence today did the trick for us. Our coach (Ric Charlesworth) too played a big role in helping us carve out this win," Australia captain Jamie Dwyer told reporters.

Luke Doerner scored the winner in the 59th minute through a penalty corner for Australia, who were beaten by top-ranked Germany in the previous two World Cup finals.

"As far as we are concerned, he (Doerner) was not on the ground then, and was not eligible to take the short corner with which he scored," German captain Maximillian Muller said, referring to Doerner coming off the bench to take the penalty corner.

Eddie Ockenden put Australia ahead in the sixth minute with an opportunist strike in a goalmouth scramble.

Moritz Furste scored the equaliser through a penalty corner in the 48th minute as the young German side clawed back before man-of-the-match Doerner sealed victory with his eighth goal of the tournament.

"The Australians defended well today. Our attacks did not get fruits, probably because of lack of experience." Muller said.

"A player like Florian Fuchs is still developing as a player and will be a big weapon for us after he has played some 50 matches."

World number two Australia started as tournament favourites after winning a record 10th Champions Trophy in December when they beat Olympic champions Germany 5-3 in the final.

"It has taken us 15 months to prepare this team," Charlesworth said.

"The Germans have improved since we beat them in the Champions Trophy, so it is a creditable victory for us. I remember that we had won by the same margin 24 years ago," added the coach who was part of the 1986 team.

Earlier, the Netherlands rallied to beat European champions England 4-3 to win the bronze.


Australia win Cup, Germany hearts

Australia won their second world crown but it were the Germans who stole the hearts at Delhi’s National Stadium.

By Soumitra Bose

Starting their campaign with a stunning loss against England, Australia emerged world champions on Saturday night, breaking a solid German defence twice en route. But it were the young men from Deutschland who won the hearts of a near-capacity crowd at Delhi’s National Stadium, not only by their consistent hockey but by a message of friendship between India and Germany.

While the Australians celebrated their second ever World Cup triumph, their first came in 1986 against England, the Germans lifted themselves from their moment of grief and walked around the stadium pitch with a huge banner with the flags of India and Germany embossed on either side.

The huge German poster thanked the crowd for their amazing support and it was a gesture that scored many a political point at a time when Delhi’s diplomatic relationship with Australia is not at its best in the wake of attacks on Indian students in Melbourne.

But sports know no politics and a battle between two tough sporting superpowers understands no emotions. Australia were the better team on the night, scoring once in each half to end deserving winners. Germany pulled one back in the 48th minute through Moritz Furste, but that was not good enough.

The 2-1 scoreline is not the true reflection of a match that was dominated by Ric Charlesworth’s upstarts, who grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck from the word go.

Edward Ockenden timed his first goal of the world championship to perfection as Australia grabbed a 6th minute lead. It was 1-0 at halftime. Luke Doerner’s eighth goal of the championship on the hour separated the two teams at the end of a pulsating contest.

Australia played the game they were expected to. They took early control of the midfield and attacked the German goal from either flank. Mark Knowles (not the tennis star and Mahesh Bhupathi’s doubles partner) held centerstage as skipper Jamie Dwyer worked overtime to play gamemaker.

Such relentless were the Aussies that the Germans barely made a foray into the Australian territory. The normally organised Germans lost their blueprint as their game was riddled by wild passing and lacked the construction that one saw throughout the tournament. The only penalty corner they forced in the 20th minute was wasted.

If Germany did not lose by a bigger margin they must thank than their goalkeeper Tim Jessulat, who was outstanding with his sense of anticipation and coverage. Witte denied Doerner in the 30th minute and his three saves in the closing stages of the match surely saved the Germans a bigger embarrassment.

Germany came out a better team after the breather. Australia got a taste of their own medicine as the Germans turned on the heat with better flank play and quick and precision passing.

Effectively, the defending champions, looking for their hattrick of World Cups, equalised from their second penalty corner. Furste sounded the board with a copybook finish in the 48th minute. The Germans suddenly found some wind in their sails.

But it was going to be Australia’s night and they proved it. Man of the Match Doerner stabbed the match-winner from Australia’s third penalty corner at the stroke of the hour. Germany tried their best to take the game to the opponent camp, but the Aussies were too crafty to hook the ball back and go on the offensive. Attack is always the best form of defence.

Australia thus added one more feather to their cap. They had won the Champions Trophy last year at home and it were the Germans who were at the wrong end of a 5-3 scoreline. All credit to master coach Charlesworth, who has turned a young side into a world champion unit. The irony is India had fired this same man due to administrative bungling!

Australia beat Germany 2-1 to win hockey World Cup

C Rajshekhar Rao

New Delhi: It was not a victory lap, but one that was cheered by spectators more than any other in the tournament. The Germans, enjoying the backing of the majority of the fans, went around with a banner thanking them for their support.

Germany had played adroitly, but failed to capture a third consecutive World Cup title, finally falling to the same opposition they had vanquished the previous two times. They had been inconsolable just a little earlier, their goalkeeper Tim Jessulat actually breaking down in tears inside the very ‘D’ that he had manned so skillfully through the tournament.

On the other hand, the Australians were rapturous after finally cracking the code for their second World Cup title. They pumped their fists, huddled around and sang some lines in celebration of their 2-1 victory which gave Ric Charlesworth the distinction of winning as both player (1986) and coach.

A cracker of a contest hung in the balance till the end, and one could not have expected much more. Quite fittingly, Luke Doerner’s penalty-corner conversion in the 59th minute, that set the tournament’s highest tally of eight goals, decided the fate.

But the Germans were not happy with the referral that allowed Doerner to take that penalty-corner. “As far as we are concerned, he was not on the ground then, and was not eligible to take the short corner. The (short) corners actually proved decisive as we missed a few of those,” said German captain Maximillian Muller.

Jan-Marco Montag’s short corner 11 minutes earlier had restored parity for the Germans, setting the stage for a cracker of a contest that saw a number of forays from either side.In the end, it was the energy and speed of the Aussies that saw them through, the ability to fall back in defence neutralising Germany’s much vaunted defence.

The Australians managed to control the game with their long passes, even as they snuffed out the Germans’ chances of piercing through with shorter ones. Prolific striker Florian Fuchs failed to make an impression when it mattered, while Muller and Martin Haner had their hands full at the back. “Our solid defence today did the trick for us. Our coach too played a big role in helping us carve out this win,” said Aussie skipper Jamie Dwyer.

The first half saw Australia take charge with a strike from Edward Ockenden. They kept pressure on Germany through the session with some fine ball distribution from Mark Knowles, Kiel Brown and Graeme Begbie, who could be seen close to the centre during all attacks. “It has taken us 15 months to prepare this team.

The Germans have improved since we beat them in the Champions Trophy, so it is a creditable victory for us. I remember that we had won the World Cup by the same margin 24 years ago,” said Charlesworth, who was not in the dugout on Saturday but preferred to watch the match from the stands.


The Aussie redemption at hockey World Cup

Errol D’Cruz

NEW DELHI: Hockey supremacy was written in green-and-gold on Saturday. Not black and white.

Ric Charlesworth’s Australia lifted the Hero Honda FIH World Cup for the second time, not in their usual freewheeling style but with a controlled performance that put paid to Germany’s ambitions to wrest a hat-trick of titles. Australia’s 2-1 win at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium here, watched by an estimated 12,000 fans - most rooting for Germany - also put an end to a painful sequence of two lost finals in a row against the Germans - at Kuala Lumpur and Monchengladbach.

Australia’s glory in the Capital also brought in two firsts - the maiden instance of a player and coach winning the World Cup. Charlesworth did so a generation ago, winning the player of the tournament accolade while leading the Kookaburras to their first ever title at Willesden (England) in 1986. It also produced a winner who had lost their opening match - the Aussies went down to England a fortnight ago, which is a distant memory now.

The Kookaburras led 1-0 at half-time, unlucky not to cross over more comfortably placed. They dominated the hitherto unbeaten Germans for space and possession, forcing their regimented opponents into errors. They did the early running as is their wont, enforced the full-court press and were duly rewarded when Edward Ockenden put them ahead in the sixth minute.

Germany, the Olympic champions, tightened up in the second half. Matthias Witthaus, aiming for his third World Cup winners medal, and Philip Witte turned on the pressure on the right. It brooked a penalty corner and a variation found Moritz Furste ideally placed to beat Nathan Burgers to make it 1-1 with 46 minutes gone. With Germany finding their rhythm, Australia braked a bit to shore up defence but their ability to get numbers into the attack always held promise of a goal.

With Jamie Dwyer producing his familiar buzz in the midfield, the Aussies looked good for another goal. It arrived, courtesy a TV referral, and presented drag-flicker Luke Doerner the moment he was waiting for. His was a perfect flick that went low past the gallant German goalkeeper Jessulat. It sealed the match and took Doerner to the top of the scorers’ list with eight goals - a tie with Dutch specialist Taeke Taekema.

The Times of India

Aussies win World Cup


New Delhi: Ric Charlesworth’s smile said it all. Last year, hockey officials in Delhi had hounded the Australian legend out saying he was no good as coach, apart from levelling all sorts of wild allegations against him. On Saturday, Charlesworth emerged triumphant in the same city with Australia winning the Hero Honda hockey World Cup, defeating Germany 2-1 in the final.

This was Australia’s second world title, the last was in 1986, under Charlesworth’s captaincy. It was also sweet revenge for the Aussies as it was Germany that had beaten them in the finals of the last two World Cups.

“I am naturally happy to become the first person to win the World Cup both as captain and coach,” said Charlesworth. “I worked hard with the team for the last few months.”

If it was the coach who chalked out the plan to disrupt Germany’s natural, free flowing game, Luke Doerner’s cracking penalty corner in the 60th minute made all the difference.

For the third-place match, the Netherlands emerged victorious with a 4-3 win over England. Veteran Dutch ’keeper Guus Vogels was named player of the tournament.

The Telegraph, India

Australia beat Germany 2-1 to win Hockey WC

Australia shattered Germany's dream of registering the first hat-trick of world titles in the history of the game, beating the double defending champions 2-1 in the summit clash of the Hero Honda FIH World Cup.

With this win, the Aussies have not only avenged their defeats in the last two editions of the tournament but also clinched their second world title.

For Australia, Edward Ockenden scored the first goal in the sixth minute while Luke Doerner converted a penalty corner in the 59th minute to become the top-scorer of the tournament along with Dutchman Taeke Taekema with eight goals apiece.

Moritz Furste scored the lone goal for the Germans in the 47th minute.

The Aussies had earlier won the title way back in 1986 in London but lost out in the finals against Germany in the last two World Cup finals in Kuala Lumpur (2002) and Monchengladbach, Germany (2006).

Incidentally, with this victory Australia coach Ric Charlesworth have achieved a rare feat in the history of the game. He became only the second player after the Netherlands' Hants Jorritsma to have won the World Cup both as a coach and a player.

With revenge in mind, the Australians came out with a purpose and from the onset applied pressure on the German goal.

Indian Express

Ric Charlesworth gives credit to team

Satya Rath

NEW DELHI: Just about a year-and-a-half back, an Australian gentleman going by the name of Ric Charlesworth was trying his best to get a job in India. No, he wasn’t looking for a government job; he just wanted to coach the Indian hockey squad.

No one realized his worth. The mandarins of the national hockey set-up thought they knew better. Ric went back home, and immediately took charge of the Australian national side. Some 15 months later, on Saturday night here, he proved his point, putting Australia on top of the world.

"No, please don’t credit me. A coach is nothing if his players don’t perform. They are the ones who have done this. My role has been very minimal," Charlesworth said after the win.

But Australian captain Jamie Dwyer would not agree. "He has definitely brought about a big change in the team in the last 15 months. He’s not just confident himself; he has instilled that confidence in the players," said Dwyer.

Charlesworth also made a bit of history for himself - he also won the gold as a player in 1986. "Yeah, that’s a big satisfaction. But I think it’s not me alone. I was part of a great team then, and I am in charge of a great team now. Hockey is a team game."

