News for 03 July 2013

All the news for Wednesday 3 July 2013


Argentina win Pool A

South Americans finish top of the pile on goal difference in Johor



Argentina defeated Korea 3-0 to top Pool A at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Argentina have topped Pool A thanks to a 3-0 triumph over Korea, putting them ahead of Germany on goal difference at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. A score-less first half was followed by a trio of goals from Facundo Callioni, Matias Paredes and Gonzalo Peillat, ensuring that the South Americans finished top of the pile in Pool A.  Earlier in the day, Germany battled to a 3-1 win against Japan thanks to second half strikes from Florian Fuchs and Christopher Zeller.

Argentina – Korea 3-0 (0-0)

Argentina have topped Pool A thanks to a 3-0 triumph over Korea, putting them ahead of Germany on goal difference. A score-less first half was followed by a trio of goals from Facundo Callioni, Matias Paredes and Gonzalo Peillat, ensuring that the South Americans finished top of the pile in Pool A. 

The result means that on Thursday, Argentina will play the bottom ranked team in Pool B. Their opponents will be confirmed upon the completion of the Pool phase later today.

Both sides – who met last year in the final of the Champions Challenge in Quilmes, with Argentina emerging as 5-0 winners - enjoyed periods of possession in an evenly contested first half, but clear-cut scoring opportunities were few and far between. Rock solid defending was on show for the first 20 minutes, with shots on goal a rare sight.

The first real chance came the way of Korea, who won a penalty corner in the 25th minute, but set piece expert Jang Jong Hyun failed to test the goalkeeper with his powerful drag-flick.

Argentina won a penalty corner of their own late in the period, giving Gonzalo Peillat the chance to show his set-piece prowess. However, his deflected effort was cleared off the goal-line by defender Lee Nam Yong, ensuring that the teams went into half time with no mark on the scoreboard.

The second half was a far livelier affair. Chances came and went at either end, but still the scores remained locked together. Just when it seemed that neither team would break the deadlock, Argentina came up with two goals in less than three minutes. The first came from the stick of Facundo Callioni, who slid in to capitalise after Korea had failed to effectively clear their lines before Guillermo Schickendantz showed quick thinking to tee up a simple second for Matias Paredes.

Argentina wrapped up the win in the 68th minute thanks to a ripper of a penalty corner from Gonzalo Peillat, who slammed a low flick into the bottom left corner of the Korean goal.

Germany – Japan 3-1 (1-1)

World number 1 Germany overcame a rain delay and stern resistance to emerge as winners against Japan in the first match of Day 3 here in Johor Bahru. The European giants took a 3-1 triumph, with second half strikes from Florian Fuchs and Christopher Zeller doing the damage after the teams went into half time with the score locked at 1-1.  

The result means that Germany have guaranteed a top 2 finish in Pool A, meaning that they will play either the third or fourth place finisher in Pool B. Their exact placing will be known following the meeting between Argentina v Korea, which is the final match of Pool A. 

The scheduled start time was pushed back by 15 minutes due to a torrential downpour in the build-up to the contest. Despite the delay, the rain made a significant contribution in lowering the temperature ahead of what was an entertaining contest between the highest and lowest ranked teams in the tournament.

Japan keeper Katsuya Takese produced a fine block in the fifth minute of the game to deny German teenage sensation Christopher Ruehr, but the reigning Olympic champions did not have to wait long for their opener. A fierce cross from the right by Pilt Arnold was too hot to handle for Japanese defender Manabu Yamashita, who inadvertently guided the ball under the body of the helpless Takese. 

Impressively, Japan were not phased by conceding a goal so early in the game and levelled the scores ten minutes later thanks to a well taken penalty stroke from team captain Kojo Kayukawa, who sent Germany keeper Nico Jacobi the wrong way following a foul by Tobias Hauke. 

Germany were arguably the superior side for the majority of the period, but failed to show their usual killer instinct in the circle. However, that all changed early in the second half when 2012 FIH Young Player of the Year Florian Fuchs lashed home a thunderous backhand shot from eight metres out.

