News for 13 May 2013

All the news for Monday 13 May 2013

Belgium wins World League R2 in Saint-Germain; France edge Canada for 2nd place

2013 Hockey World League Round 2, Saint-Germain – Men – Final Day

Yan Huckendubler

(Photo: marineandrieux)

The Hockey World League Round 2, superbly organized by the French Federation and the local club in Saint-Germain, concluded with the undisputed victory of Belgium, unbeaten in 5 matches. The local crowd was treated to a superb fight for 2nd position between France and Canada, ending in the narrow win for the host (3-2). Scotland finished fourth, followed by Poland and Portugal.

Final Standings:
1) Belgium
2) France
3) Canada
4) Scotland
5) Poland
6) Portugal

Belgium vs. Poland: 10-1 (half-time: 5-0)

After 4 wins earlier in the week, Belgium were already sure of winning the competition and the qualification for the next round of the Hockey world League. They were however going for a full hand and pushed the Poles back on their heels from the opening whistle. Poland held their ground for a while, survived the first Tom Boon’s penalty-corner but had to concede a penalty-stroke after 15 minutes of play, Jerome Dekeyser leaving absolutely no chance to Arkadiusz Matuszak in the Polish goal.

Dekeyser doubled his tally shortly after and completed a hat-trick within 20 minutes. With the final result not any more in doubt, pace of play abated a few notches. Belgium scored 2 more goals to reach the break with a comfortable lead (5-0).

Second period was played without much passion by either team, or by the crowd, just trying to stay warm in the chilly afternoon. Poland had a good surge halfway through the period and Mateusz Hulboj scored with a sumptuous shot under the crossbar, but Belgium cruised to an easy 10-1 victory, with 4 goals for Jerome Dekeyser and 3 for top scorer of the competition Tom Boon.

Belgium were clearly the better team of the competition and did not falter to finish with 5 wins, only having some trouble in the close encounter against host France (3-2). Poland finished the week with only one win, against Portugal (9-1), and will be especially disappointed to finish behind Scotland, a team 4 spots lower than them in the World Rankings,  after losing to them in a shoot-out competition.

For more information and pictures of BEL vs. POL, click here.

Scotland vs. Portugal: 9-0 (half-time: 4-0)

Scotland wanted a win to comfort their forth place in the competition and immediately set to the task. The two teams had met last September in the Round 1 of the World League, with a clear win for Scotland (7-0), but Portugal have progressed enormously in the last months, and since the start of the competition in Saint-Germain, and the Scots had a hard time creating any initial danger for Paulo Nogueira in the Portuguese goal.

It is only after 12 minutes of play that Ian Moodie opened the scoring, diving on the far post to deflect a cross after a scrambled penalty-corner. Portugal nearly equalized on the next action, but Alan Forsyth gave a more comfortable 2-goal cushion to Scotland. They benefitted from an own goal by a Portuguese defender, scrambled a penalty-corner chance and survived a messy situation in front of their goal before Niall Stott finally found the back of the net again for a 4-0 lead going into the break.

Pace picked up a tad in second period, both teams receiving the support of the crowd starting to fill the stands for the much anticipated match between France and Canada. Pedro Santos was busy in the Portuguese goal. He kept the opponent at bay for 10 minutes until Gordon Mcintyre added a goal for Scotland. Portugal had 2 good chances on penalty-corners but were denied by excellent saves by Allan Dick, much to the disappointment of the numerous Portuguese fans in the stands.

William Marshall was more efficient at the other end, opting for a straight shot on goal on a penalty-corner to push the score to 6-0. Portugal was now fading quickly and play stayed confined in their 25m.  Scotland added 3 more goals for a final score of 9-0.

As they had boldly announced, Scotland did challenge higher ranked Canada and France during this tournament, and will take solace in finishing ahead of Poland thanks to a dramatic shoot-out competition earlier in the week. Portugal’s ambition was to learn from their much more experienced opponents and they have certainly achieved that objective, progressing from match to match during the week.  

For more information and pictures of SCO vs. POR, click here.

France vs. Canada: 3-2 (half-time: 1-2)

With Belgium logically winning the tournament and qualifying for the next round of the World League, the last match of the day was the perfect climax to the competition: with similar results during the week, France and Canada were fighting for the 2nd position in the standings and a qualification for the semi-finals of the World League (depending on the results of the last Round 2 tournament at the end of the month in Russia). The French slight advantage in goal-difference did not mean anything since the matches of the World League always end with a winner, either after regular time or after a series of shoot-outs.