The Times of India

Dwyer proud of the achievement

Kamesh Srinivasan

NEW DELHI: “We are very happy to win the World Cup, particularly after losing the final the last two times. Very proud of the achievement, and Australia was the better team not only today but through the tournament, though we lost the first match'', said the captain of the Australian team Jamie Dwyer, on the team's crowning glory in the hockey World Cup on Saturday.

Coach Ric Charlesworth who was sitting away from the team bench to take a top view from the stands said that people do not really appreciate how good it was to make the final of a World Cup, and said that the team reaching the final the last two times was a terrific performance in itself, but the current team was ready to make its own history.

The Australian coach recalled how the team had consistently beaten Germany in the last three matches, including the Champions Trophy final.

Charlesworth was categorical in saying that it would have been a travesty of justice had Australia not won the final, as it dominated the match with 17 shots at the goal as compared to five by Germany.

“Our finishing is not up to the standard as yet, but the team is improving. We will be much better'', warned Charlesworth, about the team shaping better for a tilt at the gold medal in the London Olympics.

A lot more enjoyable

Australia had won the World Cup earlier in 1986 when Charlesworth was a player. He said that it was a lot more enjoyable to do it as a player, and said that he firmly believed that the current team was good enough to win.

“In the end, it is the players who do it once the match starts'', said the genial coach, who had had a brief stint with the Indian team, before being driven back to Australia 14 months ago.

All praise for coach

Captain Dwyer was all praise for the coach and said that Charlesworth did not push the players hard, but only helped them realise their potential by giving them the confidence. ''He has done a great job'', he said.

The German coach Marcus Weise conceded that the better team won, and he was proud of his young team putting up such a good fight. ''My boys changed their attitude in the second half. I am proud of the way the team played not only the final, but the whole tournament. Australia was slightly better than us and deserved to win'', Weise said.

The Hindu

We deserved to win hockey World Cup: Australian captain

New Delhi: After snapping their two summit clash loss against the Germans in 2002 and 2006, Australian captain Jamie Dwyer today said his side deserved to win the hockey World Cup here as they were the best side in the tournament.

"We are the best side in the tournament and we were the better side against Germany in the final today. We deserved to win the World Cup," said Dwyer who today won his first World Cup gold.

"We were twice close to win the World Cup but here we are third time lucky," added Dwyer, who played in 2002 final but missed 2006 summit clash -- due to injury though he was in the squad.

Dwyer said coach Ric Charlesworth, who has also won the World Cup as a player in 1986, has played a big role in the title triumph.

"He brings in a lot of confidence as individuals and as a team. He has a lot of experience as a player and as coach. He does not push us much but he raises the bar so high. He has played a big role and of course the other coaching staff helped us to win the World Cup," said Dwyer, who said his 2004 Olympic gold was more precious than the World Cup gold.

Germany captain Maximillian Muller conceded that Australia are the best side in the world and they deserved to win the World Cup.


Future bright for German hockey

Despite failing at the last hurdle, Germany coach said the future bodes well for his young side.

By Adarsh Vinay

Though Australia triumphed 2-1 in the hockey World Cup final, Germany coach Markus Weise hailed the two teams for putting up a great show.

“It was a close game for both sides as finals of big tournaments tend to be. We played well and at 1-1, we had the chance to go on and win the game. But Australia was the better team tonight. They thoroughly deserve to be world champions,” he said.

Moritz Furste, who scored the equaliser for Germany, agreed with his coach. “It was a close game for both sides. In big games like this, one or two moments tend to decide the winner. At 1-1, it could have gone either way but Australia deserve it. They are the strongest team in the world at the moment,” said the 25-year-old.

Weise believes that it is more than just the desire that make the Aussies the world’s best side. “It’s more than hunger. There are hungrier teams than them. It is their pace, their physicality and their approach that sets the Australian side apart. Whether it is the counters or the penalty corners, they have everything you need to win a big tournament.”

The German coach added that his young side shouldn’t be too disappointed with the loss. “To be the youngest side in the tournament and come this far is no mean feat. It only bodes well for the future of German hockey. The team will benefit from this experience in the future,” concluded Weise.

We lost to a superior side: German coach Weise

NEW DELHI: German hockey coach Markus Weise doffed his hat to the Australians after the defeat in the World Cup final on Saturday, saying the Kookaburras had "everything to win" the tournament.

"We lost to a superior side. They had everything to win the World Cup," Weise said after the defending champions lost 1-2 to Australia in the final at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

With the loss, in front of a near-capacity stadium, Germany's dream of a hat-trick of titles was shattered.

However, the coach also regretted that his boys could not keep up their mastery over penalty corners in the finals. After converting a dozen short corners, Germany could slot home only one out of the four that came their way against Australia.

"We were not good at penalty corner conversions today. Once we missed the penalty corners when we should have taken the lead, and then when it was time to equalise. But otherwise it was a close match and we lost to a better side," he said.

German captain Maximillian Muller said the Australians played well in the first 20 minutes

"May be, the players were a bit scared in the first 20 minutes because we have an inexperienced team. But later on we settled down and defended well," Muller said.

The Times of India

Knowles sets sight on Olympic gold

In an exclusive chat with, the Australia defender expressed his joy after winning the World Cup.

By Anshul Baijal

Nothing succeeds like success. After winning the hockey World Cup, Australia defender Mark Knowles is aiming for bigger things in his life.

The Aussies turned it around after losing their first match to England on the opening day and Knowles believes this shows the mental strength of the team. "It was disappointing to start your campaign like that, but we never lost self belief. It shows how strong the guys are mentally," he said.

The Kookaburras were up against a familiar foe in the final. They had lost the previous two World Cup finals to Germany, but Knowles insists that this fact never bothered them. "Germany are a very good side. They had beaten us in the last two finals, but we were not really thinking about it before the match. We knew we had to go out there and do well and we did exactly that," said Knowles.

The is only the second win at the world championships for Australia and their first after 24 years and Knowles credited coach Ric Charlesworth for the team's success. "He is a great coach. He changed the structure of the game. He instilled self belief in us and we have been playing very well under him," said the 25-year-old Knowles.

After the historic win, Knowles does not want to rest on his laurels and says that he is already looking forward to the 2012 Olympics in London. "We have to keep working hard and keep playing good hockey. We were unlucky in Beijing and want to win the gold in London now," concluded Knowles.

Fuchs: I could have done better

In an exclusive interview with, the Germany striker expressed his regret after finishing second at the World Cup.

By Adarsh Vinay

Disappointment was written all over German striker Florian Fuchs' face after his side went down 2-1 to Australia in the hockey World Cup final.

"We came here with great expectations. The whole team is devastated by the loss. To reach so close and then to have to settle for second, it's not the same," Fuchs said.

Despite his young age, Germany were banking on the 18-year-old to get the goals. With four strikes, he finished as Germany's topscorer in the tournament but ultimately that was not enough.

"We had a lot of players in our team who got on the scoresheet. I think there were around 12-13 players who were on target for us throughout the tournament, so there was no extra pressure on me to get the goals," said Fuchs.

But he admitted that he could have done better. "My performance wasn't bad considering it was my first World Cup. I learnt a lot and it was a great experience. But I could have done better, especially in the semifinal and final. I should have been more clinical," he said.

Fuchs is determined to put the disappointment behind him and is already looking forward to make amends. "We will now focus on the Champions Trophy later this year. Then we have the European championship next year and finally the London Olympics in 2012. This defeat is not the end of the world," he concluded.

Oz now target 2012 Olympics gold

Australian captain Jamie Dwyer is happy team effort reaped dream-cum-true dividends at the World Cup.

By Anshul Baijal

Australia captain Jamie Dwyer was over the moon after his team won the 2010 hockey World Cup. This is Australia's second win at the world championships and Dwyer was happy that his dream came true. "Very proud of the way the team has played. We did well throughout the tournament and we deserved to win," he said.

The World Cup crown had eluded the Aussies for the past 24 years and Dwyer insists that this team always had it in it to go all the way. "We have been playing well for over a year. We were focused to win the tournament and I am happy we got the result we were looking for," said Dwyer.

The Australian team has made massive improvements ever since Ric Charlesworth took over as the coach and the Australian captain believes he has changed things around for them. "He is great coach. He has achieved a lot of success with the Australian women's team as well. He changed the way we play hockey," he said.

On Charlesworth, Dwyer added: "He does not push you too hard but wants you to realize your maximum potential. He sees things that we, as players sometimes cannot see."

Australia coach Charlesworth, meanwhile, credited his team for putting up a brilliant performance. "The boys played well throughout the tournament. The coaching staff can do a lot of things but at the end of the day it is the players who go out there and perform," he said.

Charlesworth, who became the first person to win the World Cup as a player and as a coach, believes this team has to keep improving and they have set their sights on the 2012 London Olympics.

"We still have a lot to improve. We missed out on a gold at the last Olympics and we hope we can take our game forward and win again in two year's time," said the Australian legend.

After World Cup win, Aussies target Olympics gold

NEW DELHI: Having won the hockey World Cup after 24 years, Australian captain Jamie Dwyer said they would now aim to win the gold at the 2012 London Olympics.

Australian coach Ric Charlesworth, who won the World Cup both as a player and a coach, said there is still scope for the team to improve, especially in the finishing of the forward-line.

Dwyer said they had prepared hard for the tournament.

"We are happy to win the tournament. We played better tonight. Every player in the team contributed towards the effort of the team," said Dwyer, who was playing in his last World Cup.

"We have been preparing for the World Cup for 14 months and it is a fantastic feeling to win it finally after losing twice to Germany in the last two editions. Now we will go back home, take a few weeks' rest, and set a new goal to win the Olympics," said Dwyer.

Dwyer said Charlesworth's presence was inspiring.

"He has an unbelievable record as a player and he did wonders as coach of the women's team. He changed the way hockey is played. If we play every match the way he wants us to play, we will always win. He gives confidence to the players. He wants us to reach our potential," he said.

"Germany were outstanding in the field and it was a close match. We lost to them twice in the finals, but we never thought about it while taking the field today. That was past for us," the captain added.

Charlesworth said the team needed to improve.

"I believed in their ability. They still need to improve. Today we had far more shots on the goal than Germany, and so we won. But we need to improve on our finishing."

The Times of India

Victory of an educated system

Australia’s World Cup win is the net effect of a well-planned and educated system.

By Pargat Singh

Australia emerged deserving champions. The young German team looked devastated after the final hooter. The 2-1 scoreline in Australia’s favour reflected how close the match was. The post-match emotions were obvious. Hats off to this German team for giving the Australians such a tough fight.

Australia proved they were a powerhouse. They play “full-code” hockey. Probably they are the only team in the world that can play an entire match at the same pace. This is only possible when you train hard and the intensity level is accepted by the mind. The modern game is all about this: a coordination of mind and body.

I had given Germany the edge in the final because they were a younger team and showed great maturity in all their matches. The Germans came into the final unbeaten and therefore had a psychological advantage as well. But then the Germans showed they can be vulnerable as well.

Australia took the game by storm. Attack is always the best of defence in a game where two teams are equally matched. In hockey, attacks generate from breakaways and therefore if you defend well, you create more counterattacks. Germany failed here for most parts of the first half.

The relentless Aussie attacks pinned the German defence to such an extent that the defending world champions could not get their act together even on counterattacks. And then the sixth minute field goal put the Australians right on top. In big games, an early goal sets the trend of a contest.

Germany chased leather for most parts of the first half. When you run without the ball on synthetic grass, you are drained both mentally and physically. That’s what happened to the Germans. They were having “withdrawal symptoms” in the first session and hence their normally flawless game in the preparatory zone was riddled with errors.

Germany came out stronger in the second half. They attacked better but the Aussies defended equally well and created the counterattacks. Forget the scoreline, every second of the final was a treat for the amazing turnout in a final where India weren’t playing!

The Australians, despite having one man injured, had enough in the tank to protect their slender lead till the last. Ric Charlesworth’s tactics paid off well, but no matter how good is your coach, it boils down to the intensity and the conviction level of the players. On Saturday night, the Aussies were certainly superior.