The Europeans could easily have had more were it not for some superb saves from Takese, who was at the top of his game and clearly enjoying the chance to prove himself against the world’s best. Time after time the shot-stopper made crucial saves, denying one of the most potent strike forces in the game.

Despite Takese’s heroics, a third German goal always seemed likely. It arrived in the 62nd minute courtesy of a fine close range finish from Christopher Zeller, who was teed up perfectly thanks to a driving run along the back line from Linus Butt. It proved to be the last goal of the game, putting Germany onto seven points from a potential nine in Pool A.

FIH site



Quarter Final line-up confirmed in Johor

Pool phase ends at Hockey World League Semi Finals in Malaysia



SIX-SHOOTERS: Pakistan hit South Africa for six to top Pool B at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Abdul Haseem Khan scored a superb hat-trick as Pakistan defeated South Africa 2-6 to emerge as winners of Pool B courtesy of a superior goal difference over England, who defeated Malaysia earlier in the day.

The result completed the Pool phase of the competition, meaning that the quarter final fixtures are now known.

Pool A winners Argentina will play South Africa, who finished fourth in Pool B, while Pool B table-toppers Pakistan have set up a meeting with Korea, the fourth ranked team from Pool A. Pool B runners up England will face Japan, a team that finished third in Pool A while Pool A runners up Germany, the Olympic champions, face a mouth-watering meeting against host nation Malaysia, who finished Pool B in third place.  The matches take place on Thursday, with exact timings available in the Schedule section of this website. 

South Africa – Pakistan 2-6 (1-3)

Abdul Haseem Khan scored a superb hat-trick as Pakistan defeated South Africa 6-2 to emerge as winners of Pool B. Muhammad Zubair also grabbed a bracein the rout, with Shafqat Rasool also contributing to the scoring. 

The first half of this hugely entertaining and fiercely contested match witnessed three goals, with the Asian side racing into a 3-1 lead before half time. Muhammad Zubair netted Pakistan’s first goal with a wonderful backhand shot into the top left corner of the South Africa goal before Shafqat Rasool pounced on a penalty corner save to slot home a second in the 17th minute.

The hard-running South Africans grabbed a goal back in the 25th minute when Wade Paton drag flicked a sensational penalty corner effort just inside the right post, but Pakistan hit back almost immediately thanks to Abdul Haseem Khan, who got a crucial touch on a low penalty corner flick from Muhammad Imran.

Pakistan continued their excellent form into the early stages of the second half, and were duly rewarded with a fourth goal in the 41st minute. Haseem Khan was again the scorer, this producing a clinical close range finish after being set up perfectly by Muhammad Waqas. 

South Africa had various good chances of their own and could easily have had more notches on the scoreboard were it not for some top class goalkeeping from Pakistan’s Imran Butt, who made some wonderful saves to deny the African strikers.

Haseem Khan completed his hat-trick in the 60th minute with a neat deflection before Zubair claimed his second of the game with a stunning touch on a cross-shot from Pakistan superstar Shakeel Abbasi. South Africa reduced the deficit in the final minutes when Craig Haley touched home, but it failed to hide what was an emphatic victory for the Greenshirts.

England – Malaysia 2-1 (1-1)

A second half strike from Barry Middleton has put England firmly in the Pool B driving seat, earning them a 2-1 win over host nation Malaysia here in Johor Bahru. The teams went into half time with the score at 1-1, with Malaysia’s Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil cancelling out a Richard Smith goal before Middleton struck with 12 minutes of the match remaining.

The result guarantees a top two finish for England, although Pakistan have the chance to fight claim top spot when they play South Africa in the final match of the day.

A frenetic first half saw both sides determined to take the initiative, as a large and noisy crowd watched a superb contest that flowed from end to end and incredible speeds. Malaysia, fresh from their confidence boosting 6-3 victory over South Africa, looked confident and extremely dangerous going forward, giving the world number 4 ranked team a real run for their money in the early stages.

