News for 31 May 2012

All the news for Thursday 31 May 2012


India on way out and NZ falls


HRH SUltan Azlan Shah, President of the Asian Hockey Federation enjoys the hockey with African Hockey Federation President, Seif Ahmed (l)

India is virtually out of the final of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup when they were defeated 3-2 by Argentina in Ipoh, Malaysia this evening.

It was their third defeat in the tournament and they have only one match remaining – against arch-rivals Pakistan on Thursday night. They have six points from five matches.

Indian assistant coach Mohamad Riaz attributed their defeat to missing many sitters throught the match.

“We penetrated in their semi circle more than they did against us but they made use of their chances well. Our defence was also slow in clearing the ball. Sardar and Sarvanjit made errors and that cost us the goals,” said Riaz.

“Playing Pakistan has never been easy and we need to win that match to finish as high as we can. Making the final looks like an outside chance but defeating Pakistan is always important for Indian hockey.

“We aim to make up for our poor performances with a solid performance against Pakistan. Its one match the players are always motivated to play.”



It was a boring first half as both teams played listlessly in the blazing afternoon heat that somewhat affected their performance.

Still Argentina looked the better team as India was playing lacklusture hockey although Tuesday was a rest day for all teams.

Argentina took the lead in the 37th minute through Matias Enrique Peredes. And barely had India time to catch the breath that Santiago Montelli scored in the very next minute.

India were shell-shocked and redoubled their efforts. They were duly rewarded in the 49th minute when Sardar Singh scored with a delightful reverse.

That gave India the confidence to make more forays into the Argentina semi circle but they could not put away the chances.

Argentina punished the sloppy Indian defence in the 58th minute through a goal by Gonzalo Peillat who converted a penalty corner.

Though india reduced the deficit via a penalty corner converted by VR Ragunath in the 62nd minute, it was a little too late for them to salvage anything from this match.



Meanwhile Great Britain burst the winning bubble of New Zealand, inflicting a 2-1 defeat on the table toppers.

The win gave them 7 points from four outings and they look odds on favourites to make the final on Sunday.

For New Zealand the defeat was nothing to be ashamed off as they were without two key players in the likes of Simon Child and Ryan Archibald.

“We had two key midfielders out today due to some knocks they picked up after our last match on Monday. The two day break was not enough to overcome the injuries and hence our midfield somewhat suffered a breakdown” said New Zealand coach Shane Mcleod.

“It was a much better second half performance though as we were back with our normal flowing hockey. But chasing a two goal deficit is never easy against an experienced side like Britain.

“On the hindsight though we picked up some pointers that will help us in our quest for Olympic glory this July. We could have snatched a draw but Andy (Hayward) has been somewhat inconsistent but that’s not a major worry for me.

“We still have two more matches to go and while defeat is always painful, we are looking forward to the match against Malaysia tomorrow (Thursday) with confidence.”

Great Britain opened scoring in the 18th minute through Ashley Jackson. And they doubled their advantage in the 27th minute when Matt Daly scored.

New Zealand had two penalty corners in the first half but failed as Hayward was off form.

Hayward finally found the target in the 62nd minute and will now look towards their matches against Malaysia and Korea.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



India suffers shock defeat to Argentina

S. Thyagarajan



Argentina's Paredes Matias Enrique, centre, keeps the ball off India's Manpreet Singh, right, and Lakra Birendra during Sultan Azlan Shah Cup men's field hockey tournament in Ipoh, Northern Malaysia, on Wednesday.

India went tumbling down the valley of defeat in a matter of seconds shortly after resumption when the scoreboard was blank. But Argentina eventually emerged a 3-2 winner in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Wednesday.

The outcome came as a shock. But the Indians looked lost and forlorn for no palpable reason. The overall show was laborious, lacking in fluency, flair or fervour. Appalling errors occurred, facilitating an easier victory than expected for Argentina.

It is no consolation that India finished with only a one-goal deficit. In fact, it was India that had appeared dangerous — at least in the first quarter — but the side progressively withered away. Opting for circumspection, the Argentines were never really in a commanding position.

Dharam Vir created a series of moves helped by Sardar Singh from the mid-field. The attack rarely prospered enough to alarm the Argentine defenders. The only penalty corner that India eked out at this stage was neatly saved by goal-keeper Vivaldi off Sandeep Singh.

Uthappa and Kothajit functioned far more effectively while Sarvanjit was totally inept. Sunil and Tushar did nothing to inspire confidence either.

Horrendous confusion

Patience and persistence paid off for Argentina within seconds after resumption. A horrendous confusion in the mid-field gave Manuel Brunet the space to move in. It ended in a flick by Mathias Parades that caught off-balance goalie Sreejesh, who was unsighted by Sandeep Singh as the ball bounced past him.

Before the cheers died down, Argentina was up with the second. A fumble by Sarvanjit Singh paved the way for Montelli Santiago gleefully exploiting the opportunity given on a platter as it were.

Bewildered by the turn of events, the Indians had no option but to accelerate.

That was not easy as the gap between the mid-field and the attack became enlarged rendering accurate passing a difficult proposition.

It was Sardar Singh's opportunism that brought India's the goal midway.

A penalty corner by Raghunath was blocked by Vivaldi. Off the rebound, Sardar, who was the pusher, produced a deceptive reverse shot to put India on the board.

Argentina forged ahead through a goal by Pelliet Gonzalo, enlarging the margin to 3-1.

A perfect penalty corner drive by Raghunath brought some hope with more than nine minutes remaining.

India had another penalty corner during this part, but Raghunath's drive flew over the post. With that, India's last chance to share points was lost.

Interestingly, India had lost 4-2 to Argentina when the teams met last in the New Delhi World Cup, 2010.

Chances missed

Mohamed Riaz, who addressed the post match conference, conceded that India had forked up enough chances but failed to make capital of out of them.

With nine points from five matches, Argentina has strengthened its chances of a podium finish.

For India the outcome against Pakistan on Thursday holds the key; and it goes without saying that a contest with Pakistan is a lottery.

Great Britain warmed to the status as favourite by edging out New Zealand with a near flawless display.

The 2-0, with goals from Ashley Jackson and Matt Daly, established in the first half remained on the board till the Kiwis struck through Andy Hayward eight minutes from end.

Britain thus stopped New Zealand's run of wins — three from three played — and took its tally to seven points from four matches.

Malaysia staged a superb rally to overpower Pakistan after trailing 0-2 midway in the first session and 1-2 half time.

The mach winner surfaced in the last minute from Muhammad Razie.

Earlier, Faisal Saari netted a peach of a goal, working in tandem with Tajuddin, early in the second half to level 2-2.

The results: Argentina 3 (Mathias Paredes, Santiago Montelli, Pelliat Gonzalo) bt India 2 (Sardar Singh, Raghunath).