The Netherlands won the third spot, with a come-from-behind 4-3 win against England. The result is testimony to the finishing prowess of the Dutch team. England’s performance had been on the wane after their first four wins at the group stage. The weather also seemed to get to them.

The difference between the top five sides of the world is so little that even a small mistake makes a huge difference. That’s what happened to both England and Germany. As they say, there is many a slip between lip and the cup. But at the end of the day, good hockey was the winner and it could not have been better than this.

Holland take bronze


The Netherlands fought back from 1-3 down to turn the tables on England to post a 4-3 victory and take the third place in the 12th Hero Honda FIH World Cup Hockey Championship at the National Stadium here today. Holland, who were disallowed a goal when it was put to the referral of the video umpire by England in the 14th minute, however, could not be denied the lead for long as they forged ahead in the 22nd minute when a mesmerising dribble down the middle by Robert Horst der van put captain Teun de Nooijer taking possession and flick home in a trice.

England’s competent defence was caught on the wrong foot, but England had their chances too when they forced two penalty corners before the Holland goal, and once Richard Alexander muffed an open chance when he slammed into custodian Guus Vogels. In fact, the veteran Vogels prevented England from scoring on a few occasions though even he could not contain the sustained England attacks effectively for long.

The Holland lead lasted just a minute as Alastair Brogdon equalised following a quick counter attack. The goal pepped up England as they mounted a series of raids on the rival citadel to earn two penalty corners in quick succession in the 29th and 33rd minutes which were brilliantly scooped in by their drag flicker Ashley Jackson.

With England retiring for the half time break with a comfortable 3-1 lead, the Dutch suddenly found themselves fighting with their backs to the wall. But they were such tenacious fighters, with captain Teun Nooijer leading his armada into the enemy territory often, that they could not be contained from scoring for long, and that's what happened when Taeke Taekema swept in off their first penalty corner in the 13th minute of second half to narrow the lead 2-3.

This was Taekema’s 21st World Cup goal which equalled the record of his illustrious predecessor Tie Kruize. And Dutch captain Teun de Nooijer also equalled the record of four World Cup medals hitherto held by Pakistan’s Akhtar Rasool, who reigned from 1971 to 1982.

Four minutes later, Jeroen Hertzberger's high scoop was palmed by goalie Vogels but Holland equalled a couple of minutes later through Klaas Vermeulen and three minutes before the final hooter, Rogier Hofman relayed a pass from Teun Nooijer into the goal to get the match-winner and seal a 4-1 victory. Holland's never-say-die fighting spirit was remarkable as the sustained pressure they exercised put tremendous pressure on the otherwise solid England defence which eventually caved as never before in this championship. The Netherlands thus recorded their fourth victory against England in five World Cup meetings, with just a lone defeat as the only blemish in their record, which came when England hosted the Cup in 1986. England had beaten Holland in the European Championship but only to lose in the Champions Trophy later.

The Tribune

Holland down England for bronze medal

Manuja Veerappa

New Delhi ,March 13: The Netherlands, who danced to the tunes of Englishman Ashley Jackson for the better part of the first half, fought back to beat England 4-3 to finish third in the Hockey World Cup here on Saturday.

Throughout the tournament consistency was the key word for the Dutchmen, who showed great character to clinch a podium finish.

In one of the best comebacks in the tournament, the ‘Oranjes’ dedicated the win to goalkeeper Guus Vogels, who took a final bow at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium. As a mark of honour, Vogels was asked to lead the team in his final match.

England were on top right from the beginning with a vivacious display of penetrating hockey. They put the Dutch defenders on the back foot with Jackson doing most of the work. The English defence for the first time in the event though looked slack, which was utilised by the Dutch strikers.

The first breakthrough came in the 14th minute for them with Rogier Hofmann’s goal, but their joy was short-lived as the goal was disallowed following a referral appeal from England, which was upheld.

The Englishmen earned three consecutive penalty corners, but some sloppy stopping and the brilliance of Vogels denied them goals. Robert Van de Horst came racing into the striking circle and relayed a cross-pass to Nooijer who sent the ball into the goal from close range in the 22nd minute to give his team the lead.

The Dutch celebrations had barely died down when Alastair Brogdon struck the equaliser.

The Englishmen renewed their assault on the Dutch defence which fetched them more penalty corners. Jackson’s variation in penalty corners earned them two goals in quick succession. While he kept his first dragflick low and hard in the 30th minute, four minutes later he completed the brace with a high flick past Vogels.

The English were comfortably placed at 3-1 at half-time, but little did they know the Dutch were waiting to explode into their half. The men in orange came back to haunt the English defenders, who started to wither under pressure.

Holland then took over with penalty corner ace Taeke Taekema, Klaas Vermeulen and Hofman scoring a goal each. With the final hoot, the Dutch got together and broke into a jig.

Speaking about the victory, Nooijer later said: “I am very proud of my team. We wanted to finish with a medal for Vogels.”

The Asian Age

England finish fourth after display of Dutch courage

England’s men took fourth place at the Hero Honda FIH World Cup in Delhi after a spirited second half fight back from a Dutch side ranked two places higher in the world rankings.  England had responded well to going behind in the 22nd minute and led at the break through goals from Bowdon’s Alastair Brogdon and HGC’s Ashley Jackson but a Teun de Nooijer-inspired Netherlands came back strongly in the second half to win the match and the bronze medal; Rogier Hofman breaking English hearts with just three minutes to go.

The final classification of fourth is England’s best ever at a World Cup on foreign soil, second only to their silver medal at the 1986 World Cup in London.

Going into the match both sides were confident of coming away with bronze medals having beaten each other during their build up to the tournament.  The Netherlands had beaten England 3-2 in the last tournament match between the sides, at the ABN AMRO Champions Trophy in December but for England, the European semi final win over the Dutch in Amsterdam last summer was still fresh in the memory.

Before the national anthems, England’s Surbiton pair Richard Alexander and James Tindall were presented with commemorative caps to mark their 100th international appearance for England in the match.  The game against the Netherlands was also Ashley Jackson’s 50th for his home nation side.

For the Dutch, veteran goalkeeper Guus Vogels was handed the captain’s armband in celebration of his last match before retiring from international hockey.

Head Coach Jason Lee opted to keep the same starting XI that began Thursday’s semi final against Germany and they made a positive start to the match with Ashley Jackson winning an early free hit outside the Dutch circle on the left hand side.

Beeston’s Ali Wilson found himself taking an early rest on the sidelines after being shown a green card in just the third minute for knocking the ball away.  The temporary suspension did not affect England though and after combining with Rob Moore on the left of the Netherlands’ circle, centurion James Tindall won a penalty corner off the foot of Wouter Jolie.  Ashley Jackson’s effort was well charged down by the Dutch runner.

In the seventh minute the Netherlands broke upfield to where Jeroen Hertzberger was lurking menacingly on the English back line but his control let him down and the danger evaporated as quickly as it had been threatened.

At the other end, England’s captain Barry Middleton, who had led his team excellently throughout the tournament, took advantage of a Dutch turnover to win a free hit at the top of the circle.  From the play, East Grinstead’s Glenn Kirkham found Middleton on the right but his shot from the angle flew over the bar.

Richard Alexander had a good opportunity to make a memorable impact on his100th England appearance in the tenth minute of the match; latching on to Ashley Jackson’s through pass Alexander found himself in a one-on-one with legendary Dutch goalkeeper Guus Vogels.  Unfortunately for the Surbiton man, Vogels used all of his experience to read the situation and was quickly off his line, sliding out to block Alexander’s attempted flick towards goal.

Moments later, at the other end, the Netherlands scored with a goal out of nothing but it was quickly ruled out by the video umpire David Gentles after England successfully used their Team Referral.  Teun De Nooijer had flicked a pass across the circle at chest height that Ali Wilson missed around the penalty spot and Rogier Hofman fired past Cannock goalkeeper James Fair.  Surbiton defender Ben Hawes immediately ran to the Spanish umpire Marcello Servetto to request the referral and David Gentles agreed with Hawes that De Nooijer’s pass had been dangerous, forcing Hawes to take evasive action.

With the score remaining nil nil, England then forced a series of three penalty corners but the Netherlands stood firm.  After James Tindall’s breakaway had won the first off the foot of Wouter Jolie, it was Tindall’s deflected effort that Vogels saved but played dangerously back towards the Surbiton forward.  Richard Smith then saw two separate penalty corner efforts from the top of the circle cleared from in front of the goal line by Geert-Jan Derikx.

England were made to pay moments later when Robert van der Horst and Jeroen Hertzberger combined well to set up Teun de Nooijer to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.  Van der Horst found Herzberger on the left of the England circle and his low flat pass to the near post was met by de Nooijer who had timed his run to perfection, deflecting the ball over James Fair.

England’s response to going behind was instantaneous.  A minute after de Nooijer’s goal, Rob Moore received the ball in behind the Dutch defence and shot at goal.  Again Vogels was quickly off his line but the shot spun up off his pads into the centre of the circle to where Bowdon forward Alastair Brogdon was waiting.  The 22 year old Leeds Metropolitan University student still had work to do as he twisted his body to bat the ball home from waist height to score his second England goal in 25 appearances.

James Fair was soon called into action to save on his near post from Valentin Verga after the Dutchman had created good space for a shot on the inside left.

Just before the half hour mark Barry Middleton successfully appealed to the video umpire for a penalty corner after a Dutch foot in the circle.  Ashley Jackson was back on the pitch having been on the bench during the previous three corners and with a low flick to his HGC teammate Guus Vogels’ left he put England ahead for the first time in the match.  The goal was Jackson’s sixth in the tournament and an excellent way to mark his 50th appearance in an England shirt.

With three minutes until the break, Dan Fox made an excellent diving tackle on his reverse side as the Netherlands bore down on James Fair’s goal and less than 30 seconds later it was the Hampstead & Westminster defender who found himself with time to shoot from the top of the Dutch circle.  His good effort to the back post forced Vogels to stretch out a leg to ensure England did not extend their lead.

Just before half time England were awarded their sixth penalty corner of the match and it was the World Young Player of the Year Jackson who once again showed his outstanding ability with a powerful flick high to the goalkeeper’s right to give England a 3-1 lead at the break.

The Netherlands began the second half looking to pull a goal back quickly and Ronald Brouwer had an opportunity in the 40th minute but he lost his footing as he attacked the English circle.  Two minutes later Teun de Nooijer looked certain to score after coming in off the baseline and riding a Richard Smith tackle.  James Fair was smartly off his line, forcing the Dutchman up towards the top of the circle.  Twice Fair went down as de Nooijer shaped to shoot and twice the Dutch playmaker moved the goalkeeper again before blazing his shot over the bar with Fair on the ground.

In the 42nd minute Ali Wilson was yellow carded for time wasting as he kept a second ball on the pitch to prevent the Dutch from countering quickly and the Netherlands pressed to make the numerical advantage count.

Reading’s Iain Mackay, who sustained a broken nose in the Pool B match with India last Saturday, then found himself on the Dutch baseline but crowded out by four defenders and unable to find the support of a teammate his opportunity was gone.

On the counter attack Valentin Verga broke down field and into the circle where he won the Netherlands’ first penalty corner of the match.  Going into the game Taeke Taekema was the tournament’s joint top goal scorer and he went top in his own right from the set play, albeit with a touch of good fortune.  Taekema’s flick deflected off the shin guard of the first English runner, Richard Alexander, and wrong footed James Fair in goal as it flew into  the bottom corner to bring the Netherlands right back into the match.

Ben Hawes, who had already made a number of excellent tackles and who went on to be named the Man of Steel for the game’s best defender, was called upon in the 51st minute when he made a solid flat stick tackle as the Netherlands broke quickly.

Beeston’s Wilson then made a good block on the baseline from Rogier Hofman before James Fair cut out a cross circle pass with an outstretched leg.