Canada have a marginally better World Ranking (14th vs. 17th), but it was clear during the week that the two teams are very close to each other, in style of play, strengths and weaknesses, as reflected in their last result in official competition (1-1 at the Olympic Qualifier in Delhi).

A large flag waving crowd was on hand to cheer the French team, and the tone of the match was immediately given by a harsh tackle by a French defender on a Canadian forward, who took a long time to stand up. Both teams were visibly nervous and committed unforced errors in the opening minutes. Canada forced a penalty-corner in the 5th minute of play; the initial shot was saved by Martin Zylbermann, but David Jameson was on hand to pick-up the ball after a series of rebounds and slot it high in goal, silencing the home crowd.

Scott Tupper scored another penalty-corner soon after to establish a 2-goal lead, but the French players finally settled their nerves and also scored a penalty-corner by Viktor Lockwood. It was suddenly the turn of the Canadian defense to be under intense pressure, and they were saved on another penalty-corner by an excellent Dave Carter in goal.

Pace of play (and the crowd) became quieter with 10 minutes to go in the period, neither team wanting to take too much risk. Canada earned a penalty-corner in the last minute of the period but could not capitalize and the break was reached on a 2-1 score for Canada, and the feeling that the final result could go either way.

France immediately forced a penalty-corner on their first action of second period, but Dave Carter in the Canadian goal was once again on hand with a flying save. After the initial excitement, play settled in midfield, with both teams working very hard but without creating clear chances. France earned another penalty-corner on a high ball rebounding in the circle, but were yet again denied by Carter.

The Canadians were clearly under pressure, but nevertheless managed to maintain their defensive structure. They were lucky on a few occasions and were still holding their meagre advantage with 20 minutes to go. Play was however confined in their defensive end and, with one less player on the bench, they were starting to show some fatigue. It was only a question of time and Viktor Lockwood finally scored his second penalty-corner of the match, setting up a torrid end of match with both teams on par and back to square one.

Canada had a chance against the run of play soon after, but Scott Tupper’s flick flew just high of the crossbar. With time passing, the tension was palpable, on the pitch and in the stands. The deadlock was finally broken by Matthieu Durchon, collecting the rebound from a penalty-corner and slotting it over the sliding keeper.

With the clock ticking down, the Canadians desperately pushed forward to grab the equalizer, but they ran out of steam and Les Bleus and their fans were soon celebrating their win. They will now need to wait for the results of the last Round 2 tournament in Russia to know if they are invited to play in the next round of the World League.

For more information and pictures of FRA vs. CAN, click here.

Final Standings:
1) Belgium
2) France
3) Canada
4) Scotland
5) Poland
6) Portugal

Player of the Tournament: Tom BOON, Belgium
Goal-keeper of the Tournament: Martin ZYLBERMANN, France
Top Scorer: Tom BOON, Belgium, 15 Goals
Fair-play: Canada

FIH site

Scots sign off World League campaign with emphatic win

Ian Moodie

Scotland finished fourth in the FIH World League Round 2 competition after cruising to a 9-0 win over Portugal in Paris earlier today.

First half goals from Ian Moodie, Alan Forsyth and Niall Stott, plus a Portugal own goal gave the Scots a commanding 4-0 advantage at half time.

In the second half, Gordon McIntyre, William Marshall, Gavin Byers, Chris Grassick and Wei Adams all registered themselves on the scoresheet to give Scotland Head Coach Derek Forsyth and his charges a comfortable nine goal margin at full time.

Western Wildcats' Ian Moodie opened the scoring in the 12th minute after deflecting a penalty corner attempt at the far post past Pedro Santos in goal to make it 1-0.

Three minutes later, the Scots were 2-0 up when Alan Forsyth pounced in the 15th minute to double his side's advantage.

Alan Forsyth

In the 23rd minute, Scotland benefitted from a Portuguese own goal to give them a 3-0 lead before a Niall Stott strike in the 32nd minute gave the national side a comfortable 4-0 lead at the interval.

Niall Stott

It didn't take the Scots long to add to their tally after half-time, with Gordon McIntyre's goal in the 45th minute resulting in a 5-0 scoreline.

Allan Dick made two smart saves from two Portugal penalty corners before Scotland's William Marshall scored the sixth goal in the 51st minute. Gavin Byers made it 7-0 two minutes later.