Great Britain 2 (Ashley Jackson, Matt Daly) bt New Zealand 1 (Andy Hayward).

Malaysia 3 (Ahmad Fuzi, Faisal Saari, Muhammad Razie) bt Pakistan 2 (Umar Butta, Shafqat Rasool).

Thursday's matches: Great Britain v Korea (1-35 p.m. IST); India v Pakistan (3-35 p.m.); New Zealand v Malaysia (6-35 p.m.).

The Hindu



Day after disaster, India-Pak will fight for just prestige and consolation

s2h team


Yesterday was a disaster for both India and Pakistan. India seemed to have decided not to win while Pakistan had to bow to a better team.

Both the Wednesday losers will now scramble for some prestige and consolation today in Ipoh.

Its not first time, nor going to be the last, these two teams, once invinciables, will fight it out for minor placings

Both the teams nearly play a same style, despite whatever the coaches claim, attack tirelessly, and then in the end of the day often rue the missed chances.

They don't have wherewithal to counter other teams' counter attacks, and then of course these nations by and large has problem in collecting best talent itself.

While Pakistan has WSH impact and couple of good players are therefore left out, Indian coach too has handful of problems in getting the best talent to his side and then extracting the best from whoever is with him in Ipoh.

Whether it is conceding a penalty corner to Great Britain or losing ball in the own 25-yardline due to over-confidence and over-holding, Coach Michael Nobbs gives an impression that the players don't simply follow the boardroom instructions.

However, as deputy coach Md. Riaz who addressed the official press meet after yesterday's slow-motion game, felt that today is different and that the rival is Pakistan, the match can be a good one.

No longer any fun is involved when India and Pakistan play for routine match where stakes are merely to avoid minor placings at the expense of the other.

They fight at Busselton, bury it in Burnbury -- two centres which hosted tense contests last year end -- and then make news for ban and suspension.

Meanwhile, the nations who remain focus, whose human and monetary resources are meagre, produce better results and walk away with honours on the international forums.

Stick2Hockey.com



India lose to Argentina, crash out of Azlan Shah title race

IPOH ( Malaysia): Five-time champions India's title hopes came a cropper after they suffered a 2-3 defeat against Argentina in a crucial match of the Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament on Wednesday.

India suffered from their inability to capitalise on openings and also feeble defense to allow Argentina to call the shots.

Two field goals by Matias Paredes (37th minute) and Santiago Montelli (38th) soon after the half-time gave Argentina the advantage and then Gonzalo Peillat (58th) converted a penalty corner to ensure a victory for the Pan American champions.

The Indians fought hard and reduced the margin twice through goals from Sardar Singh (48th minute) and V R Raghunath (61st minute), but an equaliser eluded them inspite of repeated attacks into the rival citadel.

India have now lost three of their five matches, logging just six points ahead of Thursday's last league outing against Pakistan.

Argentina have boosted their tally to nine points with three successive wins after starting with two losses.

The first session was mostly confined to the midfield with both teams often losing possession on top of the rival circle. India created two openings from the left flank, but were unable to capitalise on them.

India's first penalty corner in the sixth minute was also wasted as Sandeep Singh's rising flick was deflected out by a defender.

Sandeep even suffered a minor ankle sprain in taking the penalty corner and was rested for a long period, but will be back for Thursday's game against Pakistan.

After a barren first half, Argentina scored two goals in the space of one minute soon after the change of ends.

Paredes benefitted from Sandeep's defensive lapse off a long diagonal pass to flick the ball into the goal.

Within a minute, Argentina were up 2-0, courtesy another silly error from the Indians, to be precise captain Sardar Singh who easily gave away the ball and Montelli had all the time in the world to shot the ball into the net.

India then went all out and were rewarded with their second penalty corner from which Sardar scored with a reverse hit after Raghunath's initial flick was saved by Argentina goalkeeper Juan Vivaldi.

Argentina were then put 3-1 ahead by Gonzalo Peillat's low penalty corner shot that went to the left of Indian custodian Sreejesh.

India continued to press hard and were back in the contest when Raghunath scored with a rising drag-flick into the net nine minutes from the hooter.

Raghunath had a chance to restore parity for India in the 66th minute from another penalty corner, but this time his shot went wide of the Argentine goal.

India's assistant coach Mohammad Riaz, said the Indian strikers missed a lot of chances despite penetrating often into the rival circle.

"Argentina got just a few chances and converted them," said Riaz.

"We had the run of play, but you cannot win if you waste too many chances and then commit errors on the few times the opponents break into your circle," he said.

"Our bad defence also was responsible for conceding the goals," said Riaz, adding that the first two Argentina goals were the result of defensive lapses.

"There were errors and wrong -passing inside the circle on which they capitalised for the first two goals," he said.

"After that we were always trying to get back into the match."

Riaz said Sandeep's injury is not serious, and he was allowed to stay on the bench to help him recover in time for tomorrow's match against Pakistan.

"Sandeep will be fit for tomorrow's league match," he said. Raghunath was on the pitch for taking the penalty corners in Sandeep's absence.

The Times of India



Indian hopes dashed after loss

Former champions and world heavyweights India are virtually out of contention for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after they were defeated 3-2 by Argentina on yesterday.

It was their third defeat in the tournament, an important warm-up ahead of the London Olympics. The competition also features New Zealand, Britain, South Korea, Pakistan and hosts Malaysia, who are the only team not going to London.

Britain kept their hopes of making Sunday’s final alive as they inflicted a 2-1 defeat on table-toppers New Zealand.

India now have six points from five matches, and their stand-in manager Mohamad Riaz said they were wasteful in front of goal.

They face rivals Pakistan today in Ipoh, and while pride is at stake, their hopes of lifting the trophy look over.

“Playing Pakistan has never been easy... Making the final looks like an outside chance, but defeating Pakistan is always important for Indian hockey,” Riaz said.

In the first half, both teams played listlessly in the blazing afternoon heat until Argentina took the lead in the 37th minute through Matias Paredes, and then Santiago Montelli.

A shell-shocked India redoubled their efforts and were rewarded when Sardar Singh scored with a delightful reverse hit on 49 minutes.

But then Argentina punished the sloppy Indian defence again when Gonzalo Peillat converted a penalty corner. India reduced the deficit via a penalty corner but it was too late.

Gulf Times



Razie stars in comeback win

FIGHTING PERFORMANCE: Malaysia overturn two-goal deficit for first triumph

By AJITPAL SINGH



Razie Rahim was Malaysia’s hero yesterday.

RAZIE Rahim's final minute penalty corner earned Malaysia a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Pakistan for their first victory in the Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh yesterday.