On 56 minutes England found themselves in trouble as Klaas Vermeulen drove along the right baseline.  Looking for a teammate, he played the ball across the front of goal where Surbiton’s Rob Moore picked it up on his reverse stick only to unluckily see the ball slide off his stick and into the bottom corner beyond Fair to give the Netherlands an equaliser.

Much of the second period had been about the Netherlands attacking at pace but England were given brief respite when Robert van der Horst and Marcel Balkenstein both received green card suspensions within a minute of each other.  With a two man disadvantage the Dutch sat deep, defending in numbers and preventing England from creating any real opportunities.

Despite the Dutch team’s second half performance the match was delicately balanced at 3-3 going into the final ten minutes.  Captain Barry Middleton came close to connecting with Richard Alexander’s pass on the near post but the ball passed across the face of Vogel’s goal untouched.  At the other end Rob Reckers looked dangerous until Ashley Jackson successfully brought him to a halt inside the circle.

With three minutes remaining Rogier Hofman broke English hearts with a goal of sheer persistence.  Dan Fox narrowly failed to pick up a pass into the circle on his reverse stick and Hofman stole in behind to latch onto the loose ball.  Evading tackles from Glenn Kirkham and Richard Smith, Hofman flicked the bouncing ball over the onrushing Fair and into the net to complete a remarkable Dutch comeback.

In the final minute, resolute defending prevented Taeke Taekema from extending the lead at a penalty corner and with the clock counting down the Netherlands held firm as England threw everything at them in search of an equaliser.

It was not to be though as de Nooijer launched a long aerial pass downfield and the final hooter sounded leaving England’s heroes on the floor, clearly disappointed to have come so close to only a second ever World Cup medal.

Speaking immediately after the match, England Hockey Head Coach Jason Lee explained what he felt had changed the game.  “For 40 minutes we played the better hockey and were the dominant side,” he said.  “In the end though we missed a few chances, final passes or control let us down and we found ourselves chasing back a lot.  Against the likes of de Nooijer that’s very hard to do and we made it difficult for ourselves.

“We’re very disappointed at the moment and we probably will be for a few weeks.  We’re disappointed because we believed in ourselves that we could have done even better in the latter stages but overall the players have had a fantastic tournament.”

Already looking to the future, Lee added, “We will continue to focus on our development and look to put ourselves in the position to contest the medals at future tournaments.”

Adding to the coach’s comments, Team Manager Andy Halliday said, “It has been a privilege working with this group here.  The strength and spirit they have bodes well for the future.  We’re disappointed with the match result but a top four finish is a tremendous effort for an improving team like ours.”

England’s players will return to the UK on Sunday.


Alastair Brogdon 23 (F)              
Ashley Jackson 30, 33 (PC, PC)                


Teun de Nooijer 22 (F)               
Taeke Taekema 48 (PC)              
Klaas Vermeulen 56 (F)              
Rogier Hofman 67 (F)                 

Squad v Netherlands


James Fair (Cannock)
Adam Dixon (Beeston)
Ben Hawes (Surbiton)
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students)
Alistair Wilson (Beeston)
Ashley Jackson (HGC)
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead)
Barry Middleton (C) (HGC)
Rob Moore (Surbiton)
Iain Mackay (Reading)
James Tindall (Surbiton)

Substitutes Used

Richard Alexander (Surbiton)
Alasdair Brogdon (Bowdon)
Nick Catlin (Loughborough Students)
Jonty Clarke (Reading)
Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster)

Did Not Play

Nick Brothers (Reading)
Richard Mantell (Reading) – withdrawn injured

England Hockey Board Media release

Resolute Dutch deny England medal in Hockey World Cup

By Marc Vesty

The Netherlands fought back from 3-1 down to beat England 4-3 in the World Cup bronze medal match in Delhi.

After Teun De Nooijer had put the Netherlands in front, a goal from Alastair Brogdon and two Ashley Jackson penalty corners put England 3-1 up.

But Taeke Taekema's deflected shot and Alastair Wilson's own goal levelled things before Rogier Hofman sealed the bronze medal with three minutes to go.

Australia beat defending champions Germany 2-1 in the final.

Edward Ockenden put Australia, who lost to England in their opening group game, in front. Moritz Furste equalised for Germany but Luke Doerner's 59th-minute penalty corner secured World Cup glory for Australia for the first time since 1986.

Doerner's eighth goal in the tournament made him the joint leading scorer with another penalty corner specialist, Taekema from the Netherlands.

Taekema's eighth goal of the tournament started the Dutch comeback in their win against England, a result described as "absolutely devastating" by England captain Barry Middleton.

"All the hard work we have done in the tournament has come to nothing because we failed to win a medal.

"We just did not do the little things well in the match. It was our worst game in the tournament."

With both sides seemingly still trying to deal with the disappointment of missing out on the gold medal match, the game started slowly.

England, who had lost their semi-final to Germany 4-1, dominated the early possession, while the Dutch, who had lost 2-1 to Australia, were happy to sit back initially.

The first chance of the match fell to England after a fast-paced, free-flowing move set Richard Alexander free but veteran keeper Guus Vogels came out of his goal quickly to save with his legs.

Against the run of play the Netherlands thought they had taken the lead when Wilson failed to clear and Hofman slotted in.

However, following a referral from Middleton, the goal was disallowed because of a dangerous high ball in the build up.

England continued to enjoy the most possession, forcing a series of penalty corners, one of which was stopped on the line by Geert-Jan Derik after Richard Smith's drive.

It was a moment of class from the Netherlands which eventually brought the opening goal, with De Nooijer flicking in a close-range finish after getting onto the end of some incisive Dutch passing which had carved the England defence apart.

But going a goal down proved to be the jolt England needed as boss Jason Lee's side suddenly found a cutting edge.

Seconds after the Netherlands' goal an England counter attack caused havoc in the Dutch defence and after Rob Moore's shot was saved by Vogel, Brogdon reacted quickest with an instinctive flick to level the scores.

Jackson's sixth goal of the tournament put England ahead as he rifled his dragged-flick into the bottom left corner at a penalty corner.

And Jackson again proved ruthless from England's sixth penalty corner when he hammered his shot high into the top right corner with Vogels well beaten.

But De Nooijer was a constant thorn in England's side and with 23 minutes to go England finally conceded a penalty corner, and were duly punished.

Taekema's low drive took a deflection off the shin of Richard Alexander to fly into the corner and put the Netherlands back in the game.

And the Dutch side, playing with a renewed confidence, managed to find a well deserved equaliser when Klaas Vermeulen ran at the England defence and smashed in a low cross which Wilson deflected into his own goal.

With three minutes to play the Dutch completed their comeback.

Dan Fox failed to deal with a through ball and Hofman finished coolly from close range to secure the bronze medal for the Netherlands.

The tournament will still be reflected on as a success for England after they reached the semi-finals of a World Cup for the first time since they hosted the event in 1986.

England lost in the final to Australia that year, before going on to win Olympic gold in South Korea in 1988.

BBC Sport

Dutch come from behind to take bronze

Despite being two goals down at the break, the Netherlands bounced back to finish third at the World Cup.

By Anshul Baijal

The Netherlands came from two goals down to beat England 4-3 at the Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Saturday to clinch their second bronze medal at the hockey World Cup.

Teun de Nooijer, Taeke Taekema, Klaas Vermeulen and Rogier Hofman were on target for the three-time winners. Alastair Brogdon scored one and Ashley Jackson added a brace but they could not prevent England from returning empty-handed.

The match started off well for the Three Lions as they dictated all the early play. The Dutch, on the other hand, were slow off the blocks.

England earned as many as four penalty corners in the opening 20 minutes, but could capitalise on them and saw The Netherlands take the lead. In the 22nd minute, Robert van der Horst made a surging run into the English circle and set up de Nooijer who did the rest.

England equalised in the very next minute when Brodgon caught the Dutch defence napping and placed the ball into the bottom right corner.

They doubled their lead in the 30th minutes, when Jackson blasted the ball home from the edge of the circle.

Four minutes later, Jackson struck again to put his team in the driving seat with a trademark drag-flick. The goal took his tally at the World Cup to seven.

The Dutch picked themselves up after the break and put in a lot more effort. They pushed forward with intent and their persistence paid dividends in the 48th minute. Taekema, Holland's highest goalscorer in this tournament, took his tally to eight. He is now the highest goalscorer in Delhi.

Eight minutes later, Vermeulen pulled the Dutch level.

Looking to get over the disappointment of finishing 7th in the last edition, Holland could not control their emotions as Horst and Marcel Balkestein received green cards for dangerous play.

But the English could not make the numerical advantage count as Hofman grabbed a winner for Holland.

With the bronze medal, de Nooijer becomes only the second player in history, after Pakistan's Akhtar Rasool, to collect four World Cup medals.

Netherlands beat England 4-3, finish third

The Netherlands scripted a remarkable come-from-behind victory to win the hockey World Cup bronze medal by defeating England 4-3 in a thrilling match here on Saturday.

The Dutch, who were trailing 1-3 at the breather made a remarkable comeback by pumping in three goals in the second session to win their second bronze medal in the World Cup history.

The three-time champions had already won two silver earlier and with today's bronze was their seventh World Cup medal. This is also their first podium finish after their third place in 2002 when they beat South Korea in the bronze medal match.

Dutch captain Teun de Nooijer, who was outstanding in the field today, scored in his last World Cup match and equaled Pakistani Akhtar Rasool's record of most number of World Cup medals -- four -- having won one gold, one silver and one bronze earlier.

Rasool has won three gold and one silver. Teun de Nooijer (22nd), Taeke Taekema (48th), Klaas Vermeulen (56th) and Rogier Hofman (67th) scored for the Dutch. With today's goal -- his eighth -- star drag-flicker Taekema became the tournament top scorer.

He also became the joint second top scorer in the history of the World Cup with 21 goals, the same number as that of countrymate and current team manager Ties Kruize.

For England, who were playing in a World Cup medal match for the second time -- after their silver finish in 1986 at home-- Ashley Jackson struck twice (30th, 34th) while Alastair Brogdon scored the other goal in the 23rd minute.

European champions England were clearly the dominant side in the first half and they had exposed the Netherlands defensive frailties by making repeated raids into the striking circle and forcing six penalty corners in the first session from which they converted two while the Netherlands had none.

But it was the Dutch who took the lead in the 22nd minute through a superb goal from captain Teun de Nooijer whose deflection off a pass from Jeroen Hertzberger went past English custodian James Fair into the goal.

England just took a minute to equalise through Alastair Brogdon and then young penalty corner specialist Ashley Jackson pumped in two goals in quick succession to give his side a 3-1 by the breather.

Brogdon's reverse stick shot from the top of Dutch striking circle went into the goal after deflection from an opposition defender. Jackson then converted England's fifth and sixth penalty corners in the 30th and 34th minutes, one hitting the top left corner of the net and the other a low shot sounding the board.

After the breather, the Dutch came back strongly and troubled the English defence repeatedly with captain de Nooijer and Teun Rohof outstanding with some fine moves mostly from the left flank.

The English defence wilted under pressure and drag flicker Taeke Taekema sounded the board from his side's first penalty corner in the 48th minute.

Eight minutes later the Dutch restored parity with Klaas Vermeulen's pass to a team-mate inside the striking circle deflected off a defender Alastair Wilson's stick for a goal. Rogier Hofman scored the winner three minutes from the final hooter to give the Dutch a 4-3 win.

Indian Express

Dutch gift retiring Vogels World Cup bronze

NEW DELHI: The Netherlands gave veteran goalkeeper Guus Vogels a retirement present by winning the bronze medal in the hockey World Cup with a 4-3 win over England on Saturday.

In a thrilling play-off for the third and fourth place positions, Rogier Hofman scored the winning goal three minutes before the final whistle after the Dutch fought back from 1-3 at half-time.

Vogels, who turns 35 later this month, was named the Dutch captain instead of Teun de Nooijer for the bronze medal match, his last international game after earning 259 caps for his country.

The entire team rushed to embrace Vogels after the match and lifted him on their shoulders as they came off the pitch.