Allan Dick

With Portugal visibly tiring in the last ten minutes, Scotland hammered home their dominance; Chris Grassick dispatched a penalty corner in the 61st minute to give the national side an 8-0 lead and shortly after Wei Adams rounded off the scoring at 9-0 when he found the back of the net in the 63rd minute.

Following today's win, Scotland finished fourth in the FIH World League Round 2 competition, which is one place better than the pool seedings.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Charlie Pereira appointed SA men’s hockey team head coach

Charlie Pereira has been named as the head coach of the South Africa men’s hockey team, the South Africa Hockey Association said Monday.

The former SA player was the interim head coach who piloted the national team to qualification for the World League semi-finals, which takes place in Malaysia from June 29 to July 7. He succeeds Gregg Clark.

Pereira’s national team qualified for Malaysia when they finished as runners-up to South American powerhouse Argentina at the World League Round 2 event in Brazil in March.

“It’s an honour to be appointed head coach of the national men’s team and I look forward to working with the rest of the management team as there is a lot of work for us to do to get ready for Malaysia,” Pereira said.

SA Hockey Association CEO Marissa Langeni also named the management team.

“The coaching staff for the senior men’s team is being appointed up until the conclusion of the 2014 Commonwealth Games,” Langeni said.

“The panel gives SA Hockey a pool of individuals to work with at various stages as part of our strategy to grow the base. Prior to any tour SAHA will continue to announce the Tour Management in consultation with the Head Coach on a project basis, so not all will travel with the team at any one time,” Langeni added.


Head Coach: Charlie Pereira
Trainers: Craig Fulton, Kurt Cerfontyne, Pierre le Roux, Darryn Gallagher
Sports Science - Conditioning Coach: Robin van Ginkel
Managers: Reggie Smith, Martin van Staden, Anton van Rooyen
Selectors: Igsaan Ajam, David Viney, Bruce Jacobs, Allistar Fredericks
Video Analysts: Mo Malebye, Wayne Hendricks, Jamie Kroukamp

Upcoming  International Hockey Federation (FIH) events:

World League semi-finals in Malaysia, June 29 to July 7.

Africa Cup in Kenya, Sept 27 to Oct 5.

SA Hockey Association media release

Meor, Kaza surprise inclusions as Faeez Dropped

As expected there were several surprises when the Malaysian national team was named at the NHS in Bukit Jalil this evening by national coach Paul Revington.

But true to form the press conference was delayed as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation lived up to its form, as they awaited the arrival of its Senior Vice President Dato Nur Azmi Ahmad who was said stuck in a traffic jam.

The surprise inclusions were Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin and Meor Muhamad Azuan Hassan while in what comes as a major exclusion was the axing of national juniors skipper Mohd Noor Faeez Ibrahim.

Also making a return to the team were Azreen Rizal Nasir and Firhan Ashaari.

Those who were omitted from the last squad are Faeez, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, Hafifihafiz Hanafi, Jiwa Mohan, Mohd Sallehin Ghani, Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof, Mohd Amerullah Aziz, Shahrin Mohammad. Also left out was Ismail Abu, who is currently injured, was also left out but his condition will be monitored.

Among the squad are five players who are also in the National Junior squad preparing for the JWC in New Delhi this December. They are Faiz Helmi Jali, Meor, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Fitri Saari and Firhan Ashaari.

The squad:

Ahmad Kazamirul Nasaruddin, Azlan Misron, Azreen Rizal Nasir, Baljit Singh, Chua Boon Huat, Faiz Helmi Jali, Faisal Saari, Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, Jivan Mohan, Khairulnizam Ibrahim, S.Kumar, Meor Muhammad Azuan Hassan, Mohd Shukri Mutalib, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, Mohd Fitri Saari, Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah, Mohd Amin Rahim, Muhd Azzami Abadi, Muhd Firhan Ashaari, Muhd Ramadhan Rosli, Muhd Marhan Jalil, Mohd Razie Rahim, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, Norhizzat Sumantri, Roslan Jamaluddin and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tg Jalil