Razie sent a powerful low flick past Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah with 55 seconds left to play.

Pakistan had initially disputed the call by umpire Richmond Attipoe to award Malaysia a penalty corner for a foul on Faizal Saari but he stood by his decision.

It was a memorable display from Malaysia as they rallied from 2-0 down to edge their rivals, who defeated them in the final of the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games to clinch an Olympic spot.

Umar Bhutta, who captained Pakistan's Junior Asia Cup side, scored the opening goal in the fourth minute before

Shafqat Rasool's reverse stick attempt sounded the board for the second time eight minutes later.

But Amir Farid Fuzi took advantage of some poor defending to reduce the deficit in the final minute of the first half before Faizal levelled proceedings in the 48th minute.

With the victory, Malaysia have earned five points with remaining matches against New Zealand and Argentina and wins against them could earn Malaysia a spot in the final, provided the other front runners lose their games.

Argentina, meanwhile, ended India's hopes of reaching the final by recording a comprehensive 3-2 win.

Two field goals by Matias Paredes (37th minute) and Santiago Montelli (38th) gave Argentina the advantage before Gonzalo Peillat (58th) converted a penalty corner to ensure a victory for the Pan American champions.

India fought hard and reduced the margin twice through Sardar Singh (48th minute) and V R Raghunath (61st minute), but an equaliser eluded them.

In an earlier match, Britain ended New Zealand's unbeaten run by edging them 2-1.

Ashley Jackson (18th) and Matt Daly (27th) scored for Britain while the Kiwis' replied through Andy Hayward (62nd).

The Kiwis and Argentina have nine points each but the former lead the standings on goal difference.

New Straits Times



Razie’s late goal gives Malaysia win over Pakistan

By AFTAR SINGH



That hurts: Malaysia’s Abdullah Shahrun Nabil falls during their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup match against Pakistan yesterday. — RONNIE CHIN / The Star

IPOH: Malaysia staged a stunning fightback from two goals down to beat last year’s runners-up Pakistan 3-2 in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup at the Azlan Shah Stadium yesterday.

Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim was the hero, scoring the winning goal off a penalty corner in the 69th minute. It was Malaysia’s first win in four matches after draws against South Korea (1-1) and Britain (3-3) and a 3-2 loss to India. It was Pakistan’s third defeat in four matches.

Pakistan stormed to an early 2-0 lead with goals from Muhammad Umar Bhutta in the fourth and Shafqat Rasool in the 12th minute.

But Malaysia battled back through Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi (35th), Faizal Saari (47th) and Razie a minute from time.

The national team made silly errors in defence in the first 12 minutes just like they did against India on Monday and were duly punished. Zubair Muhammad’s through pass from outside the semi-circle found the unmarked Muhammad Umar who easily beat goalkeeper S. Kumar.

Eight minutes later, the unmarked Shafqat Rasool collected a long pass from Fareed Ahmed from the right to score a brilliant reverse stick goal.

Malaysia earned a penalty corner in the 16th minute but Mohd Amin Rahim’s flick was blocked by defender Muhammad Irfan.

Two minutes later, Mohd Shahrun Nabil had a chance to score but his reverse stick strike was saved by Pakistan goalkeeper Imran Shah. Pakistan earned a second penalty corner in the 20th minute but Kumar made a double save, first stopping Sohail Abbas’ flick, which bounced off his pads, and then Fareed’s powerful hit from close range.

After several close attempts, Malaysia finally scored in the 35th minute.

Pakistan defender Rashid Mehmood’s poor clearance found Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, who flicked the ball into the open goal from close range. Malaysia were on level terms in the 47th minute when Faizal made a solo run from the 25-metre mark before firing home. It was his fourth goal in four matches.

But a minute later Faizal was shown the yellow card by Ghana umpire Richmod Attipoe for an infringement in the D.

Pakistan had a chance to regain the lead in the 61st minute off a penalty corner but Sohail’s flick went wide.

Malaysia counter-attacked in the very next minute but Tengku Ahmad’s deflection was saved by defender Muhammed Irfan on the line. Malaysia earned another penalty corner in the 64th minute but Faizal’s flick was pushed out by keeper Imran Shah.

Malaysia kept up the pressure and earned another penalty corner in the 69th minute. This time, Razie’s flick sailed past goalkeeper Imran Shah to give Malaysia a well-deserved win.

National coach Tai Beng Hai praised his boys for coming back from two goals down to beat Pakistan.

“It’s our first win over Pakistan in five years. We last beat them in the same tournament in 2007, which we also won 3-2,” he said.

“We were fortunate that we made use of our chances to score today. It’s a good morale boosting win.”

Malaysia take on New Zealand today and Argentina on Saturday.

The Star of Malaysia



Malaysia beat Pakistan 3-2 in Azlan Shah Hockey




Malaysia pulled off a memorable 3-2 come from behind victory over Pakistan to keep their semifinal hopes alive in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup competition at the Azlan Shah Stadium here Wednesday night. Malaysia who had last beaten Pakistan in 2007, trailed the former world hockey powerhouse 0-2, but staged a spirited second half fight back to ensure all three points, with the winning goal coming in the final minute. Pakistan, fielding an experienced side, took the lead in the 4th minute through Muhammad Umar Bhutta while Imran Butt made it 2-0 in the 12th minute to take a comfortable first half lead. Malaysia however, came back from the break with renewed confidence and scored in the very first minute of the second half through Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi while Faizal Saari equalised in the 48th minute to make it 2-2. Just as the match was heading to a draw, Malaysia earned a penalty corner and Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim's well played drive beat the Pakistan goalkeeper in the 69th minute to send the fans into a frenzy.

The Nation

 



Great Britain back to winning form; Malaysia stun Pakistan

IPOH (Malaysia): Great Britain got back to winning ways as they defeated New Zealand 2-1 in an Azlan Shah Cup match on Wednesday while Malaysia rallied from a two-goal deficit to pull off an upset 3-2 victory over Asian Games champions Pakistan.

Malaysia's match-winner came in the 69th minute through a penalty corner conversion by Muhammad Razie. Amir Farid and Faisal Saari had earlier lifted Malaysia back from the two-goal deficit.

Recovering from their loss to Argentina in the last outing, Great Britain dominated the encounter with New Zealand.

World No 4 Great Britain, the top team in the competition, scored field goals through Ashley Jackson (18th minute) and Matt Daly (27th), but New Zealand pulled a goal back on a penalty corner conversion by Andy Hayward (62nd).

This is New Zealand's first loss in four matches, and they continue to lead the standings with nine points.

Argentina, who defeated India 3-2 today, also have nine points, but from five games. Great Britain are on seven points from four outings, followed by India (six points from five matches) and Malaysia (five points from four games).