England were the first team to get their name on the score-sheet, with Richard Smith finding the goal from a 20th minute penalty corner. Smith’s initial flick at goal was brilliantly blocked by the Malaysian defence, but England’s number 29 got a second bite of the cherry and somehow found a way past the right foot of goalkeeper Kumar Subramiam.

Malaysia deservedly hit back seven minutes later through a penalty corner. England goalkeeper George Pinner made a solid block from Faizal Saari’s first attempt, but he could do absolutely nothing about the follow up shot from Tengku Ahmad Tajudin Abdul Jalil, who clipped into the roof of the net with a reverse side volley. 

England superstar Ashley Jackson had two good chances either side of half time to regain the advantage, but his penalty corner flick and a diving effort were both wide of the mark. At the other end, Malaysia’s inspirational attacker Faizal Saari went close to bagging a penalty corner of his own, but his low flick failed to test England’s Pinner.

The winning goal of the game arrived with 12 minutes of the match remaining. A goal-bound shot from England’s Adam Dixon ricocheted off a Malaysian defender and fell kindly to Barry Middleton, who made no mistake with a composed finish from close range.

Malaysia rallied hard towards the end of the match, much to the delight of their home fans. However, England held on for a victory which puts them in a very strong position in Pool B.

FIH site



Pakistan win is bad news for Malaysia



Pakistan topped Pool Band set up a quarterfinal match against South Korea after they hammered South Africa 6-2 in their final preliminary round match.

Thus the stage has been set for some mouth watering clashes in the last eight with Argentina taking on South Africa, Pakistan against South Korea, hosts Malaysia up against world number one Germany and England with a relatively easy tie aginst mnniows Japan, all to be played this Thursday.

Pakistan went into the match knowing that a two goal margin of victory will give them top spot in Pool B with a quarterfinal match against South Korea.

For South Africa, a win could have moved them into the third spot and a otential meeting with Germany. But a win was on their mind as they started off well, piling the pressure on the Pakistan defene.

Pakistan raced to a 2-0 lead with goals from Muhammad Zubair in the 13th minute and Shafqat Rasool in the 18th minute before Wade Patton reduced the deficit from a penalty corner in the 25th minute.

But Pakistan restored their two goal advantage as Abdul Haseem Khan deflected in a penalty corner attempt by skipper Muhammad Imran in the 27th minute.

Haseem was on target again in the 41st minute to extend Pakistan's lead to 4-1 and the results was a forgone conclusion as South Africa never really threatened to score.

And he completed his hattrick in the 60th minute with Zubair scoring the sixth in the 64th minute. Craig Haley scored a minute from time for South Africa.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



England edge Malaysia



Malaysia went down for the first time in the tournament and could end up meeting Germany should Pakistan defeat South Africa in a later match.

England were a better side for the first 20 minutes, as Malaysia soaked in the attacks and defended stoutly.

It was a different game from Paul Revington's men, as they were on the attack more from the start against Pakistan and South Africa.

England won their first penalty corner in the 20th minute, and Richard Smith nailed the rebound for the lead.

Malaysia started playing much better after that, but two major blunders from the umpires saw they losing one penalty corner, and the other one gave England a bonus penalty corner.

However, after a series of attacks, Malaysia won their first penalty corner in the 28th minute, and even though Razie Rahim's attempt was stopped by goalkeeper George Pinner, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin slammed in the rebound for the equaliser.

Ashley Jackson came close in the opening minutes of the second half as he dived full length but steered the ball just wide of the post with Kumar truly beaten.

Malaysia were awarded a penalty corner in the 51st minute but Faizal saari pulled his drag flick wide of the post.

England used the width of the pitch and their physical strength to their advantage and were duly rewarded in the 58th minute as Barry Middleton lurking at the far post lifted the ball over Kumar into goal for a 2-1 lead.

And Mal;aysia had only themselves to blame as the two goals conceded were soft.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Argentina top Group A



POOL A of the World League Semifinals came into shape with Argentina finishing on top of the table after defeating South Korea 3-0 in their final group match today.