The October squad

1. Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi
2. Azlan Misron
3. Baljit Singh Charun Singh
4. Chua Boon Huat
5. Faiz Helmi Jali
6. Hafifihafiz Hanafi
7. Ismail Abu
8. Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin
9. Jivan Mohan
10 Jiwa Mohan
11. Kumar Subramaniam
12. Faizal Saari
13. Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib
14. Mohammad Izad Hakimi Jamaludddin
15. Mohd Fitri Saari
16. Mohd Sallehin Abdul Ghani
17. Mohd Sharun Nabil Abdullah
18. Mohd Syamin Mohd Yusof
19. Muhamad Amin Rahim
20. Muhamad Azammi Adabi
21. Muhamad Ramadan Rosli
22. Muhammad Amerullah Abdul Aziz
23. Muhammad Marhan Mohd Jaliem
24. Muhammad Noor Faeez Ibrahim
25. Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim
26. Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor
27. Norhizzat Sumantri
28. Roslan Jamaluddin
29. Shahrin Mohamad
30. Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil

On standby
1. Azreen Rizal Nasir
2. Kairulnizam Ibrahim
3. Kelvinder Singh Makbul Singh
4. Muhammad Azri Hassan
5. Muhammad Firhan Ashaari
6. Muhammad Izzat Mohd Rahim
7. Namasivayam
8. Shazril Irwan Nazli

Malaysian Hockey blogspot

Noor Faeez given the boot..

PIC: Noor Faeez Ibrahim

NATIONAL seniors coach Paul Revington made a clear statement that he will not tolerate laggards, when he slammed the door or national juniors skipper Noor Faeez Ibrahim for failing to buck up.

Noor Faez skippered the Junior Asia Cup side which won gold in Malacca and took Malaysia into the New Delhi Junior World Cup, but his attitude as well as form had dropped tremendously since.

And South African Revington had no choice but to drop him from the 26 trainees named for World League Semi-finals on June 29 to July 7 in Johor Baru.

“I had no choice but to drop Faeez, because his form and his appoach towards the sport had dropped tremendously. One could see the change during the MHL (Malaysia Hockey League) and I can’t afford players like this as we prepare for the World League,” said Paul Revington.

The tournament in Johor Baru offers tickets to the World Cup, and Malaysia will be up against World No 1 Germany, Argentina, England, South Korea, Pakistan, South Africa and a yet to be named team.

The two-group, with four teams each, World League will be based on the new format where the group matches do not count, with all eight teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.

And one win in the last eight will see Malaysia finish top-four and qualify for the World Cup.

“Even though we are ranked seventh out of the eight teams, the plan is tho qualify for the World Cup from the World League so that we do not have to be under stress during the Asia Cup (Aug 24-Sept 1) which is another avenue to make the World Cup,” said Revington.

The five ‘new’ inclusions were goalkeeper Khairulnizam Ibrahim, Ahmad Kazamirul, Azreen Rizal, Meor Azuan and Firhan Ashaari.

And five players in the squad are still Under-21 and eligible for the Junior World Cup in New Delhi in November.

Among the top players in the injury list was Ismail Abu, whose chances of playing in the two major tournaments this year depends on the speed of his recovery.

TRAINING SQUAD: Goalkeepers: Khairulnizam Ibrahim, S.Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin.

Defenders: Azlan Misron, Azreen Rizal, Baljit Singh, Faiz Helmi, Shukri Mutalib, Izad Hakimi, Amin Rahim, Razie Rahim, Ahmad Kazamirul.

Midfielders: Jivan Mohan, Meor Azuan, Fitri Saari, Shahrun Nabil, Marhan Jalil, Norhizzat Sumantri,

Forwards: Chua Boon Huat, Faisal Saari, Izwan Firdaus, Azzami Abadi, Firhan Ashaari, Ramadhan Rosli, Nabil Fiqri, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

KLHC hammer eight past Sapura

Defending champions KL Hockey Club eased into the final of the TNB Cup when they trashed Sapura 8-0 in the second leg semi finals at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

The win completed a 11-1 aggregate win and in the final KLHC will take on Tenaga Nasional Berhad who had defeated Maybank in the other semis played earlier in the day.

This will be the third consecutive final between KLHC and TNB, with KLHC winning the last two with a 3-2 and 3-0 scoreline. And KLHC will be out to complete a double, their third on the trot as well, having bagged the league title last month.

"It was a more polished performance then the first leg and the goals came freely as I feel Sapura were a beaten side after we had taken a two goal lead. That made it necessary for them to change their game plan and we exploited the gaps in defence as they pushed players up to get the goals," said KLHC manager George Koshy.

"It is vital that the players stay focussed as the cup final is what matters and we need to be prepared for TNB who are hitting form at the right moment. Having said that I believe the determination of the KLHC players was evident in this game as they never took their foot off the pedal despite have a big lead at half time."