"We wanted to win this one for Guus and I am proud the way we played today," said de Nooijer. "It was incredible the way we came back in the match.

"Guus has been a great ambassador for Dutch hockey and has enjoyed a glorious career. We will celebrate by throwing a dinner for him here."

European champions England, hoping for a podium finish for the first time since winning the silver medal in 1986, were swept aside in the second half by a determined Dutch side.

"It is absolutely devastating," said England captain Barry Middleton. "All the hard work we have done in the tournament has come to nothing because we failed to win a medal.

"We just did not do the little things well in the match. It was our worst game in the tournament."

De Nooijer put the Netherlands ahead in the 22nd minute, before two goals from penalty-corner specialist Ashley Jackson and one from Alastair Brogdon helped England snatch a comfortable lead.

Dutch penalty-corner expert Taeke Taekema scored his eighth goal in the tournament to make it 2-3 in the 48th minute, before Klaas Vermeulen equalised six minutes later.

Hofman, who had a goal disallowed by the video umpire in the 13th minute, scored in the 67th minute to seal his team's emphatic win.

The Dutch will take the World Cup podium for the first time since 2002 when they won the bronze medal in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The Times of India

De Nooijer: We did it for Guus

The Holland team dedicated their bronze medal to the retiring goalkeeper Guus Vogels.

By Adarsh Vinay

The Netherlands goalkeeper Guus Vogels intends to retire after the World Cup. He had said before the tournament that he wanted to end his career as a world champion. A defeat to Australia in the semifinal meant that his dream could not be realized. But his teammates ensured that he did not return home empty handed.

“We dedicate the bronze medal to Guus,” said Teun de Nooijer, after winning the bronze-medal tie versus England. “He has had a long distinguished career. He wanted to win gold but at least we managed third. We dedicate this bronze medal to him.”

His coach Michel van den Heuvel highlighted the importance of the win. “After losing the semifinal to Australia, it was critical to bounce back and show our mental strength. I am really happy that we won.”

Calling the match ‘spectacular’, the coach said that both teams played with passion and had ended their World Cup campaign on a breath-taking note. “England started stronger. They had a two-goal lead at half-time but we refused to give up. We knew we could win it and we went out there and won it. Both teams were excellent,” he said.

England had led 3-1 at the break but the Germans clawed their way back with 3 goals in the last 20 minutes. Van den Heuvel insisted that there were no tactics involved.

“It’s not about tactics. It’s all about pace. We generally play a fast game and when we do, we get the result. Playing fast is more about belief and mental strength. It has nothing to do with tactics,” concluded the Dutchman.

We did it for retiring goalkeeper Vogels: Dutch captain

NEW DELHI: The Netherlands captain Teun de Nooijer said his side's World Cup bronze medal finish after defeating England 4-3 was a tribute to their veteran goalkeeper Guus Vogels who retires from international hockey on Saturday.

34-year-old Vogels, acknowledged as one of the great goalkeepers in history, retired after playing 264 international and 23 World Cup matches, and de Nooijer said his side had wanted to win the bronze for him after failing to reach the final.

"We were disappointed not to have reached the final but we are happy that we won today for Guss (Vogels). All of us wanted to win the bronze for him. He is retiring after having a long and great career," Nooijer said after the match.

"We are the world number three side and it is good that we won the bronze. We did not have a good World Cup in 2006 (by finishing seventh) and we won bronze here. We are happy," said 33-year-old Nooijer, who also played his last World Cup match on Saturday.

Thrice FIH Player of the Year and with more than 400 international caps under his belt, Nooijer equalled Pakistani Akhtar Rasool's most medals in a World Cup by winning his fourth medal(one gold, one silver and two bronze).

On his part, Vogels said he was happy to have been a part of the Dutch team for 14 years since making his debut in January 1996.

"I am privileged to have been part of the team for such a long time at the top level. I have very good memories of the time I had with my team-mates. I had enjoyed playing hockey and challenging the best players in the world," said Vogels, who was not selected for the 1998 Dutch World Cup winning squad.

"I will now spend more time with my family and about other things I will think over," he added.

Asked about any disappointments in his long career, Vogels said, "Obviously the semi-final defeat against Australia in the this World Cup. I would have wanted to play in a World Cup final in my last match. I was also not selected for the 1998 World Cup as the coach thought the other goalkeeper was better."

Talking about Saturday's match, Vogels said his side played really well in the second half and praised his captain de Nooijer for his superb performance.

"England played better in the first half and we came back really well in the second session. de Nooijer was outstanding. Obviously we would have wanted to play in the final but we are proud to finish with a bronze medal," he added.

England coach Jason Lee said his players felt the absence of Mantell Brothers -- Richard and Simon -- in the tournament.

Richard returned home after twisting his right ankle in their third match here while Simon was injured before the World Cup.

"We did not play consistently today. We were the better side in the first half but did not play well in the second session. Obviously, we felt the absence of Richard and Simon though the players who replaced them did well. It is an achievement that we could qualify for the semi-final for the first time after 1986," Lee said.

"The good thing is we are among the best six-seven sides in the world including Spain and South Korea. I think Germany and Australia are somewhat up the order while the rest are there in the same bracket," added Lee.

The Times of India

England denied World Cup bronze

Holland 4 England 3

Holland fought back from a 3-1 half-time deficit to end England's hopes of a bronze-medal finish in the third and fourth place classification game at the Hockey World Cup in Delhi.

Rogier Hofman scored the winning goal three minutes before the final whistle to give teammate and veteran goalkeeper Guus Vogels the perfect retirement present.

Vogels, who turns 35 later this month, was named the Dutch captain instead of Teun de Nooijer for the bronze medal match, his last international game after earning 259 caps for his country.

European champions England, hoping for a podium finish for the first time since winning the silver medal at the Hockey World Cup in 1986, were swept aside in the second half by a determined Dutch side.

European champions England, hoping for a podium finish for the first time since winning the silver medal in 1986, were swept aside in the second half by a determined Dutch side.

"It is absolutely devastating," said England captain Barry Middleton. "All the hard work we have done in the tournament has come to nothing because we failed to win a medal.

"We just did not do the little things well in the match. It was our worst game in the tournament."

De Nooijer put the Netherlands ahead in the 22nd minute, before two goals from penalty-corner specialist Ashley Jackson and one from Alastair Brogdon helped England snatch a comfortable lead.

Dutch penalty-corner expert Taeke Taekema scored his eighth goal in the tournament to make it 2-3 in the 48th minute, before Klaas Vermeulen equalised six minutes later.

Hofman, who had a goal disallowed by the video umpire in the 13th minute, scored in the 67th minute to seal his team's emphatic win.

The Dutch will take the World Cup podium for the first time since 2002 when they won the bronze medal in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Defending champions Germany are due to meet strong challengers Australia in the final later today.

The Telegraph

England's Barry Middleton 'devastated' after agonising defeat to Holland

By Emily Benammar and agencies

Gutted: Barry Middleton could not hide his disappointment as England missed out on a medal at the hockey World Cup Photo: EPA

England captain Barry Middleton has described their 4-3 defeat to Holland in the bronze medal match at the Hockey World Cup as a "devastating" loss.

The European champions, who had been hoping to secure their first podium finish for the first time since winning silver in 1986, saw a 3-1 half-time advantage slip away when Holland emerged the more determined side after the interval.

A deflected penalty corner and a strike from Klaus Vermeulen levelled the score before Rogier Hofman snatched the winner three minutes before time to rule England out of the medals.

Despite the result showing just how far England have come in the past 12 months, Middleton could not hide his disappointment at having come so close.

"It is absolutely devastating," he said. "All the hard work we have done in the tournament has come to nothing because we failed to win a medal.

"We just did not do the little things well in the match. It was our worst game in the tournament."

Sharing in his captain's disappointment, but acknowledging his side's achievements at the 12-nation tournament in New Delhi, England coach Jason Lee said: "For 40 minutes we played the better hockey and were the dominant side.

"In the end though we missed a few chances, final passes or control let us down and we found ourselves chasing back a lot. Against the likes of de Nooijer that's very hard to do and we made it difficult for ourselves.

"We're very disappointed at the moment and we probably will be for a few weeks.

"We're disappointed because we believed in ourselves that we could have done even better in the latter stages but overall the players have had a fantastic tournament."

England won their opening four matches in India to qualify for their first world-level semi-final for 24 years.

They also recorded their first victory over eventual winners Australia for the first time since 1975, all of which will provide the squad with the confidence they need as they prepare for the Commonwealth Games in October.

Looking to the future, Lee added: "We will continue to focus on our development and look to put ourselves in the position to contest the medals at future tournaments."

The Telegraph

England devastated after loss

The English players were a despondent lot after losing to Holland in the bronze-medal tie.

By Adarsh Vinay

After a 4-3 loss to Holland in the bronze-medal match at the hockey World Cup, England captain Barry Middelton said his team was ‘absolutely devastated’.

“To play so well in the tournament and come so far and then go back with nothing, it’s very disappointing. The whole team is shattered,” said the 26-year-old.

His coach Jason Lee, however, had kind words for his team. “I am extremely proud of my team. At the start of the World Cup, I had said that a semifinal berth would be a good result for us. So after finishing fourth, I cannot say this is a bad finish for us.”

England had led 3-1 at half-time but the Germans clawed their way back with 3 goals in the last 20 minutes. Lee said it was Holland’s persistence that won them the match. “We played well in the first half and deserved our lead at the break. In the second half, they pressurised us and did not give up. They were too good towards the end.”

England started their World Cup campaign on a strong note winning the first four matches. But they lost momentum after that and lost the last three. Lee cited injuries to key players as the reason.

“Simon (Mantell) and Matt (Daley) got injured even before the World Cup started. Jonty (Clarke) picked up a knock in one of the matches while Richard (Mantell) got injured versus Pakistan. In the final matches, the squad had no depth,” said Lee.

Lee added that Richard Mantell, who dislocated his ankle, will be out for 6-9 months.

But the Englishman took heart in the fact that his team had come so far. He said the tournament would prepare them for the Commonwealth Games.

“Hockey in England has made good progress in the last four years. We are playing better as a team. We have learnt a lot of valuable lessons from this World Cup and hopefully this will help us during the Games,” said Lee.

Future of English hockey is bright: Lee

NEW DELHI: England head coach Jason Lee feels the fourth-place finish in the Hockey World Cup, their second best result in the quadrennial event, should augur well for the country's hockey.

"I think we are a quality team now. We are optimistic about the team's future," Lee said after his boys lost 3-4 to the Netherlands in a thrilling play-off for third place.

England's best came in the 1986, when they were the losing finalists.

Leading 3-1 till the 47th minute, England conceded three goals in the next 21 minutes to see their hopes of a medal end in despair. "We had a brilliant first half. But they (the Dutch) played a very good second half and put us under pressure."

Lee praised the Dutch captain Teun de Nooijer for his sparkling display, especially in the later session. "He was the key player. It was very difficult to control him. Towards the end he titled the balance."

Lee said missing a medal by a whisker has pained his boys. "They are hurt. They should feel the pain. When we won four back-to-back matches they had the feeling of victory. Now we have lost the last three games and now they know how it feels to lose."

England, who upset favourites Australia in the tournament opener, got the better of Pakistan, India and South Africa before going down to Spain in their last Pool A game on their way the semi-finals as the second team from Pool B. In the semis they lost to Germany.

Lee said his team missed three key players owing to injury and that affected the side's prospects in penalty-corners. "Our penalty-corner specialist Richard Mantell is a world class player and any team will be handicapped losing somebody like him.

Mantell's World Cup campaign ended when he dislocated his ankle in the Pool B outing against Pakistan. Earlier, Mantell's brother Richard and Matt Dalley -- both strikers -- had to withdraw from the squad because of injuries.

The Times of India

I regret not winning World Cup, says Vogels

Age Correspondent

New Delhi ,March 13: As the Netherlands climbed the podium after beating England for third place on Saturday, Guus Vogels took his helmet off and took a bow. This was the final one for a great hockey goalkeepers.