Pakistan, who play India on Thursday, opened the scoring against Malaysia in the fourth minute through Umar Bhutta. Shafqat Rasool then sent a soaring reverse hit high in the goal in the 13th minute, but Amir Farid began the Malaysian rally with an opportunistic strike in the last minute before half-time.

Faisal Saari's 47th minute goal brought Malaysia level on 2-2. Malaysia continued pressing Pakistan's defence and forced a series of penalty corners before Razie found the target with a sound drive in the 69th minute.

South Korea have four points from as many games, followed by Pakistan Pakistan on three points from four matches.

The Times of India



Malaysia stun Pakistan 3-2

IPOH: Malaysia came back from a two-goal deficit to defeat Asian Champions Pakistan 3-2 on Wednesday and send them to the bottom of the standings in the seven-team event, which also features New Zealand, Britain, South Korea, India and Argentina. Former champions India are also virtually out of contention for the trophy after they were beaten 3-2 by Argentina. It was their third defeat in the tournament, an important warm-up ahead of the London Olympics. Britain kept their hopes of making Sunday’s final alive as they inflicted a 2-1 defeat on table-toppers New Zealand. India now have six points from five matches, and their stand-in manager Mohamad Riaz said they were wasteful in front of goal. They face rivals Pakistan on Thursday in Ipoh, and while pride is at stake, their hopes of lifting the trophy look over.

“Playing Pakistan has never been easy... Making the final looks like an outside chance, but defeating Pakistan is always important for Indian hockey,” Riaz said. In the first half, both teams played listlessly in the blazing afternoon heat until Argentina took the lead in the 37th minute through Matias Paredes, and then Santiago Montelli. A shell-shocked India redoubled their efforts and were rewarded when Sardar Singh scored with a delightful reverse hit on 49 minutes. But then Argentina punished the sloppy Indian defence again when Gonzalo Peillat converted a penalty corner. India reduced the deficit via a penalty corner but it was too late. New Zealand were missing two of their key players, midfielders Simon Child and Ryan Archibald, as they went down to a determined Britain.

“In hindsight, we picked up some pointers that will help us in our quest for Olympic glory this July,” New Zealand coach Shane McLeod said, putting a brave face on defeat. Britain opened the scoring through Ashley Jackson and doubled their advantage through Matt Daly. New Zealand had two penalty corners in the first half but failed twice as Andy Hayward was off form. Hayward finally found the target in the 62nd minute. In the final match of the day, hosts Malaysia earned their first win of the tournament when they came back from a two-goal deficit to beat Pakistan 3-2. The Pakistanis had taken the lead through Muhammad Umar Bhutta and Shafqat Rasool and looked headed for a convincing win. But Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi pulled a goal back in the 35th minute and Faisal Saari equalised soon after. Defender Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim netted the winner one minute from time for a rare win over the Pakistanis.

The Daily Times



Pakistan fail to reach Azlan Shah final after third loss


Pakistan were leading 2-0 until the last minute of the first half, before letting the hosts back and losing the match in the last minute of the game. – Photo by AP

KARACHI: Pakistan were knocked out of contention for the final of Azlan Shah Cup after a 3-2 loss against hosts Malaysia on Wednesday.

Playing their fourth match of the tournament, Pakistan were let down by their defence once again and let the hosts back into the match despite leading by 2-0 until the last minute of the first half.

Umar Bhutta gave Pakistan the lead in the fourth minute of the match and until then, the hosts had been unable to convert from the several chances they had created.

Shafqat Rasool scored a brilliant second goal for the Asian Champions in the 12th minute to consolidate Pakistan’s lead, which could have further improved had they not failed to score from the two penalty corners they won in the first half.

Malaysia made their way back into the match in the last minute of the first half with a goal from Amir Farid. With second half underway, Pakistan had to counter several Malaysian attacks and were found wanting in defence as Faisal Saari brought his team level in the 13th minute of the second half (48th minute).

It was then back and forth on the blue turf of the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, as both teams battled to stay in contention for the final. Pakistan were denied a double chance and missed another penalty corner.

With 90 seconds left to the full-time whistle, Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner, which they duly converted through Mohammed Razie and bagged all three points from the match.

The hosts now have five points from their four matches, while Pakistan have three, from their solitary win in the opening match against Argentina.

Meanwhile, India, too, are virtually out of contention for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after they were defeated 3-2 by Argentina.

It was their third defeat in the tournament, an important warm-up ahead of the London Olympics.

Britain kept their hopes of making Sunday’s final alive as they inflicted a 2-1 defeat on table-toppers New Zealand.

India now have six points from five matches, and their stand-in manager Mohamad Riaz said they were wasteful in front of goal.

They face rivals Pakistan on Thursday in Ipoh, and while pride is at stake, their hopes of lifting the trophy look over.

“Playing Pakistan has never been easy… Making the final looks like an outside chance, but defeating Pakistan is always important for Indian hockey,” Riaz said.

In the first half, both teams played listlessly in the blazing afternoon heat until Argentina took the lead in the 37th minute through Matias Paredes, and then Santiago Montelli.

A shell-shocked India redoubled their efforts and were rewarded when Sardar Singh scored with a delightful reverse hit on 49 minutes.

But then Argentina punished the sloppy Indian defence again when Gonzalo Peillat converted a penalty corner. India reduced the deficit via a penalty corner but it was too late.

New Zealand were missing two of their key players, midfielders Simon Child and Ryan Archibald, as they went down to a determined Britain.

“In hindsight, we picked up some pointers that will help us in our quest for Olympic glory this July,” New Zealand coach Shane McLeod said, putting a brave face on defeat.

Britain opened the scoring through Ashley Jackson and doubled their advantage through Matt Daly.

New Zealand had two penalty corners in the first half but failed twice as Andy Hayward was off form. Hayward finally found the target in the 62nd minute.

In the final match of the day, hosts Malaysia earned their first win of the tournament when they came back from a two-goal deficit to beat Pakistan 3-2.

Pakistan play India tomorrow, before playing their last match against Great Britain on Saturday.

The top two teams from amongst the seven will qualify for Sunday’s final.

Dawn



Malaysia shatter Pakistan dream

IPOH - Pakistan lost their match third successive match in the seven nation Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup Tournament, losing out to hosts Malaysia 2-3 on Wednesday.

The third defeat in a row means that the green shirts are no more in the race for a podium finish in Malaysia. Pakistan now lie at the bottom of the table having gained only three points from their four matches. They had lost their matches against New Zealand and South Korea earlier on. Pakistan suffered from their inability to capitalise on openings and also feeble defence to allow Malaysia to call the shots. Despite taking a 2-0 lead in the first half of the match, Pakistan lost the match when Malaysia converted a penalty corner in the last minute of the game.