Germany will take second spot followed by Japan who leaped over South Korea on goal differences.

The Germans defeated Japan 3-1 earlier but lose out on the top spot as Argentina have the superior goal difference.

The first half had nothing much to offer apart from a penalty corner each for South Korea and Argentina which caused no danger and it was followed by some steady defending by both sides  that left the scoreboard blank at half time.

In the second half, Argentina came close to breaking the deadlock from their second penalty corner of the game, but Gonzalo Peillat low flick was well saved by South Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho.

The South Koreans then lost their structure in the 54th minute when Kim Young Jin was sent to the sin bin after receiving a yellow card.

The Argentinians used their one man advantage to good use and punished the world No 8 side with two quick goals which came in the space of one minute.

Facundo Calloni put Argentina ahead in the 56th minute and a minute later Matias Paredes doubled the lead for the world No 10 side.

Gonzalo Peillat assured Argentina of a comfortable victory when he slotted home from a penalty corner in the 68th minute

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Germany overcomes Japan



Germany defeated Japan 3-1 in their final Pool A match of the World Hockey League Semi Finals and will now have to await the outcome of the Argentina and Korea match to see if they emerge as the top team of the pool.

Should Argentina win by two goals it will mean that Germany will finish as runner up. Any other result will mean that the World Number 1 side finish tops.

German coach Marcus Weise: "The pitch was a little heavy because of a consistent drizzle, but it was still better than playing under the hot sun.

"We have no control of our position in the group now, and frankly, it does not matter which team we play in the quarter-finals because we have no preference."   

The coach was still coming to terms with the format of the tournament where all eight teams advance to the quarter-finals.

"In this tournament even if you finish at the bottom of the pool you still play in the knock-out and even have a chance of becoming the eventual champions.

"So, I don't see any importance in the group stages, and only the quarter-finals is where one needs to play really well."

The start of the match was delayed by 20 minutes as a thunderstorm hit Johor Bahru. But that did not dampen the spirit of the Germans who welcomed the cooler conditions.

And they laid siege of the Japanese goal from the first whistle in the chase for goals that would give them top spot in Pool A.

Germany took the lead in the 6th minute when Manabu Yamashita turned the ball past his own keeper Katsuya Takase after a cross into the semi circle from the right by Pilt Arnold.

Though Germany had 76 per cent of ball possession in the first half and 13 circle penetrations as opposed to Japan's 3, they failed to turn the domination into goals.

At halftime both teams trooped off tied 1-1.

Germany went ahead in the 42nd minute as Florian Fuchs scored with a neat reverse stick hit that gave Takase no chance what so ever.

Christopher Zeller netted the third in the 62nd minute after some fine work on the right by Kinus Butt gave him the easy task of slotting the ball into goal from a metre.

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Malaysia go down

SETBACK: Revington's men suffer their first loss

By JUGJET SINGH


MALAYSIA hit a bad patch when they collapsed 2-1 to World No 4 England in the World League Semi-finals at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.

And to add more woes their misery, Pakistan beat South Africa 6-2 to top Group B and Malaysia will now play World No 1 Germany in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

The danger of losing the script in the knock-out stages looms larger than ever.

Malaysia went down for the first time in the tournament but rose to the occasion to draw level with England before the half-time hooter but erratic play in the second half saw them end up in defeat.

England were a better side for the first 20 minutes as Malaysia soaked up the attacks and defended stoutly.

England won their first penalty corner in the 20th minute, and Richard Smith nailed the rebound for the lead.

Malaysia played much better after that, but two major blunders from the umpires saw them losing one penalty corner and the other one gave England a bonus penalty corner.

However, after a series of attacks, Malaysia won their first penalty corner in the 28th minute, and even though Razie Rahim's attempt was stopped by goalkeeper George Pinner, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin slammed in the rebound for the equaliser.

After the re-start, Faizal Saari earned Malaysia their second penalty corner in the 50th minute, but he pushed it wide.