KLHC opened scoring in the 8th minute through Akhtar Ali, who has scored 14 goals so far, two short of the top scorers Khasif Ali of Sapura nad Faisal saari of TNB.

Chua Boon Huat made it 2-0 in the 14th minute before Muhammad Umar Bhutta found the back of the net to make it 3-0. Kevinder Singh gave KLHC a 4-0 lead at halftime by scoring in 26th minute.

The defending champions added another four goals in the second half, courtesy of Muhammad Imran ( 40th and 46th minutes), Kevinder ( 56th minute) and Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor ( 66th minute).

Official MHL site

TNB safely through to final

Tenaga Nasional Berhad booked their berth in the final of the TNB Cup despite being held to a 2-2 draw by Maybank in the second leg semis at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. They thus went through on a 8-4 aggregate and will play either KL Hockey Club or Sapura in the final next Sunday.

And their second stringers made it a day to remember as TNB Thunderbolts defeated Ipoh City Council 8-2, to complete a 14-5 aggregate win following the first leg win of 6-3.

It was a lacklusture opening ten minutes as both teams were confined to slugging it out in midfield.With TNB holding a 6-2 advantage after the first leg, it was Maybank who needed to do the hard work, but they hardly created a goal scoring chance in the first 15 minutes.

TNB opened scoring in the 17th minute when Faisal Saari converted a penalty corner, thus ending his two game barren run. It was his 17th goal of the season and puts him joint top scorer with Sapura's Khasif Ali.

Maybank now had a five goal dedficit to overcome and from being a tough task it turned into an impossible task. But they tried and however Shakeel Abbasi and Muhammad Waqas tried, they could not get past the TNB defence marshalled by Mohd Amin rahim and Mohd Madzli Ikmar.

Maybank drew level in the 51st minute when Shakeel turned the ball past S. Kumar in the TNB goal. But Kumar was on form to deny Maybank from penalty corners in the 53rd and 55th minutes.

But TNB made no such mistake from their third penalty corner in the 58th minute when the pint sized Faiz Helmi deflected a pass from Faisal into the roof of the net.

Maybank scored the equaliser in the 67th minute through Zulhairi Hashim but the place in the final was already lost after the first leg itself.

Official MHL site


SHOWDOWN: Heavyweights Tenaga and KLHC to clash in final


Tenaga’s Madzli Ikmar (centre) celebrates with Faizal Saari who scored the first goal in their 2-2 draw against Maybank yesterday.

TENAGA Nasional will meet Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the final of the TNB Cup next Sunday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

In the two-leg semi-finals, Tenaga hammered Maybank 6-2 and yesterday drew 2-2 for a comfortable 8-4 aggregate win.

And KLHC, who won 3-1 in the first leg, hammered Sapura 8-0 for an 11-1 aggregate.

Yesterday, Tenaga opted to slow down their match after taking a huge lead in the first semis. Faizal Saari (17th) and Faiz Helmi (58th) scored for Tenaga, while Shakeel Abbasi (51st) and Zulhairi Hashim (67th) struck for Maybank.

KLHC, the TNB Cup holders for the last two seasons, went on a first half rampage with four goals from Akhtar Ali (eighth), Chua Boon Huat (14th), Umar Bhutta (20th) and Kelvinder Singh (26th).

In the second half, Muhammad Imran (40th, 45th), Kelvinder (56th) and Nabil Fiqri (66th) completed the rout.

Tenaga also had another reason to celebrate, as their second stringers, TNB Thunderbolts defeated Ipoh City Council 8-2 to complete an 14-5 aggregate win to play in the President's Cup final.

They will meet UiTM, who drew 1-1 with Sunday 2030, but advanced 3-2 on aggregate.

"We slowed down our game in the second leg as we already had a comfortable cushion from the first leg. This was done to avoid injuries and also cards as we long to touch the TNB Cup on Sunday," said Tenaga coach Nor Azlan Bakar.

"We had a slim cushion, and that is why we went all out in the first half itself to make sure we play in the final again. Now, we are just one step away from defending our TNB Cup title," said KLHC coach George Koshy.

RESULTS -- Semi-finals, 2nd leg: TNB Cup: Tenaga 2 Maybank 2 (Tenaga win 8-4 on aggregate), KLHC 8 Sapura 0 (KLHC win 11-1 on aggregate).