Pakistan will face off against India in their next match due to be played on Thursday. Five-time champions India’s title hopes also came a cropper after they suffered a 2-3 defeat against Argentina in a crucial match earlier on the day.

Two field goals by Matias Paredes (37th minute) and Santiago Montelli (38th) soon after the half-time gave Argentina the advantage and then Gonzalo Peillat (58th) converted a penalty corner to ensure a victory for the Pan American champions.

The Indians fought hard and reduced the margin twice through goals from Sardar Singh (48th minute) and V R Raghunath (61st minute), but an equaliser eluded them inspite of repeated attacks into the rival citadel. India have now lost three of their five matches, logging just six points ahead of Thursday’s last league outing against Pakistan.

New Zealand tasted first defeat of the tournament at the hands of the top seeds Great Britain. After winning the first three games of the tournament, New Zealand found the going much harder against the number four ranked side in the world. Ashley Jackson opened the scoring for Great Britain after 18 minutes and they scored again before the break.

Ben Collier missed a straightforward opportunity for New Zealand from a penalty corner in the 48th minute as the Kiwis pressed the attack early in the second half. They clawed back a goal through Andy Hayward, from a penalty corner in the 62nd minute, but that was all they managed.

The win will be a huge relief to Great Britain who have had a mixed tournament; they were held to a 3-3 draw by hosts Malaysia before rebounding to beat India on Sunday and losing to Argentina 3-2 on Monday. The Black Sticks stay top of the table after their three wins and they face bottom-placed Malaysia tomorrow and second seeds Korea on Saturday before the final which is set down for Sunday.

The Nation



Pakistan and India set for another thrilling showdown

IPOH: An intriguing clash is on the cards as Pakistan and arch-rivals India prepare to do battle in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup today.

There is no love lost between these top two Asian hockey nations and today’s showdown is another chapter in their acrimonious rivalry where upstaging the other is all that matters.

Fans can expect non-stop entertainment as both teams are loaded with skilful players.

Both teams are equally matched in terms of strength, skill and experience.

World No. 8 Pakistan will be led by veteran penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas, the world’s leading scorer with 329 international goals.

World No. 10 India also have a deadly hitman in Sandeep Singh, who was the top scorer in the Olympic qualifier in New Delhi in February with 16 goals in six matches.

The 26-year-old Sandeep, a deputy superintendent of police in Haryana, scored five penalty corner goals in India’s 8-1 trouncing of France in the final of the Olympic qualifier.

India and Pakistan have clashed 151 times in the last five decades. Pakistan have won 75 of those matches and lost 48.

India, who have won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup five times, last played against Pakistan in the inaugural Asian Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, last September. India beat Pakistan 3-2 on penalty strokes after extra-time failed to break the 2-2 deadlock in the final.

Indian assistant coach Mohamed Riaz said the team who can control their emotions better and play the game according to the situation will triumph.

“It will definitely be a thrilling match as we want to win to finish in a good position,” he said.

Riaz added that they were not concerned about Sohail as “we too have good penalty corner flickers in Sandeep and V.R. Raghunath”.

“I hope our defenders will play well to thwart the Pakistani forwards. We missed a number of chances against Argentina and can’t afford to miss such sitters against Pakistan,” said Riaz.

The Star of Malaysia



Great Britain stay in contention with victory over Black Sticks

Great Britain have their kept their hopes of winning the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup alive with a much improved performance against the tournament’s top side, New Zealand.

First half goals from East Grinstead's Ashley Jackson and Surbiton's Matt Daly gave Great Britain a well deserved 2-1 victory over the Black Sticks, who had been unbeaten in their first three games.  Kiwi penalty corner specialist Andrew Hayward did pull a goal back in the second half, but it wasn't enough as Great Britain’s defence stood strong and they managed to hold onto their goal advantage to take all three points.

Speaking after the game Great Britain’s Head Coach, Jason Lee was delighted with his side’s performance, “It was a much improved performance following the Argentina game where I had been very disappointed.  I thought the players showed a lot of spirit and we played some good tactics to win the game.”

Great Britain started brightly on another humid evening in Malaysia, Wimbledon’s Ben Hawes with an early chance which just sneaked over the crossbar following some good one-two play with Reading’s Nick Catlin.  Moments later Surbiton’s Rob Moore drove a ball across the goal, but there was no-one near to finish and it was an easy save in the end for the Black Sticks goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex.

New Zealand did not seem to be able to find their rhythm in the opening minutes and Great Britain enjoyed most of the possession early on.  Despite half chances for Reading’s Jonty Clarke and Daly it took Great Britain 17 minutes to break through.  Hawes and Clarke were again involved in the action with some great build up play. Clarke found East Grinstead’s Ashley Jackson who slotted home an easy finish past Pontifex for his fourth goal of the tournament and Great Britain’s first of the game.

With eight minutes to go Surbiton’s Richard Alexander won the ball from a Kiwi attack and a flowing move from Great Britain ended in Daly’s first goal since coming back from a long term knee injury which had seen him sidelined since the end of 2011.  Daly picked the ball up just outside the circle and drove past one defender before drawing the keeper and deftly pulling the ball back to slot it home into the right hand corner to make it 2-0.

New Zealand created chances in the final 10 minutes and were awarded the only penalty corner of the half, but Great Britain defended well and went in with a two goal advantage.

With rainclouds gathering in Malaysia a storm was looming as the players came out for the second half.  The final 35 minutes was a far more even affair with chances for both sides as the game opened up.

Old Loughtonians’ Harry Martin found himself in the circle three times early on in the half but some good defending made his attempts relatively unthreatening. New Zealand however did start to build up their play and although they never looked particularly dangerous in open play they earned themselves four penalty corners during the half.

With 22 minutes to go Black Sticks penalty corner specialist, Andrew Hayward, lined up to drive a clinical flick past Cannock’s James Fair in goal to pull a goal back and make for an interesting final quarter.

Great Britain deserved credit as they continued to look calm and composed even as New Zealand pressed forward, waiting patiently to build up their attacks.  Matt Daly and Reading’s Iain Mackay both had chances that they failed to connect with.  With five minutes to go Great Britain had two penalty corners which saw Loughborough Students’ Richard Smith’s shot saved by Pontifex and then Jackson, looking for a second, failed to connect with the ball.

The final few minutes saw exciting end to end play and several good attacks from Great Britain, Clarke and Jackson again in the thick of it.  Despite several balls going straight across the goal there were no Great Britain players in range to finish and the score remained 2-1.

Lee was very happy with his team’s overall performance, “I thought Matt Day played very well considering this is only his third game back from a long term injury.  He scored a very good individual goal and it is encouraging to see him getting into the right positions.”

The result means that Great Britain have moved into third place in the tournament standings.  The next match is against Korea at 09:05 BST tomorrow.