Malaysia were playing in patches in the second half, and were lucky not to have been punished by the English for their blunders.

However, in the 58th minute Barry Middleton gave England the lead again off a field attempt.

Malaysia then pushed forward in numbers for the equaliser which never came as he clock died on them.

"We did not play well, as there were only patches of brilliance but still, it was not too bad a show and now we will have to bring back the level of our game in the quarter-finals," said Revington.

New Straits Times



Argentina top Group A ahead of Germany

JOHOR BARU: Argentina topped Group A when they whipped South Korea 3-0 in their final group match of the FIH World League semi-final at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium here yesterday.

The win gave the Argentinians seven points along with Germany, but the South Americans had a better goal difference. Earlier, Olympic champions Germany were 3-1 victors over Japan.

Japan are third while South Korea anchored the table. Japan and Korea had one point each and they shared the same goal difference of minus eight. But the Japanese scored more goals and thus moved ahead of Koreans in the standings.

But Korean coach Shin Seok-kyu said they had planned to finish last in the group.

“By finishing last, we will play the last quarter-final match which is at night (9pm). So it didn’t really matter to us that we lost the game. Our objective was achieved,” he said.

The Argentina-South Korea match proved scrappy for most part and the three goals only came late in the second half.

Facundo Callioni (55th), Matias Paredes (57th) and Gonzalo Peillat (68th) scored for the South Ameri-cans.

The Germans also did not play well against Japan but then they were not overly concerned about their position as they are still the favourites to book one of the three spots for the 2014 World Cup in Holland.

Said German coach Marcus Weise: “The pitch was a little heavy because of the drizzle, but it was still better than playing under the hot sun.

“We have no control of our position in the group. Frankly, it does not matter which team we play in the quarter-finals because all the teams on the other side are also well prepared.

“We could win or lose this match (against Japan) by 20 goals but still have no bearing at all. You can still become champions. That is the format of the tournament,” he said.

The start of the Germany-Japan match was delayed by 20 minutes due to a thunderstorm.

Germany took the lead in the sixth minute when Manabu Yamashita turned the ball past his own goalkeeper Katsuya Takase after a cross into the semi circle from the right by Pilt Arnold.

Though Germany dominated play, they were found wanting in front of the goal mouth.

In the 15th minute, the Japanese managed to gain a penalty stroke in a fast counter-attack. It was duly converted by Koji Kayukawa.

Germany then went ahead in the 42nd minute when Florian Fuchs scored with a neat reverse stick hit past Takase.

Christopher Zeller netted the third in the 62nd minute after some fine work on the right by Linus Butt gave him the easy task of slotting the ball into goal from close range.

The Star of Malaysia



Malaysia face Germany hurdle

By S. RAMAGURU



Stumbling block: England’s Richard Smith takes a tumble during their match against Malaysia in the World Hockey League semi-final match at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday. - ABDUL RAHMAN EMBONG / The Star

JOHOR BARU: Malaysia paid a heavy price for their lacklustre display against England in the World Hockey League semi-final tournament on Tuesday.

The complacent hosts lost 2-1 to end up third and a meeting with Olympic champions Germany in the knockout stage on Thursday.

Malaysia needed just a draw to stay as leaders in Group B and enjoy an easier match-up for the knockout stage.

But, alas, England turned the tables on the hosts to get a win and second place in the standings. Pakistan topped the table after beating South Africa 6-2. Malaysia finished third while South Africa ended up fourth.

The line-up for the knockout quarter-final stage see Group A champions Argentina meeting South Africa, England facing Japan, Pakistan meeting South Korea and Group A runners-up Germany taking on Malaysia.

England took the took the lead in the 20th minute off their first penalty corner. Richard Smith was the goal scorer.

Malaysia came back into the game in the 28th minute, also through a penalty corner hit. Mohamed Razie Rahim’s first shot was blocked by goalkeeper Jacobi Nicholas but a lurking Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin got to the rebound to slot home the equaliser.

Play was confined to the middle of the pitch in the second half and it was the English who had the better goal scoring chances.