A man who for over 14 years stood guard in the Dutch goalpost with the heart of a warrior and won many tournaments for them, will leave with the regret of not winning a World Cup gold. Two Olympic, one European and four Champions Trophy gold medals after being dropped from the 1998 World Cup winning team, Vogels’ medals cabinet will surely miss the gold he was hoping to win here.

“The bronze medal was a consolation. After losing the semifinals, it was hard to focus, but we did it and I’m signing off on a satisfied note.”

Speaking about his international career which began in 1996, Vogels said, “It has been a long career. I’ve always enjoyed my game and that is what mattered to me. Now I’m looking forward to spending time with my family.”

Vogels, a man many strikers feared, also had his own favourites.

“The worlds’ best strikers have brought out the best in me. Players like Jamie Dwyer and Matthias Witthaus have been great challenges and I’ve loved it.”

Vogels, who was named the man of the tournament and the best goalkeeper felt the semifinals loss was an all-time low.

“The loss against Germany will remain the biggest disappointment of my life.

“The other one which I still feel bad about was the sudden death at the 2004 Athens Olympics final. The silver there was hard to digest.”

As the sun set at the Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium, Vogels walked off the pitch with the crowds applauding the custodian goalkeepers of the world will raise a toast to.

The Asian Age

Guus Vogels Best Player of the World Cup

s2h Team

Netherlands goalkeeper Guus Vogels has been declared Best Player of the Delhi World Cup. Germany's captain Max Muller got the Best Player of the Finals. Taeke Taekema and Luke Doerner were the joint top scorers. Marin Haner got the Steel Defender of the Final and also Rs. 50,000 cheque along with that.

Guus Vogels got Rs. 75,000 cheque and also a Hero Honda Motor Cycle.







Holland, England bid for 2014 WC

FIH president Leandro Negre tells Hockey India not to drag its feet over elections.

By Adarsh Vinay

With the 2010 hockey World Cup in New Delhi drawing to a close, the focus is already shifting to the next edition. The international hockey federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre said that so far two countries have placed their bids.

“Holland and England are the two countries that are keen to host the next hockey World Cup. There will be more bids but as of now these are the only two,” he said.

Negre added that though the countries wanted to host both the men’s and the women’s World Cups, it was highly unlikely. He explained that it would be very difficult for one country to host both the events.

Meanwhile, the current hockey World Cup may have been a success financially but Negre warned Hockey India to conduct its presidential elections soon. He said the May 31st deadline set by the FIH "was the last warning."

“Hockey India should have a president by May 31st. Failing that the FIH will be forced to start a disaffiliation process,” said the Spaniard.

This is the fourth deadline that the Indian national body has been given. Negre said that the reason the election process was stalling was because "of ego issues within Hockey India". Diplomatic as ever, the FIH president, however, refused to take any names.

New Delhi World Cup most high scoring in history

NEW DELHI: Thanks to some attacking hockey by the 12 participating countries, the 2010 World Cup on Saturday became the most high-scoring one with a whopping 199 goals scored in the 14-day mega event.

The 12th edition of hockey's showpiece event at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium produced 199 goals from 38 matches, including the classification games, at an average of 5.24 goals per match.

The average of 4.98 goals per match in the 1998 edition was the highest before this World Cup, whereas the last two editions in 2002 and 2006 had seen average goals of 4.17 and 4.14 respectively.

This edition had seen many high-scoring matches, the most goals coming from Australia's 12-0 mauling of South Africa, which was a new record for the biggest win surpassing the 12-3 defeat of New Zealand by Pakistan in 1982.

This World Cup has seen four draws from the 38 matches. The least scoring match in this World Cup was Argentina beating New Zealand 1-0 in a Pool A match.

This World Cup also produced more goals from penalty corners - 78 out of total 199 goals - as compared to 46 (out of 174) in the 2006 edition.

Star Dutch drag flicker Taeke Taekema and another penalty corner specialist Australian Luke Doerner ended as joint highest scorer with eight goals to their credit.

Taekema scored seven goals from penalty corners and one from penalty stroke. Doerner scored all his eight goals from penalty corners.

The Times of India

Negre says video referral is here to stay

NEW DELHI: International Hockey Federation (FIH) Leandro Negre on Saturday gave a thumbs up to the video referral system saying it has been "highly successful" with an overwhelming seventy-five percent correct decisions.

Negre said the success rate of the video referral system, which came under a cloud during India's group match against South Africa, has been a step in right direction for the sport and it will only improved.

"I am very happy with the new technology. Seventy five percent of the decisions taken were right which is quite high considering we were trying it our for the first time in an event of the magnitude of World Cup," he said.

Before that, the system was only tried in the Champions Trophy and some club competitions.

"We thought of introducing it in the World Cup with some changes because in a bigger event you have more scope to know how it is functioning," Negre said.

"If you ask me whether I have any concerns with the new system, yes, of course. But we can only see how to take it forward. The teams should learn how to use it and so should umpires. The system can only improve," Negre said referring to the errors.

"Hockey is a fast sport and it is difficult for the on-field umpires to look at everything happening on the field. That's why we thought of bringing in technology."

Negre went a step ahead to say that Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has asked FIFA to take note of the referral system being used here.

"Louis van Gaal is impressed with the system and he has asked FIFA to take a leaf out of it and see if something similar can be done in football."

Asked whether teams should get more than one challenge, Negre said: "I think one challenge is enough. There should not be any opportunity for the teams to misuse it. It has worked well so far. If you are right with your call, you continue."

The Times of India

Indian team has shown marked improvement: Negre

The Indian team's eighth place finish in the Hockey World Cup may be disappointing to their fans, but International Hockey Federation chief Leandro Negre feels there is a marked improvement in their performance.

Negre said India should be patient with their hockey team and have faith in Spanish coach Jose Brasa.

"I saw the Indian team in the Champions Challenge tournament at Salta, Argentina, and there is huge improvement in their game in the World Cup. It is a positive sign for Indian hockey," said Negre, a former Spanish goalkeeper.

"They are making some small mistakes, particularly in defence, but they will get better."

"They won only one match in New Delhi like the last time, but they are a better outfit now. If they can improve so much in such a short time since the Champions Challenge, I am sure their graph will only go up from here on."

"They can't step up their game overnight. You have to give them time because it is very difficult to beat the top teams, " he said.

Negre also said the World Cup this time round has been quite competitive and the gap between the teams has narrowed.

"I have been following the World Cups all my life and the gap between the teams has been reduced.

"If you leave one or two matches, every match in this World Cup was close. In most of the matches, there was   tough competition. The top teams are not having it easy and that's a good sign," he said.

Hindustan Times

Hockey needs a makeover

Prabhjot Singh writes from New Delhi

Hockey World Cup may not return to India for another 15 to 20 years. Though it leaves behind many memoirs, both sweet and sour, the sport Indians adorned most may not be the same again. Though India went three notches up, from 11th position finish in 2006 to eighth position here, but home team’s overall performance was far from satisfactory.

It could win only one of six matches it played in the fortnight-long mega event besides drawing one. Remaining four it lost. Two of these losses were against the teams that were destined to play the medal rounds, but other two losses, against Spain and then Argentina, by flattering margins were a set back. In fact, India had no reason to lose its game against England as well.

Hockey is a game that has been changing fast. Even the Union Sports Minister Manohar Singh Gill admitted that changes in the game, including rules, equipment and playing surface, have made it attractive besides adding pace to it, yet both India and Pakistan have failed to keep pace with it.

Not only synthetic surfaces, even the team management needs to be bolstered up. India may be the single largest export house of software engineers but as far as hockey is concerned, Indian expertise in technological advancements in sports in general and hockey in particular is nowhere near the Europeans or the Australians.

Physical fitness, basic skills and new equipment have seen the western world wrest mastery from Indian masters. Unfortunately, even the base of Indian hockey has been shrinking rapidly. Number of schools, colleges and universities evincing interest in the sport has been waning fast. No serious effort was made to use the World Cup here as a source for inspiring youngsters to take to this sport.

Though a couple of stalls of sports goods, especially sportswear, were organised as a part of the World Cup but that was more from a commercial angle than imbibing in the younger generation a love for the game. Security may have been a big concern because of developments across the border and threats looming large of probable strikes in this part of the subcontinent.

Even the participating teams were not keen to come out and participate in promotional events where some of the top teams and players could have visited schools and colleges and encouraged youngsters to play the game with them. Security was the biggest hurdle that instead of diminishing drew greater gaps between the players and the spectators on one hand and the players, officials and media on the other.

There was hardly any communication between the players and the media. Now when the nation has created a huge facility by using hundreds of crores from public exchequer, the Union Ministry of Sports and the Sports Authority of India should utilise the new infrastructure to better use by allowing schools, hockey clubs and institutions with hockey teams to use these facilities.

Even if some usage charges are to be introduced, they should be kept on the minimal side so that facilities so created are used to the brim. But unfortunately indications are that these facilities may not be open to public at least till the end of the year or till the Commonwealth Games are completed.

A lot of wet paint is still around. A number of things or discrepancies and shortcomings witnessed during the World Cup need to be rectified and fixed up. It means that Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium will for the time being remain inaccessible, both for technical and security concerns.

The Tribune

2010 Youth Pan American Championship

The USA scored eleven goals as they defeated Bermuda in their first game of competition at the Youth Pan American Champsionship in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Allison Evans scored three goals to pace the USA. Laura Gebhart, Colleen Boyce and Katie Gerzabek each scored two goals; Aileen Johnson and Lauren Bernardi each added a goal.

The USA will face Chile Sunday in their second game of round-robin play.

USFHA media release

Wild cards for Champions Trophy hockey likely

Hockey Correspondent

New Delhi: The proposal of wild cards for Champions Trophy and the plan to conduct a new event are with the Competitions Committee which will soon give its approval for them. This was stated by Leandro Negre, President, International Hockey Federation (FIH) at a media briefing on Saturday.

The FIH President confirmed two wild cards will become a reality shortly, and the Champions Trophy, one of the flagship events of the FIH will be held once in two years from 2011.

While thanking the media for the “fantastic” coverage of the New Delhi World Cup, despite initial hiccups in various areas, Negre had to face several questions from the media over the state of affairs in Indian hockey.

No extension

Negre asserted that there cannot be anymore extension of the FIH deadline after May 31, and India has to face the “consequences,” if elections are not held.

He specifically mentioned “ego problems” standing in the way for such an exercise.

Negre added that Holland and England are in the race to host the next World Cup. Both are prepared to conduct the men's and women's events together.

Final call

The EB would take a final call on the issue after deliberating the issues involved in marketing two championships together. The FIH boss offered the federation's unstinted help for any venture by the national units, and was keen that the PHL be revived.

He did not elaborate much on his meetings with the IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi and thanked him for changing the times for the matches to accommodate the hockey final on Saturday.

The Hindu

Two wild cards in Champions Trophy likely

NEW DELHI: The Champions Trophy hockey tournament may see the introduction of two wild cards from 2012 with India and Pakistan being the personal choices of International Hockey Federation president Leandro Negre.

The Champions Trophy, which may become a biennial event if the FIH decides to introduce a new world series in its 2011-2015 competition cycle, will see the number of teams going up to eight.

"My personal choices will be India and Pakistan," said Negre.

The Champions Trophy and other proposals from the competitions committee will be discussed at the FIH executive board meeting here on Sunday. The FIH would also look into reducing the number of executive board members from the present 26.

"We are going in for a sleeker look. This will also ensure level-playing field for every continent represented on the board." As regards Asian representation, he said as much as FIH liked to have more from the continent on its board, it was primarily the responsibility of the subcontinent to throw up good leaders.

"We miss leaders from Asia. We need to identify leaders from here. It would help if elections are held in India so that competent officials can join the FIH."

Obviously, Negre’s views came in reply to sports minister MS Gill’s statement on Friday where he had insisted that the FIH ought have more Indians in the management and technical sectors of the world body.