British sports fans have another opportunity to cheer on the GB next week as Great Britain’s women’s team hosts the Investec London Cup in Chiswick from 5-10 June.  Tickets are still available by visiting www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk/investeclondoncup.

GREAT BRITAIN 2  (2)

Ashley Jackson (FG) 17
Matt Daly (FG) 27

NEW ZEALAND 1 (0)

Andrew Hayward (PC) 62

GREAT BRITAIN MEN’S SQUAD v ARGENTINA (caps and goals on the attached)

Name (Club) Position Started


James Fair (Cannock) Goalkeeper
Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) Defender
Ali Wilson (Beeston) Defender
Iain Lewers (East Grinstead) Defender
Ben Hawes (Wimbledon) Defender/Midfielder
Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) Midfielder
Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) Midfielder
Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians) Midfielder
Barry Middleton (East Grinstead) Midfielder/Forward
Nick Catlin (Reading) Midfielder/Forward
Rob Moore (Surbiton) Midfielder/Forward

Substitutes

Richard Alexander (Surbiton) Defender/Midfielder
Adam Dixon (Beeston) Defender/Midfielder
Iain Mackay (Reading) Midfielder
Matt Daly (Surbiton) Forward
Jonty Clarke (Reading) Forward

Did Not Play

Dan Fox (Hampstead & Westminster) Defender
James Tindall (Surbiton) Forward

Great Britain Hockey media release



Team GB men's hockey defeat New Zealand in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup


Scorer: Ashley Jackson netted the first goal on Wednesday against New Zealand Photo: AFP

Great Britain kept their hopes of winning the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup alive with a much improved performance against the tournament’s top side, New Zealand.

First half goals from Ashley Jackson and Matt Daly secured the 2-1 victory over the Black Sticks, who had been unbeaten in their first three games. Kiwi penalty-corner specialist Andrew Hayward pulled a goal back in the second half, but it wasn't enough as Great Britain’s defence stood strong.

Head coach Jason Lee earlier this week warned that his side would not stand a chance of winning an Olympics medal if they continued their poor form as they succumbed to a 3-2 loss to Argentina.

But on Wednesday he was delighted with his side’s performance and said: “It was a much improved performance following the Argentina game where I had been very disappointed. I thought the players showed a lot of spirit and we played some good tactics to win the game.”

The final few minutes saw exciting end-to-end play and several good attacks from Great Britain, Jonty Clarke and Jackson in the thick of it. Despite several balls going straight across the goal there were no Great Britain players in range to finish and the score remained 2-1.

Lee added: “I thought Matt Day played very well considering this is only his third game back from a long term injury. He scored a very good individual goal and it is encouraging to see him getting into the right positions.”

The result means that Great Britain have moved into third place in the tournament standings. The next match is against Korea at 9.05am on Thursday.

The Telegraph



First loss for Black Sticks Men in Malaysia

The Black Sticks Men’s unbeaten run at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup has come to an end with a 2-1 loss to Great Britain in Ipoh, Malaysia last night.

The Black Sticks were always slightly off the pace set by the impressive Great Britain side who are ranked fourth in the world – three places ahead of New Zealand.

Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod said Great Britain dominated the first half and his side did well not to concede more early goals.

“In the second spell we had a better share of possession and controlled more of the tempo of the game but were always a bit off with our execution.”

Great Britain knocked in goals in the 18th and 27th minutes to Ashley Jackson and Matt Daly respectively. The Black Sticks couldn’t respond until just before full time when Andy Hayward converted a penalty corner.

The Black Sticks remain on the top of the points table despite the loss. They face hosts Malaysia in their second to last pool play match early tomorrow morning (NZ time).

Hawke’s Bay is the Principal Partner of the Black Sticks Men and Women.

RESULT
Great Britain 2 (Ashley Jackson, Matt Daly) New Zealand 1 (Andy Hayward). HT: 2-0

Visit www.azlanshahcup.com for full tournament results.

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Black Sticks men suffer first loss to Britain


The men's Black Sticks have lost to top seeds Great Britain at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Malaysia.

After winning the first three games of the tournament, New Zealand found the going much harder against the number four ranked side in the world.

Ashley Jackson opened the scoring for Great Britain after 18 minutes and they scored again before the break.

Ben Collier missed a straightforward opportunity for New Zealand from a penalty corner in the 48th minute as the Kiwis pressed the attack early in the second half.

They clawed back a goal through Andy Hayward, from a penalty corner in the 62nd minute, but that was all they managed.

Black Sticks coach Shane McLeod said his side did well not to concede more early goals.

"In the second spell we had a better share of possession and controlled more of the tempo of the game but were always a bit off with our execution."

The win will be a huge relief to Great Britain who have had a mixed tournament; they were held to a 3-3 draw by hosts Malaysia before rebounding to beat India on Sunday and losing to Argentina 3-2 on Monday.

The Black Sticks stay top of the table after their three wins and they face bottom-placed Malaysia tomorrow and second seeds Korea on Saturday before the final which is set down for Sunday.

Result:

Great Britain 2 (Ashley Jackson, Matt Daley) New Zealand 1 (Andy Hayward). HT: 2-0.

Stuff

 



Britain end New Zealand’s winning streak to stay in contention

IPOH: Britain scored two first-half goals to end New Zealand’s winning streak with a hard-fought 2-1 win in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

Strikes by Ashley Jackon in the 18th minute and Matt Daly in the 27th put Britain in control before the Kiwis hit back with a late penalty corner goal by Andy Hayward in the 64th.

The win put Britain on track for a place in the final. They have seven points from two wins, a draw and one defeat. Their remaining matches are against South Korea and Pakistan.

It was New Zealand’s first defeat in four matches.

They still top the standings with nine points and will face Malaysia today and South Korea on Saturday.

In another match, Argentina came alive in the second-half to edge India 3-2 for their third win.

The Argentines now have nine points after five matches and will wrap up their fixtures against Malaysia tomorrow.

India, who have lost three matches and have six points, had only one attempt at goal in the first 35 minutes of the match against Argentina.

After a subdued first-half, Argentina turned on the heat after the break when Enrique Paredes turned in a cross from the right by Manuel Brunet into goal in the 37th minute.

A minute later, they doubled their lead. Santiago Montelli collected a through pass from Herman Cammareri before slotting the ball past goalkeeper P.R. Sreejesh.

India then narrowed the deficit through skipper Sardar Singh’s reverse stick hit in the 49th minute.

Argentina, however, restored their two-goal advantage through Gonzalo Peillat off their first penalty corner in the 58th minute.

Although India pulled another goal back, off a penalty corner by V.R. Raghunath in the 61st minute, it proved too little too late.