And they capitalised on Malaysia’s poor defending in the 58th minute when skipper Barry Middleton beat goalkeeper S. Kumar from close range for a 2-1 lead.

Malaysia coach Paul Revington said the team’s performance was off a little and they did not take their chances.

“We also had only two penalty corners and one went in through a rebound. But then against a good opponent you have to work hard and try to make sure you do not allow them space,” said Revington.

The Star of Malaysia



England line up Japan in World League quarter-final


Ben Arnold and Nick Catlin in action for England against Malaysia in World League Semi Finals

In England’s final pool match of the week they took on hosts Malaysia who came into the game Pool B leaders. The game was played at a fierce tempo as both sides committed to taking the three points and it was England who came out on top with goals from Richard Smith and Barry Middleton either side of half time. Malaysia did pull a goal back just before the break, but Middleton’s second half strike secured England the victory and a top two finish in their pool.

The other Pool B game saw Pakistan beat South Africa 6-2 which means that England finish second in their group and will play Japan in the quarter final on Thursday at 10:00 (UK time).

Speaking after the game, goal scorer Richard Smith said, “We’re absolutely delighted with today’s result. After two hard earned draws against South Africa and Pakistan it was great to secure the win and take the three points. We were really up for today’s game and knew that a win was essential to put us in a good position in the pool. We took a high intensity into the game from the beginning and that set a good tone for the 70 minutes. It’s a great atmosphere here with the Malaysian fans out in force to support their team.”

After battling to draws against South Africa and Pakistan over the weekend England knew that a win would ensure that they avoid playing Argentina or Germany from Pool A in the quarter-finals. Both teams started brightly with end to end play; Malaysia had the first clear chance on goal in the opening five minutes, but Beeston’s Michael Hoare was strong in defensive to stifle the attack.

England won their first penalty corner on 21 minutes after a Malaysian foot in the circle. Richard Smith’s initial shot was saved by Kumar Subramiam, but the rebound fell to Beeston’s Harry Martin who battled with the Malaysian defence and the loose ball fell to Smith who pushed the ball home to make it 1-0 and score his second goal of the tournament.

It didn’t take long for Malaysia to equalise. Mark Gleghorne was penalised for a late tackle and the resulting penalty corner was hit home by Abdul Jalil, after Beeston’s George Pinner had reacted well to save the first effort.

Despite England dominating the circle play with eight penetrations to Malaysia’s two the visitors couldn’t convert their chances and the score remained 1-1 as the teams headed in for the break.

The end to end play continued in the second half as the match was played at a grueling pace. England had the best of the early chances with Ben Arnold and Ashley Jackson both diving for a cross but Jackson couldn’t quite connect with the ball and his effort went wide.

Stalemate ensued as both sides had chances but were unable to convert. The breakthrough came with 13 minutes to go. Dan Fox made a driving run into the circle and found Adam Dixon whose shot was saved by Subramiam, but the rebound fell to Holcombe’s Barry Middleton who made no mistakes with a close range effort lifted into Malaysia’s goal. The closing stages were tense as Malaysia pushed forward, but England looked solid in defense and composed in their attacks as they held on to their 2-1 lead to take the three points.

Speaking after the game head coach Bobby Crutchley said, “This was another important progressive step for the group. We’re continuing to develop the mental side of our game and I thought we coped extremely well with the pressure from Malaysia and their home support here. We now look forward to a quarter final against Japan on Thursday. If we continue to improve as we have been doing, we’ll have a great chance of World Cup qualification.”

Pakistan top Pool B on goal difference after their 6-2 victory over South Africa, which means that England finish second and will play Japan on Thursday at 10:00 (UK time). Watch it live on the FIH You Tube channel.

ENGLAND 2 (1)
Richard Smith 20 (PC)     
Barry Middleton 57 (FG)

MALAYSIA 1 (1)
Tengku Abdul Jalil 27 (PC)

England Hockey Board Media release



England beat Malaysia

By Andrew Elliott


ENGLAND beat hosts Malaysia 2-1 to book a quarter-final meeting with Japan tomorrow in the World League.