Negre also insisted that FIH would disaffiliate India if elections were not held by May 31.

The Times of India

Ric Charlesworth gives words of advice to India

NEW DELHI: After becoming the only player to have won the World Cup both as a player and coach, Australian hockey legend Ric Charlesworth, on Saturday, gave some words of advice to the Indian team to regain their lost glory.

The former India technical director Charlesworth feels the hosts have improved in their style of play under coach Jose Brasa but need to formulate three things in order to become a potent force in world hockey again.

"According to me India need to do three things. First set long term goals, then play as many international matches as possible and thirdly, privatise the game because India has plenty of resources," he told reporters.

"They have very good players in the team but need to work on defence. The Indian game fits well with ours but they need organisation in the structure," Charlesworth said.

The win on the Indian soil would come as a very satisfying feeling for Charlesworth, who had an unceremonious ouster from Indian hockey.

Asked whether he is open for coaching India again, Charlesworth said, "I am the coach of Australian side and I have a contract till the 2012 London Olympics. I moved my family and came to India hoping to make difference but unfortunately it didn't work out. So I was very disappointed."

Australia, on Saturday, defeated double defending champions Germany 2-1 at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here to register their second world title after a span of 24 years.

Incidentally, Charlesworth was the skipper of the Kookaburras side that won the World Cup in 1986 in London and, on Saturday, he once again emerged on the victorious side albeit this time as a coach.

"It's better to win the World Cup as a player than as a coach because the coach only gives tactical inputs and it is the players who implement them on the ground," a visibly delighted Charlesworth said.

"But I am very pleased. We played good game. We controlled the game throughout the match. We played the best hockey in the tournament," he said.

The Australian, however, was of the view that his side needs more improvement in some aspects of the game.

"We created chances but we need to work on finishing. The team is being built for the last 15 months but not solid yet. We are in the point of building a very good team," Charlesworth said.

Interestingly, Charlesworth preferred to be out of the dug out in the final today, leaving the team's charge to assistant coach Graham Reid but the Australian said it has nothing to do with superstition.

"I am too noisy in the bench. Today we needed a calm and quite atmosphere in the bench so I decided to sit in the stands. Moreover, you can read the game better sitting in the stands. It has no relation with superstition," he said.

The Times of India

Pakistan hockey team returns home

LAHORE: A demoralized Pakistan hockey team, which finished at the bottom in the World Cup returned home to a lukewarm reception, on Saturday, with sacked coach Shahid Ali Khan setting off a new round of politicking with some strong comments.

Shahid, a former Olympian, accused some former Olympians and captains who have called for the removal of the Pakistan Hockey Federation president and secretary of trying to enforce their own agenda.

"Their agenda is to once again rule Pakistan hockey. People like Islahuddin, Khalid Mehmood, Khawaja Zakauddin, Shahbaz Ahmed are all tried and tested people and they are just trying to exploit the team's poor performance in the World Cup for their own agenda," he said.

The team which finished at the bottom of the table in the World Cup returned home to a lukewarm reception at the Lahore airport with the handful of people around hardly bothering to even greet them.

"I know the agenda of these former players, the fact is that if the team performed poorly in the World Cup, myself and the players take full responsibility for it. But it is also a fact that the PHF president and secretary have done everything possible to facilitate the team," Shahid said.

He said that players like Shahbaz had done nothing for Pakistan hockey after retirement and were involved in politics.

"Shahbaz will be happy if the federation appoints Tahir Zaman as coach that is all," Shahid said.

The Times of India

Time for Qasim & Co to exit, but will it help?

By Shazad Ali

It was nothing but horrendous and shocking when Pakistan ended as woondenspoonists at the 12-nation hockey World Cup, although a pathetic show was expected given the sorry state of the sport in the country.

Finishing the sport's showpiece event at 12th spot, the worst showing by Pakistan in the history of the World Cup, was indeed something which not even the experts anticipated. Before the Cup if anybody believed that the team would finish among the top four or five teams, they were clearly living in la la land. Pakistan were bound to be doomed owing to maladministration.

After a horrific and unexpected start with a 4-1 loss against arch-rivals India, Pakistan seemed to be on right track with a slim 2-1 victory over world number three Spain. It was merely a flash in the pan as the green shirts slumped to an abyss of humiliation when they lost 5-2 to England before the ignominious 4-3 defeat against 13th-ranked South Africa. Pakistan finished the pool matches with yet another loss, this time when Australia squeezed past them 2-1. To rub salt on the wounds and wrap up the grand event in the most pathetic style, Pakistan were beaten 3-2 by hockey babes Canada on a golden goal in the 11th and 12th position classification match.

On the inaugural day, in what was billed as a potentially explosive encounter against India, Pakistan were outclassed, leaving hockey aficionados back home in a state of shock. While the forwards were virtually non-existent in the game, half-line and defence was in disarray, making it a completely disjointed lot which emphasised on European rather than attacking Asian style. Strangely, Pakistan's European-style strategy was against an outfit that was playing real neat, attacking hockey.

For many, 2-1 win against Spain might be a “big achievement”, but it was, in fact, earned not because Pakistan were superior, but rather due to a lacklustre performance by the Spaniards. As for England, they proved tough rivals as expected and Pakistan failed to take the challenge. Interestingly, Pakistan were the second most experienced team after the Netherlands with an average of 120.8 international caps but lost to South Africa, who were the least experienced side with an average of only 32 caps.

Another embarrassing fact which was hardly reported by the media was a dressing down of Pakistan’s manager Asif Bajwa by World Cup tournament director Ken Read for allowing half-back Muhammad Irfan to wear unapproved equipment against India following which he was suspended for a match against Spain. While Asif later apologized for the offence it must be noted that he was also warned by the tournament director earlier at the BDO Champions Challenge in 2009 when the same protective gear was used by one of his players.

But the question is: was Pakistan really expected to regain lost glory? The answer is an emphatic no. The team was not expected to perform any miracle under the present setup of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) officials. There are myriads of reasons for being so pessimistic or rather one should say realistic.

It was easy to predict Pakistan's humiliation at the World Cup if one takes a cursory glance over how the hockey affairs are being run and by whom. The current setup, after Asif Bajwa took over the reins from Khalid Mahmood as PHF secretary and Qasim Zia became the federation's chief, replacing Zafarullah Jamali in 2008, is virtually like a circus. Although this hockey circus has been a feature for the past 10 years or so, the present set of officials have opted to follow their predecessors.

Both Qasim and Asif, who were looking for quick fix solutions, blundered when they invited over-the-hill and undisciplined veterans – penalty corner exponent Sohail Abbas and left-half Waseem Ahmad – for last year’s Asia Cup. Waseem's inclusion came even as he had a hamstring injury and hardly attended the training camp. The gamble backfired as both players underperformed, Sohail Abbas  scoring just one out of 14 penalty corners.

Welcoming Sohail and Waseem back into the fold was not only a monstrous gaffe they were a spent force but also because of their history of ditching the national side and preferring to play in foreign leagues. Both were slapped a life ban by Jamali after they refused to join 2006 Doha Asian Games training camp and rather chose to play in league in Europe. Jamali had later back-pedalled and invited the two players, while present PHF officials also opted to promote player power by recalling them for Asia Cup. What did Sohail do at the World Cup: just two goals off dozens of penalty corners. He may have crossed 300-goal record, but a true legend scores highest at World Cups, when the pressure is on, like Dutchman Paul Litjens did when he netted 15 goals in 1978. Sohail considers his failure as “Allah's will.” If one takes his word then where comes the skill? Sohail is now emphasising on having a foreign coach. If he had that premise in his mind, why did he play under a local coach at the World Cup?

The current PHF hierarchy has been eating humble pie since it has taken over charge, committing follies that have always led to humiliation. For instance, PHF hired controversial former Pakistan goalkeeper Mansoor Ahmad as PHF academy coordinator. The goalie, an ex-Pakistan Customs officer, was suspended as junior team coach about nine years ago and later sacked by the then PHF when he was arrested for stealing silver in huge quantity from a Customs warehouse, a charge on which he was later convicted by court. In an obvious retaliatory move, PHF later slapped a life ban on Mansoor and former coach Naveed Alam when both levelled human trafficking charges against secretary Asif Bajwa who spent more time clearing his name in front of National Assembly's standing committee on sport, then on hockey.

PHF also brought in Muhammad Shafiq and Farhat Khan as selectors despite their violent behaviour and history of misconduct. While Shafiq was involved in beating Customs team player Naeem at a local event, Farhat had been involved in several incidents of misconduct which includes rash behaviour against team officials and vanishing from a national camp. Rana Mujahid, being a close associate of Asif, was given several hats to wear. The former player, who was suspended for a match at a local tournament in 2001 for using profanity against umpire and field jury, is a selector, director, and secretary of Punjab Hockey Association.

Appointing former players Kamran Ashraf, Danish Kaleem and Ahmad Alam in senior and junior teams as coaches was yet another faux pas for they do not have required credentials. Then came the sacking of Kamran as senior team coach and axing of forward Rehan Butt from the squad after both attended launching ceremony of an academy by Olympian Tahir Zaman against whom Asif has a grudge. Bringing former Pakistan goalkeeper Shahid Ali Khan as coach was the beginning of the disaster which ended in a fiasco at the World Cup.

The level of Asif and Shahid's casualness could be well gauged from the scandal at Champions Challenge in Salta, Argentina, where team players were involved in drinking and partying. Like PHF, the media also created hype after Pakistan's insignificant achievements at second-rate events such as the second place finish at Champions Challenge and Asia Cup. Qualification for the World Cup was treated as if the team had won the coveted title. When such has been the state of hockey in Pakistan, falling of the team by the wayside was a foregone conclusion.

While Qasim has sacked the team management and selection committee, he has the audacity to stick to his post along with his secretary. The PHF chief, who is a leader of Pakistan People's Party in Punjab and serves hockey on part-time basis, says nobody except the PHF Congress could remove him and Asif. In this case, he should ask for a vote of confidence from the house to prove he is still indispensable and invincible after such a horrific showing.

The fact is if heads should roll, then it should start from the top instead of making team management and selection committee a scapegoat. It does not imply that team officials and selectors were angels. They should indeed be shown the door, but Qasim should have the guts to leave before agitation against him gains momentum. If the team management failed or selection was unfair, then it was Qasim who appointed those officials. If Asif has been involved in wrongdoings, it was Qasim who always defended him at every forum. After New Delhi debacle, he now talks of "rebuilding" the team for Asian Games in Guangzhou. One wonders from where Qasim would borrow a magic wand to rebuild a shattered outfit in just eight months. Now where is the Ministry of Sports which had sacked Khalid Mahmood and illegally "appointed" Asif the secretary barely two months before 2008 Olympics? Why it is tight-lipped and a silent spectator after the most pathetic showing?

As for team's announcement of “retirement” it is good manoeuvre to save their skins. The retirement by the young players is to decrease the intensity of a ticking off on their arrival, while the seniors already know that World Cup was their last outing.

Apart from disappointment among the hockey buffs and sharp reaction in the media which is quite natural, a vicious campaign and tongue-lashing has started by some Olympians against team management. Ironically, Hassan Sardar, who was sacked along with the entire selection committee never announced to step down until Qasim took the drastic step. Media reports suggested that Hassan had already decided to quit before being shown the door. But it is certainly a face-saving effort as the writing on the wall was pretty clear. If he was disturbed over the performance, he should have called it quits soon after defeat against South Africa. He was lashing out at the senior players till March 7 and indicated the radical changes were on the cards but never hinted about his decision to quit. If senior and ageing players let the national down, they were selected by Hassan and his colleagues, making him accountable too.

Another Olympian, who was not nominated for FIH Rules Board and is part of PHF being the member of Executive Board drew the dagger for team officials' blood. Ironically, such incendiary rhetoric by these Olympians is, in fact, to make room for themselves as they never asked the PHF president to call it a day. They do not want to bite the hand which might feed them.