President's Cup: Ipoh CC 2 TNB Thunderbolts 8 (Thunderbolts win 14-5 on aggregate), UiTM 1 Sunday 1 (UiTM win 3-2 on aggregate).

New Straits Times

KLHC-Tenaga showdown once again


Out of my way: Tenaga nasional’s Muhamad azammi adabi (centre) trying to dribble past Maybank’s Muhammad Irfan during their Malaysia Hockey League semi-finals at the national Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil Sunday. The match ended 2-2. — SHaaRI CHE MaT / The Star

KUALA LUMUR: Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) and Tenaga Nasional will contest the final of the Premier Division overall title for the third year in a row.

Both teams scored runaway victories in the two-legged Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) semi-finals at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Tenaga Nasional drew 2-2 with Maybank in the return leg yesterday but qualified for the final with an 8-4 aggregate.

KLHC, 3-1 winners over Sapura in the first leg, went on a rampage yesterday to chalk up an 8-0 victory – and a 11-0 aggregate triumph.

KLHC have won the overall title for the last three years – defeating Sapura in 2010 and Tenaga Nasional in 2011 and 2012.

Tenaga last won the overall title in 2009 when they defeated Sapura.

Although KLHC held a two-goal advantage going into yesterday’s second leg, there was no letting up from the champions and they were far too superior for Sapura.

KLHC raced into a 4-0 first-half lead with goals from Akhtar Ali (13th), Chua Boon Huat (17th), Mohamed Umar Bhutta (23th) and Kelvinder Singh (30th).

The champions then notched another four goals after the break.

Earlier, Tenaga went into their game against Maybank with a four-goal cushion – after their 6-2 win in the first leg on Friday.

But it was Maybank who were the early aggressors. Unfortunately for the Tigers, it was Tenaga who drew first blood in the 17th minute when Faizal Saari slotted home from their first penalty corner with a drag flick to take his goal tally to 17.

Maybank equalised in the 50th minute through Shakeel Abassi but any hopes of a fightback ended when Tenaga regained the lead through Faiz Hemy eight minutes later.

Maybank, however, did not give up and made sure the second-leg match ended in a draw when Sulhairi Hashim equalised with a penalty corner goal in the 67th minute.

The Star of Malaysia

Argentina and South Africa to play in Johor Baru

KUALA LUMPUR: South American giants Argentina and South Africa have been added to list of team for the World League semi-finals to be held in Johor Baru from June 29-July 7.

The two teams are qualifiers from Round Two of the World League held in Rio de Janeiro in February.

This brings the number of teams confirmed for the Johor Baru tournament to seven, the other five being hosts Malaysia, world No. 1 Germany, England, South Korea and Pakistan. This leaves just one more spot to be filled up after the Round Two event in Kazan, Russia, in June.

The semi-finals in Johor Baru will be the second in the series, with Holland hosting the first from June 13-23. Six of the eight teams for the Holland semi-finals are the hosts, Australia, Spain, New Zealand and Round Two qualifiers India and Ireland.

Two more teams will be selected later this month after another Round Two tournament in France, with Belgium and Canada tipped to make the cut.

The top four teams from each of the semi-finals will qualify for the 2014 World Cup Finals to be held in India next February.

The Star of Malaysia

Mumbai beats UP, in first place

Punjab whips Manipur 9-3 in another match

Ashwin Achal

KEEN TUSSLE: Mumbai’s Upendra Pillay (right) and UP’s Saurab Gupta fight for the ball. Photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

A couple of late goals allowed Mumbai to shut down a persistent Uttar Pradesh in the 64th senior National hockey championship here on Sunday.

With seven points from four games, Mumbai now moves to first-place. Punjab, which whipped Manipur 9-3, trails by a point and has a match in hand.

In a goalless first-half, Mumbai looked more likely to score. Upendra Pillay and Ravi Pareek fluffed a two-on-one opportunity after Pareek found a powerful hit from the flank too hot to handle in front of the goal.

It took a solo-run from Laxman Rao to break the deadlock. Rao, who shifted to Mumbai after representing Karnataka in national events, showed deft stick work to go past three defenders near the end line. The Uttar Pradesh goalkeeper, Ashish Mishra, rushed out, and Rao side-stepped him and placed the ball into the far post.

The West Zone champion then sat deep in its half, daring Uttar Pradesh to have a go. The dangerous strategy nearly misfired, and it was custodian Sudhir Dixit who kept his team alive with three fine saves.