Goals from Richard Smith and Barry Middleton secured second place in Pool B, following draws against South Africa and Pakistan.

Coach Bobby Crutchley said: “This was another important progressive step for us.

“We coped extremely well with the pressure from Malaysia and their home support.

“If we continue to improve as we have been doing, we’ll have a great chance of World Cup qualification.

Daily Express



Argentina tops semi-final pool at Hockey World League


The Argentinian hockey team playing against India at the BDO Champions Challenge Men's Hockey Tournament in Antwerp on June 29, 2007. File Photo

Argentina on Tuesday surprised the hockey fraternity worldwide by topping pool A in the Hockey World League semi-finals being held in Malaysia, ahead of Olympic champions Germany.

“We are very happy,” coach Carlos Retegui said, after a 3-0 win over South Korea saw Argentina finish at the top — two goals ahead of the Germans.

Facundo Callioni, Matias Paredes, and Gonzalo Pillat scored within 13 minutes in the second half to secure the pool-winning victory, after Germany’s 3-1 against Japan on a rainy day in Johur Bahru.

“We have many young talented boys in our squad”, Retegui said.

The 43-year-old has played at three Olympics between 1996 and 2004 in his active career, and was head coach of the national women’s team before.

Retegui’s biggest success with the “Las Leonas” is the World Championship win in 2010 on home soil in Rosario. Between 2009 and 2012, he also led the women contingent to a silver in the 2012 London Olympics, as well as three Champions Trophy victories in 2009, 2010, and 2012.

Retegui and the “Las Leonas” have also won several Four-Nation tournaments. However, defeat in the 2011 Pan-American Games final against the United States was a big disappointment for them, and denied them direct qualification for the London Olympics.

After the London Olympics, Retegui switched to the men’s side.

“The only difference between coaching women and men is that women wear strapless and tighter shirts,” Retegui said with a smile.

His boys are doing very well so far in Johor Bahru, drawing 1-1 with Germany, and beating Korea 3-0 and Japan 7-1. But for Rategui, “the tournament starts now.” The quarter-final on Thursday will be crucial to securing qualification for the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, as only the top three from Johor Bahru gain direct entry.

If Argentina fail, they still have a chance to make it to the 12-team World Cup by either becoming Pan-American champions or on the steam of their final ranking in Johor Bahru.

The other quarter-finals are: England vs Japan, Pakistan vs South Korea, and Germany vs Malaysia.

The Hindu



SA men’s hockey team outplayed by Pakistan in Johor

The South Africa men’s hockey team were beaten 6-2 by world number five Pakistan in their final Pool B match at the World League Semi-Final tournament in Johor, Malaysia Tuesday night.

The result leaves world number 12 South Africa being drawn to face Pool A winners, world number 10 Argentina, in the first quarter-final match on Thursday, which will be televised live on SuperSport 5 and HD2 from 8.45 am (SA time).

Apart from Argentina versus South Africa, the other quarter-finals pit Pakistan against South Korea, hosts Malaysia versus world number one Germany and England up against Japan.

South Africa started well, piling on the pressure, but the Pakistanis took a 2-0 lead with goals from Muhammad Zubair in the 13th minute and Shafqat Rasool in the 18th minute before Wade Paton reduced the deficit from a penalty corner in the 25th minute.

Pakistan restored their two-goal advantage when Abdul Haseem Khan deflected in a penalty corner attempt by skipper Muhammad Imran in the 27th minute for the 3-1 half-time score.

Haseem was on target again in the 41st minute to extend Pakistan's lead to 4-1 and completed his hat-trick in the 60th minute. Zubair scored the sixth Pakistan goal in the 64th minute while Craig Haley scored a minute from time, in the 69th minute, for South Africa to leave the final score 6-2 to Pakistan.

SA Hockey Association media release



Pakistan hit South Africa for six to set match against Asian rivals.