The Star of Malaysia



Having fun in the terraces



My visitors list at my corner in the open terrace continues as the Great Britain team officials paid me a visit before their match against New Zealand.

And after the Argentina v India match, it was the coach of the world number one team Ric Charlesworth who dropped by to say hello, stating that he had read my plight on the internet.

That is how powerful the internet can be but trust the Malaysian Hockey Confederation and those in the Organising Committee to realise this.

What was more sad was the fact that FIH had, finally after years of trying, put up a story on their website asking fans to visit www.azlanshahcup.com.



Except for some SMS exchanges, no effort has been made by any party to ask me to continue with my work. The reason given is that they have appointed a Media Officer from a government agency and his boss is elated at being given the chance to go on stage to receive a souvenir from HRH Sultan Azlan Shah on Friday.

I painstakingly produced what many are acclaiming as the best souvenir program for the SAS Cup and someone else of going on stage to claim credit.

How low can they go.

In the words of the British official - what they did to you was downright disgusting...

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



SA beat Scotland 4-2 in angry third Test

JONATHAN COOK in Glasgow



Investec South Africa goalscorer Kathleen Taylor on attack in the third Test against Scotland in Glasgow Wednesday. Photo: DONALD MACLEOD

The world’s 12th-ranked Investec South Africa women’s hockey team beat world number 18 Scotland 4-2 after the scores were 1-1 at half-time in a hot-tempered third Test in Glasgow Thursday.

The win gave South Africa an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the five-Test series. The first Test was a 2-2 draw with the second international 2-1 to South Africa.

The SA goals went to Kathleen Taylor, Jen Wilson, Tarryn Bright and Sulette Damons while Scotland scored through Sam Judge and Nikki Kidd.

In the third minute umpire Tim Hart allowed play to continue and Taylor finished with a reverse-stick strike into the far corner. Investec SA were moving the ball at pace in a very physical, high-tempo match that they dominated, but Scotland equalised midway through the first half after winning a highly controversial penalty corner that the South Africans contested vigorously; all to no avail as Sam Judge’s well-struck shot evaded a diving Sanani Mangisa ingoal, the ball deflecting cruelly off a defender’s stick.

Soon after the re-start Nikki Kidd put Scotland 2-1 up via a PC that went past replacement keeper Mariette Rix who appeared to be unsighted by the traffic in front of her before SA equalised with an excellent far-post deflection by Jen Wilson. Dirkie Chamberlain, the excellent Marsha Marescia and Wilson were unfortunate not to get more goals while Scotland also came close a few times,but Tarryn Bright and Sulette Damons made certain of South Africa’s 4-2 victory with excellent strikes.

Scotland rested influential captain Linda Clement and outstanding goalkeeper Amy Gibson, who was replaced by Nicki Cochrane on debut, and she had a brilliant match.

As in the first two Tests, SA were missing world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee and fellow double Olympian Kate Woods, who are scheduled to join the team Thursday for the fourth and fifth Tests, as well as striker Lauren Penny (shoulder injury), while Scotland were missing their four Great Britain Olympic squad members, as well as Clement andGibson.

QuipuTV are providing “live” free-to-air online streaming of the Test matches and it is globally available through the Scottish Hockey and QuipuTV websites,as well as facebook.com/quiputvand Twitter at #SASCOhockey which provides SA fans with ample choice to followthe fourth and fifth Tests of the five-Test series; at 8.30 pm (SA time) Fridayand 3.30 pm Saturday.

SA Hockey Association media release



Scotland coach praises SA hockey women’s speed

JONATHAN COOK in Glasgow


“She’s lightning,” was how Gordon Shepherd, coach of the Scotland women’s hockey team, described fleet-footed Investec South Africa striker Sulette Damons ahead of the third Test match, which flicks off at 8.30 pm (SA time) Wednesday Clydesdale Hockey Club in Glasgow.

“She left our players behind with only one boot on [when South Africa scored their second goal in the 2-1 second Test win on Monday],” said Shepherd.

Former SA junior sprinter Damons left Scotland defenders in her wake on the way to setting up team-mate Kathleen Taylor for the winner. SA lead the five-Test series 1-0 after Sunday’s first Test was drawn 2-2.

“As always, South Africa’s speed is very impressive, they have a lot of very fast players, move the ball well if you give them too much space and are confidentin moving the ball around the back. They have been together for a while now and know each other very well, as they have played an incredible number of matches.”

Shepherd said Scotland haven’t played any Test matches in the last eight months.“We won the European second-tier competition last August and are now in the top tier.”

The Scotland mentor said the players trained in their regional areas up until Christmas, and from February in their areas once a week, and as a national group once a week. “But no games, nothing for us, no Olympic Qualifier Tournament, we know we are better than 18th in the world. But when the new World Series starts in 2015, that is an Olympic Qualifier Tournament, and we are not allowed to compete, as our players fall under the Great Britain team.”

Accordingly, Shepherd said that Scotland are not even allowed to compete in the first or second round of the World Series, never mind the fact that the top teams they really want to play against only join the competition in the third or fourth round.

“But in 2014 Scotland is having a referendum and if there is a vote for Independence we will at last get a chance to go to the Olympic Qualifier Tournaments in our own right, as Scotland. We would love that chance. We don’t fear South Africa or Belgium, who won their Olympic Qualifiers, but we don’t get the opportunity to play in those tournaments.”

The Scotland team drew high praise from Investec South Africa head coach Giles Bonnet.

“Scotland can be a world top 12 team; against us they are missing fourphenomenal players in their Great Britain squad members,” said Bonnet. “Scotland would have competed very well against Belgium [who qualified], India and Ireland in the Olympic Qualifier Tournaments, so I have enormous respect for them. Gordon has a very well-prepared team but they don’t play enough Test matches. They are strong competitors, physically strong, good players.”

Scotland can’t play in the Olympic Games as an independent country, as they are tied to Great Britain, for whom their players can be selected, so they miss out on earning world ranking points that are pivotal to getting into the major tournaments, where the major world ranking points are, which in turn hampers their opportunity to climb the world-ranking ladder.

Wednesday, SA will be missing world record goalscorer Pietie Coetzee and fellow double Olympian Kate Woods for the third consecutive Test. The pair are scheduled to join the team Thursday. SA strikerLauren Penny (shoulder injury) is also out, while Scotland are missing their four Great Britain Olympic squad members for the entire series, as they are tied to the GB set-up.

QuipuTV are providing “live” free-to-air online streaming of the Test matches and it is globally available through the Scottish Hockey and QuipuTV websites,as well as facebook.com/quiputvand Twitter at #SASCOhockey which provides SA fans with ample choice to followthe third Test Wednesday (8.30 pm) and the fourth and fifth Tests of the five-Testseries; at 8.30 pm Friday and 3.30 pm Saturday.