In the 61st minute, an own-goal gave Mumbai some room to breathe. From the half-line, Sankalp Raghav gave the ball a fair whack down the middle. The goalkeeper chose to kick the innocuous attempt away, but was left stupefied when the ball ricocheted off his foot and into the goal.

A late penalty corner conversion by Jayanta Meitei soon put the result beyond doubt.

The results: Punjab 9 (Simranjit Singh 4, Ranjit Singh 3, Sanjeev Kumar, Satwinder Singh) bt Manipur 3 (N. Bhaskar 2, P. Priyokumar); Mumbai 3 (Laxman Rao, Jayanta Meitei, og) bt Uttar Pradesh 0.

The Hindu


Mumbai struggle past UP in National Hockey Championship

Sunil Subbaiah

BANGALORE: Mumbai laboured to a 3-0 morale boosting victory over Uttar Pradesh to keep their title hopes alive in the 64th National Hockey Championship for the Rangaswamy Cup at the KSHA stadium on Sunday.

Mumbai relied on striker Laxman Rao, a local veteran, to fetch them the lead in the 43rd minute. Laxman sounded the board with a crafty move from top of the circle to squeeze the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.

Thereafter, Mumbai, who fumbled with their exchanges for most part, seemed to have gained the rhythm and forced repeated forays into the rival circle.

Uttar Pradesh custodian Ashish Mishra's own-goal in the 61st-minute gave Mumbai a 2-0 advantage. Sankalp's powerful drive from outside the circle brushed the goalkeeper's pads on the way to the goal. Jayanta Meitei then completed the rout with a drag-flick following their 64th-minute penalty corner.

The victory propelled Mumbai, who have seven points from four outings, to the top of the table. They are followed by Punjab (6), hosts Karnataka (5), Uttar Pradesh (4), Jharkhand (3) and Manipur (0).

Results: Mumbai: 3 (Laxman Roa 43; OG-61, Jayanta Meiti 64) bt Uttar Pradesh: 0; Punjab: 9 (Simaranjit Singh 13, 17, 58 & 64; Sanjeev Kumar 22; Satwinder Singh 37; Ranjith Singh 43, 49 & 62) bt Manipur: 3 (N Bhaskar 26 & 54; P Priyokumar 36).

Monday's fixture: 4.30pm: Jharkhand vs Karnataka.

The Times of India

Kashmir Gold Cup Hockey to be held in August

Kashmir Gold Cup Hockey to be held in AugustSrinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir National Sports Club will be organising Kashmir Gold Cup Hockey Tournament-2013 in the month of August this year.

The inaugural ceremony of the tournament will be held at Polo Ground here on August 26, President J&K National Sports Club R G N Wani said after a meeting of the Executive Committee of the club on Sunday.

Wani said leading hockey teams of the country are expected to participate in the tournament which will be played in league-cum-knock out format.

The league matches of the tournament would be played at Rajbagh Playground, while the semi-finals and the final would be played at Bakshi Stadium, he said.

Zee News

Suva dominates hockey competition at the Fiji Games

Rashneel Kumar

Nausori's Leevan Dutta (right) puts the pressure on Rotuma's James Sinclair during the Fiji Games hockey final yesterday. More on Page 26-27. Picture: JONE LUVENITOGA

SUVA made a clean sweep in the Fiji Games hockey competition at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala yesterday.

The women's side defended its Fiji Games gold medal after thrashing Levuka 4-0.

A brace of goals from Rebecca Lemeki and one each from skipper Cathy Thaggard and Jennifer Kiata saw the capital city girls claiming victory.

The bronze medal went to Nausori which thumped Nadi 7-0.

In the men's final, Suva overcame a tough tussle to beat Lami 1-0 while Nausori managed the bronze medal after beating Rotuma 4-2.

Meanwhile Suva dominated all the events in the shooting competition.

The Fiji TImes

Tanzania: Dar to Send Hockey Team to Africa Cup of Nations

FOR the first time in history, the Tanzania Hockey Association (THA) will send national men's and ladies teams to this year's Hockey Africa Cup of Nations championship.

The ten-day tournament will run from September 26 to October 10 this year in Nairobi, Kenya. Speaking to the 'Daily News on Saturday' in Dar es Salaam, THA Secretary General Kaushik Doshi said the prestigious event was earlier planned to be held in Cairo, Egypt, but it will now be hosted by the Kenya Hockey Union in collaboration with Africa Hockey Federation (AHF) along with the Federation of International Hockey (FIH).