Ideally speaking, it is time for Qasim & Co to make an unceremonious exit as a small penalty. But the question remains would it help Pakistan lift its sagging hockey fortunes? Jamali was also ousted after a venomous campaign by the Olympians. But did it yield any positive result? Some opportunists may answer in affirmative but the pragmatic elements would not agree. Qasim may have brought millions of rupees in PHF's kitty, but what Pakistan hockey needs more are committed administrators like Air Marshall Nur Khan and late Brig Manzoor Hussain Atif. Since Nur Khan is not ready to become a part of this mess and Atif is no more with us, one can hardly see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel.


Ex-Olympians join hands in anti-PHF campaign

By Shazia Hasan

KARACHI: Following Pakistan’s shameful hockey performance in the World Cup in New Delhi, many legendary players have come to join hands once again to start a fresh campaign, this time to oust the current top brass of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).

The cause is being supported by several former international players as well as Olympians including Qamar Zia, Islahuddin Siddiqui, Rashid-ul-Hassan, Qamar Ibrahim and Shahnaz Sheikh.

A similar campaign known as the ‘Go Jamali Go’ movement had also been carried out after the national team’s finishing eighth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics following which the then PHF President Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali faxed his resignation to the game’s patron Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Speaking to Dawn on Friday, former Olympian Rashid-ul-Hassan said that he was not surprised by the World Cup results.

“Pakistan would have come 16th had there been 16 teams playing in the event. It was evident from the body language of the players that they just couldn’t compete at this level,” he said.

“The day we lost to Canada to finish last in the mega event will go down as a black day in the history of hockey here,” said the former Olympian who organised a grand silver jubilee celebration of Pakistan’s last Olympic gold in hockey last year in his hometown Gojra.

“I also fail to see why Qasim Zia dissolved the team management and selection committee when just sacking his secretary would have remedied the situation,” he said.

“Bajwa is the cause of all evil in Pakistan hockey today. He is the secretary, team manager, chief coach, selector and just about everything in Pakistan hockey today. Get rid of him and things will improve on their own,” he added spitting further venom.

When reminded that it was Shahid Ali Khan, who happened to be the chief coach, Rashid said: “No, Shahid is just a dummy coach. Bajwa is the main man behind all the decisions here.

“He is involved in all kinds of politics here, even at the club level where he has successfully managed to snub the good talent emerging at the grassroots level. How can you even think of getting anywhere in hockey when you even prevent fresh talent from coming up, which is what happened when Bajwa rigged the regional association elections,” he pointed out.

“If Qasim Zia does not sack Asif Bajwa now, all of us including international players and Olympians will have our reservations before even thinking about offering our services to help lift the sport here,” he concluded.

The campaign will begin with a press conference at Qamar Zia’s house here around noon on Sunday.


Ego problems responsible for delay in HI polls: FIH

NEW DELHI: The International Hockey Federation, on Saturday, said that ego clash and political differences within the state bodies were behind the delay in the Hockey India elections and the poll process has to be completed by May 31 to avoid suspension from the world association.

FIH president Leandro Negre said India was the only nation in world hockey which does not have an elected body comprising men's and women's wing under one roof.

"Earlier, we were not consistent with our deadlines because there were different issues, including High Court stay order, but now we are in a much better position. In the last two weeks during the World Cup we approached the states to solve the problems and come out with a compromise formula. Some of them have been fixed and some promised us it will be done," Negre told reporters.

"There are only ego problems and political differences that can be avoided. The FIH has really put a lot of energy and time on these issues but now we have to be strong. We have to pass on a clear message to all these tricky people that it is the final deadline. If a couple of states remain we will ask HI to set up the federation with the rest and solve the other issues later.

"We have 128 affiliated nations under FIH and India is the only country in the world which does not have a merged elected body of men and women," he added.

The FIH chief said although he was happy with the way the FIH World Cup was organised, it could have been a smooth affair if an elected national federation was in place in India.

"If a strong federation was there, it would have been easier for us to run the World Cup. We conducted the World Cup in joint venture with the Indian Olympic Association. But I am happy because the final result is good," Negre said.

"But the FIH is very glad with the fantastic organisation of the World Cup. Our expectation behind giving the World Cup to India has been achieved."

The FIH president also said that he was happy with India's performance in the World Cup even though the home team won only one match in the tournament and finished on a lowly eighth position, three places better that last edition of the event in Monchengladbach, Germany.

"I was following India from the last World Cup. It's true they have won only one match similar to last World Cup but they have made big improvement in their performance. You can't change things in one night. Jose Brasa started coaching the team just seven-eight months back and in such short time, one can't expect miracles," Negre said.

"But the team needs to be consistent. What I feel is that they are making little mistakes and lack in concentration. In this World Cup, there is very little gap between all the teams."

Negre was of the view that Indian hockey needs private domestic tournaments to revive the interest in the game among countrymen.

"Indian hockey needs top private competitions like IPL. But it should be conducted under the umbrella of Hockey India, not under any company because profits from these events must be invested back into the game," Negre said.

Asked about the minimal representation from Asia in world hockey, he said, "Asia's representation is very important but Asia needs good leaders. We miss strong leaders from Asia. If a strong Hockey India is set up, I hope it will give us good leaders from India."

Negre also hinted that the world body was exploring the possibilities of making numerous changes in the scheduling of international tournaments, including the World Cup.

"We have a proposal from the Competitions Committee of awarding two wild card entrants in the Champions Trophy. We are also thinking of organising Champions Trophy in every two years from 2012.

"Personally, I am in favour of jointly holding the men's and women's World Cup. If we can do that it will be fantastic and better for the game. But from the marketing aspects of the events it is better to run them separate," he said.

The Times of India

Negre’s last warning to HI


International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Leandro Negre gave the final warning to Hockey India to hold the elections before May 1 this year to put its house in order lest face de-recognition from the International body.

He said there seemed to be some ego problems in holding a proper Hockey India elections, and the FIH was also aware of the court cases and many impediments in the way of holding the elections.

Negre asserted that the FIH was not concerned about these things and it wanted a proper unified hockey body in India by May end. The FIH chief also indicated that there was a proposal to have two wild cards for the Champions Trophy, which will be finalised in the FIH Executive Committee meeting to be held in Delhi over the next two days.

He said after 2012, the Champions Trophy will be made a biannual tournament as the world body had plans to squeeze in another tournament in the hockey calendar, probably a world series.

Negre said Holland and England have bid for the 2014 World Cup, and both preferred to hold the men's and women's World Cup together. He said the 12th edition of the World Cup in Delhi was a great success and the FIH was keen that Asia (read India) were represented in the FIH, but that can happen only if a duly elected Hockey India was put in place.

He said the FIH was keen to hold more international tournaments in this part of the world for giving the game a big boost, as Asia was a big market for the FIH financially and hockey-wise.

The Tribune

Mbaraki hockey queens

By Feverpitch Team

Mbaraki Girls High are the new Mombasa District Inter-secondary schools hockey champions.

Mbaraki beat Coast Girls and St Charles Lwanga to win the title and qualify for next week’s Coast Provincial Games.

In the first match, Mbaraki beat St Charles Lwanga 1-0 and edged out Coast Girls 2-0 in the games, which concluded yesterday at Shanzu Teachers College and Shimo La Tewa High.

St Charles Lwanga, who were runners-up after conceding fewer goals, join Mbaraki for the Provincial Games. The best two teams in each event qualify for the provincials.

The provincials run from next Wednesday to Saturday at Kilifi Township and Sokoke Secondary Schools.

In boys’ hockey, Shimo La Tewa won all their four matches to grab maximum 12 points. The matches were played on round robin basis.

Second position

Shimo La Tewa beat Sacred Heart 9-0, Sheikh Khalifa 7-0, St Charles Lwanga 1-0 and Khamis High 2-0.

St Charles Lwanga settled for the second position and joins Shimo La Tewa for the provincial games.

In rugby, Khamis High won the title after maintaining their unbeaten run. Shimo La Tewa were second.

In girls’ basketball, Changamwe and Mombasa Baptist qualified for the provincials and were due to meet later yesterday to decide who top the ranking.

Meanwhile, Kenya Methodist University (Kemu) thrashed the United States International University-Africa (Usiu-A) 6-0 in the women’s inter-university games at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) grounds yesterday.

Betty Julie opened the score sheet in the second minute after she headed in a lose pass from the left wing.

Another brace

Anna Apondi scored a brace in the 24th and 42nd minute from the same angle.

Emily Gacheru added Usiu-A misery with another brace in the 49th and 57th minutes through a spot and a corner kick.

In the 4.2 km Road Race, Emily Cherotich of JKUAT emerge champion after she clocked 14.52 minutes to beat other 13 contestants.

Kenyatta University’s Florence Kimaiyo, who clocked 16.20, was second and Ann Mungai of Kemu was third with 16.59.

Kenyatta University (KU) won netball title after beating Jkuat 50-11. Anna Akoth scored all the goals for Jkuat, while KU top scorer was Bilha Saya with eight points.

In hockey, KU edged out Strathmore 1-0. Jackline Nyaura scored the solitary goal in the 42nd minute.

But KU were not lucky in handball as they were edged out 15-11 by Kemu.

KU and Kemu won 3-0 each in volleyball.

Africa Nazarene University basketball side beat Kemu 13-10. Strathmore beat Mount Kenya University 37-10 in another interesting encounter.

— Reports by Ernest Ndunda, Erick Ochieng’ and Titus Onserio

The Standard Online

Two veterans in doubt for Asian Champions Trophy tournament


KUALA LUMPUR: Two seasoned midfielders are unlikely to feature in the national hockey team in the Asian Champions Trophy tournament next month.

Kelvinder Singh has a knee injury and he has been advised to go for surgery, which will put him out of action for at least three months. And Mohamed Shahrun Nabil is down with illness and it is unsure when he can make a full recovery.

“Shahrun is being treated by the doctors and they will keep us posted on his progress,” said coach Stephen van Huizen yesterday.

“Kelvinder continued to play even though he picked up the knee injury at the Champions Challenge II last year. It affected his game in the World Cup qualifiers last year as well.

“The doctors have advised him to go for surgery now so that he can recover in time for our more important assignments later in the year.

“We have left it to him to make the final decision.”

There are now 25 players in he national training squad and the coaches will be making another round of selection during the Razak Cup tournament in Kuantan from March 24-April 4.

All the national players have been released to play for their state sides and Stephen reminded them and all the other players keen to make the training squad to use the opportunity to prove themselves to the coaches.

The Star of Malaysia

Hero, on and off the field

Aarefa Johari

Merzban Patel admits he has never been a very good hockey player.

But for 35 years, he has taught hundreds of boys from low-income families how to play the game.

Many of them have gone on to play in the national hockey team at Olympic matches.

Patel not only trains children for free, but also funds their equipment and nutrition. This week, as the Hockey World Cup was nearing its end, the 59-year-old received the CNN-IBN Real Heroes Award for his contribution to the sport.

“Children from poor backgrounds are more passionate about the sport than privileged ones, because it is their bread and butter,” said Patel, who got exposed to hockey at 18 at the Byculla railway quarters, where his family lived.

He decided to get into coaching to give less fortunate boys a chance to get better jobs through the sport.

Patel’s inspiration is the late Balram Krishna Mohite, a former national-level referee and founder of the Bombay Republicans’ Club where Patel has been coaching since 1975. “Mohite would pawn his wife’s jewellery to pay for the children’s training and I take loans,” said Patel, whose job as hockey coach for two south Mumbai schools earns him Rs 6,000 a month.

To ‘Bawa’, as Patel is fondly called at the Mumbai Hockey Association, motivating the player is a coach’s primary job. “I follow up on my boys and talk to their parents a lot because in today’s urban education system, there is no place for sports,” Patel said. He often helps students with their homework.   

His biggest grouse is the lack of funds for the game. “Corporate houses put in money only where they get returns. But real players are only born when there is investment at the grassroots, focused on a child’s nutrition, physiology and psychology.”

Though he does not grudge the attention given to cricket, Patel sees just one cure to the problem. “Hockey now needs an IPL of its 

Hindustan Times