SA Hockey Association media release



Two-from-two for Black Sticks women in China


Charlotte Harrison scored the second goal in NZ's win over China

The women's Black Sticks have beaten China for the second time in as many days with a 2-1 victory in Beijing.

They started the series with a last-gasp 2-1 victory yesterday.

Black Sticks coach Mark Hager said he was pleased with the first half effort but again the team's structure fell apart in the second spell.

"Thankfully our deep defence coped well in that second spell to keep us in the game."

Youngster Petrea Webster opened the scoring just before half time when she popped a loose ball in the circle over the keeper. The 1-0 half time lead was extended to 2-0 early in the second spell when Charlotte Harrison also pounced on a loose ball in the circle to smash it into the left hand corner.

China responded in the 49th minute but couldn't knock in the equaliser.

Striker Krystal Forgesson and midfielder Ella Gunson were standouts tonight while captain Kayla Sharland was rested after recovering from an injury.

The Black Sticks face China again on Friday night (NZ time) in the final test of the three test series.

New Zealand 2 (Petrea Webster, Charlotte Harrison)

China 1

HT: 1-0.

Stuff



National Indoor 2012



The Malaysian National Indoor Championships has commenced at two venues in Ipoh this morning - the Indera Mulia Stadium and the MHC-AHF Academy.

A total of 14 teams are participating in the Mens competition with 8 teams battling it out for the Womens tournament.

HRH Sultan Azlan Shah has graciously consented to donate two challenge trophies, named after Raja Dato Seri Ashman Shah, his youngest Prince who passed away on Marh 30.

It is indeed a fitting tribute as Raja Ashman was keen in the promotion and development of the sport having been a key figure in the formation and completion of the MHC-AHF Academy where the Womens tournament is being played.

The facilities at the Academy, which is currently running two courses back to back for hockey officials from Asia - the Training of Technical Officials and Technical Officials Course, is fantastic. For the record a total of 60 odd participatnts from 16 countries are in Ipoh to participate in the courses.

More on the results of the Indoor Tournament later this evening.

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Project 2017 finish bottom

The Project 2017 Squad finish at the bottom in the 4 Nation Invitational Under 16 Tournament in Manheim, Germany earlier this week.

Malaysia had finished in the runner-up position in two previous outings and it was one of its worst performances as they lost two out of the three matches.

And the defeats were attributed to lack of preparation as the team only had four days of training prior to leaving for Germany. However that excuse does not make sense as only last March did this team play some friendly matches in Perth, Australia.

And on the top of that, there have been several training stints for this team over the past year. The only change to the team was when interim coach Lim Chiow Chuan was told to decide between coaching the 2017 squad or the 1MAS Program where he is a full time employee, holding the Director's position.

Lim opted to carry on with 1MAS and it was an ultimatum given by the 1MAS Steering Committee who wanted Lim to decide as they did not want undivided attention to the 1MAS Program.

Malaysia were defeated 4-1 by Germany in their opening match. The Germans got their goals through Max Godou (11th minute), Marc Busc (27th minute), Johannes Grobe ( 37th minute) and Cedric Nagi ( 59th minute) for a 4-0 lead before Malaysia reduced the deficit through Norsyafiq Sumantri in the 65th minute.

In the second match, Malaysia were a shade unlucky to concede a goal two minutes from time to go down 3-2 to Holland.

The Dutch raced to a 2-0 lead via goals by Pepijin Keppel ( 46th minute) and Morris de Vilder ( 56th minute). However the youngsters fouth back to draw level with Mohd Hafif Nordin ( 58th minute) and Firdaus Omar ( 65th minute) netting the two goals.

But lack on concentration allowed the Dutch to sneak in the winner via Morris de Vilder in the 68th minute.

In their third and final match, Malaysia took a 4-0 lead against Belgium only to concede three goals in the final 15 minutes but ran out 4-3 winners.

Malaysia scored through Luqman Ahmad Shukran ( 5th and 45th minutes), Mohd rahimi Baharin ( 11th minute) and Mohd Hafif Elka ( 34th minute). Belgium got their goals via Thomas Verhaijen ( 56th minute), Louis Hottler ( 63rd and 70th minutes).

Malaysian Hockey blogspot



Rehan Butt appeals against hefty fine

LAHORE - Former Pakistan hockey captain Rehan Butt on Wednesday filed appealed against fine of Rs one million imposed on him by Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for participating in the illegal World Series Hockey in India.

“I have submitted an appeal against the decision of the PHF disciplinary committee and I hope PHF president Qasim Zia will look into the matter keeping in view our services for the cause of hockey,” he said.

He hoped that the PHF chief would pardon him and the other players as well.  Rehan said the punishment handed over to him was too harsh as a hockey player cannot earn that much amount Rs one million in a year by playing hockey,” he said and added: “My services are always available for Pakistan hockey and I am fully fit and ready to serve for the country.”

The Nation



EHF Visits Moscow



As part of the EHF Strategic Plan 2010 – 2016, Marijke Fleuren as the President of the EHF (together with Brigit van Kempen as interpreter) visited Moscow to meet with the stakeholders involved in Russian Hockey.

The President said “As President of the EHF I am mandated to assist, where possible, the work of our Member Associations to develop hockey in their regions, the possibility to play and enhance their competition structures and systems.

Together with the President of the Russian Hockey Federation, Sergey Chechenkov,  and all Russian EHF committee members I had the honour of meeting with the CEO of the Russian Olympic Committee Nikolay Tolstykh and later in a next meeting with the Deputy of the Minister of Sport, Pavel Kolobkov. Both conversations made clear  that there is a lot to do for hockey in Russia. We stressed the possibilities of hockey not only as a sport, but also as a culture and environment where families can meet each other and enjoy the game. We spoke about hockey as a fast, modern game that can be an example for other sports. The Russian National Competitions were discussed and the vital role that these competitions have to ensure the development of young dedicated Russian hockey players, boys and girls. Pavel Kolobkov was very happy with the approach of the EHF to send specialists to Russia to educate trainers and coaches in their own region and to teach them how they can they can teach other trainers and coaches in Russia.”

On day 2 of her visit, Mrs. Fleuren met with the Deputy of Mayor of Moscow Alexander Gorbenko. The main goal of the meeting was to emphasize to him that the development of hockey in Moscow relies heavily on the proposed construction of the Olympic Hockey centre “Moscow”.

This centre would put Russia in a better position to bid for EuroHockey Tournaments from 2016-2020. Besides that the centre will offer the Moscow region the possibility to play on their pitch.

The President has evaluated her visit as an extremely valuable fact finding mission of the work being done and the work to do in Russia to continue to develop not only the number of players but to ensure they have facilities and well trained coaches.

EHF Media release