"Tanzania will be sending its national hockey sides both in men's and ladies categories to participate in the prestigious hockey tournament," he said.

However, Doshi said that sending the teams will depend on the fiscal capability of the association and the support they might get from sponsors. THA is currently busy looking for sponsorship to support the teams.

When hockey turned miracle healer for these children

Darshana Ramdev

Jude Felix, founder, Jude Felix Hockey Academy —R. Samuel.

Bengaluru: Every morning at the crack of dawn, rain or shine, the children from St Mary’s Orphanage forget their woes and cares as they troop out onto the field brandishing their hockey sticks, feeling on top of the world. No matter what the world throws at them — and most of them have seen far too much — for 90 minutes every morning, their dreams seem within arm’s reach.

The children are coached by one of India’s most renowned hockey players, Arjuna awardee, Olympian, and former captain of the national hockey team, Jude Felix, founder of the Jude Felix Hockey Academy, a charitable trust that promotes hockey among underprivileged children.

Helping children had always been at the back of his mind, says Felix. “I didn’t have the money to do anything, but I wanted to teach them what I knew best.” The need to revive hockey among the youth was also growing — the sport’s glory was fading fast as cricket took over the streets of India.

It all fell into place through a chance remark four years ago. Felix, who wanted to sponsor a dinner at St Mary’s Orphanage on Christmas Day, told the then director, Father John Anthony that he would like to coach the children in hockey. “Father John loved the idea. It was nothing short of a miracle, really.”

A prominent group of philanthropists promised help and the academy spluttered to a start. But it didn’t last long. The group lost interest in the project and Felix was left in the lurch. “There was only one man who stood by me at the time,” said Felix. That man was Shanmugam P., who has worked with the underprivileged for 12 years. He helped the JFHA get back on its feet.

“We had no idea how to start a trust at the time, but we met some like-minded people who really played a big role,” said Shanmugam.  “Jude was like a role model and mentor to us, we all looked up to him.”

Starting an academy was not the intention at the time. All they wanted to do was teach kids hockey, something they would never have had the chance to learn otherwise. The field adjoining Marianiketan School, where the children from the orphanage studied, was covered in rubbish, save for one small patch, where the practices began.

It took one month of gruelling hard work to level, clean and convert the field into one of the finest pitches in the city. The JFHA, which now has six trustees on its board, is fuelled entirely by goodwill. Volunteers donate water and juice during hockey matches, others donate banners and trophies. “We don’t take money, we just ask people to contribute in any way they can,” says Shanmugam.

Father John provided the budding team with a small kit room and friends helped collect equipment. Equipment was a tremendous challenge as it is expensive. Things looked bleak until JFHA received a contribution of a 100 hockey sticks from an anonymous donor.

“We still use those sticks and because of them, we have equipment for 200 children now,” said Shanmugam. Meanwhile, Felix’s old friends began to look him up as well. International hockey player Tushar Khandekar and his uncle Subodh donated 60 hockey sticks to the academy, which started out with about 40 children. “Manufacturers also stepped up because I had not collected royalties for using their equipment,” Felix said. “So our kids had the best shoes, the best hockey sticks and the best equipment by far.”

In time the school team started doing very well at tournaments and the boys got their first taste of victory. “We had two boys selected for the Sports Academy of India. One boy, Rajendra, represented the state in the sub junior level,” says Felix. Now, the children needed competition, to play against the best. “Our kids were never invited to the more prestigious hockey tournaments,” said Felix. That’s how the JFHA hockey tournament came into being two years ago.

Playing under floodlights, the children competed against teams from Singapore and a team from Ananthapur supported by the Spanish hockey team. “I have seen tournaments the world over and this is absolutely world class,” Felix says proudly.

Volunteers come in from the Community Involvement Programme in Singapore and twice a year from the Kelly School of Business to spend time with the children.

“The kids are so excited by the game and some of them are extremely skilful,” says Felix. Despite this, the discrimination they face is daunting. “They are smaller than the rest, and although that doesn’t matter, the bright people on our selection committee look for tall, athletic people, so our children lose out,” Felix added.

Even so, hockey is more than just a game to these children. “You can see the difference in the way they talk and carry themselves,” said Felix. He started out with a good thought and a small ambition, but has managed to create, even for a sport that has lost much of its popularity, a world class academy. “We don’t know what traumas these kids have seen, but sport is a miracle healer,” says Shanmugam.

The Deccan Chronicle