By Shahid Khan



Haseem Khan celebrating after scoring his hat-trick in half hour.

Pakistan outplayed South Africa 6-2 to top Group B in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Hockey League played in Malaysia.

Green shirts that had come into the game after two draws against hosts Malaysia (4-4) and England (2-2) will now face South Korea, who finished fourth in Group A in quarter finals on Thursday.

Although the Africans started brightly and forced the first penalty corner of the game it was Mohammad Zubair who game Pakistan their early lead with a reverse stick shot in the 13th minute.

Incidentally, this was the first time Pakistan had taken the lead in the 8 nations tournament. Four minutes later Shafqat Rasool doubled the lead by volleying a shot after the goal keeper had parried a penalty corner shot.

South Africa managed to pull a goal back in the 25th minute. But Pakistan responded almost immediately as Haseem Khan got a crucial touch on a penalty corner to score his first goal of the game and Pakistan’s third.   They went into the break with the green shirts leading 3-1.

26 year old Haseem, grabbed two further goals to complete his hat-trick as South Africa were unable to stage a come back,  in a tournament which has seen remarkable turn rounds with teams recovering from 3 goals deficits in more than one match.

Zubair notched the 6th goal for the Asian side as he completed the move which had seen the mercurial Shakeel Abassi going on a mazy run.

Head Coach, Akhtar Rasool’s concern at the lack of conversion of the chances created by his team in their earlier had at last been put to rest with an emphatic display by the Green shirts.

By finishing top of their group Pakistan avoided to play world’s top ranked German team and Argentina who surprising topped the other group. The top three teams will gain automatic qualification to next years World Cup to be held in The Hague, Holland.

Exclusive for Field Hockey website

Shahid Khan is a senior hockey journalist who has covered most world events for BBC Asia Network, Reuters TV and various publications since 1973.



Greenshirts thrash South Africa 6-2 at HWL

By Fawad Hussain


KARACHI: After drawing two back-to-back games, Pakistan raised their standards to outwit South Africa 6-2 to finish atop Group B, as the Hockey World League (HWL) entered the knock-out stages in Johor, Malaysia yesterday.

A remarkable hat-trick by striker Haseem Khan along with Mohammad Zubair’s brace were the main contributions for the Greenshirts who overcame group mates England on goal-difference. Both sides finished with five points each from a win and a couple of drawn matches. Hosts Malaysia finished third while South Africa finished bottom in the group.

Pakistan will now take on South Korea who finished last in Group A with just a single point. Argentina topped the group, followed by Germany and Japan respectively with the quarter-finals lined up for tomorrow.

Pakistan dominate Proteas

The Mohammad Imran-led side showed their intentions to top the group right from the beginning with an aggressive start after defying an instant attack from the opposition.

The team then scored the opener in the 13th minute when Mohammad Zubair found the top left corner of the goal with a clinical backhand shot.

Soon after gaining the lead, Pakistan made another attack to earn a penalty corner with experienced Shafqat Rasool increasing the scoreline to 2-0.

South Africa opened their account through Wade Paton, but Haseem instantly scored his first goal through a deflection on a penalty-corner attempt. The score remained 3-1 in the first-half.

In the final session, the Greenshirts once again displayed an energetic show as they scored another three goals while conceding only one goal.

Haseem got his second goal soon after the second-half commenced, hitting the target from close range.

South Africa came close to scoring, but goal-keeper Imran Shah made some commendable saves to retain the 4-1 lead. Haseem further extended the lead and completed his hat-trick, showing precision on a diving deflection.

With six minutes remaining, Zubair achieved his brace as he made no mistake on a touch from a fine pass from veteran Shakeel Abbasi.

However, the Proteas got a late consolation with moments left in the final hooter as the Greenshirts walked away with impressive win.

Coach delighted with strikers’ show

Pakistan coach Hanif Khan was glad with the victory, showering praise on the forward line.

“This is what we were waiting for since months,” Hanif told The Express Tribune from Johor.

“Today our strikers finally lived up to their potential by converting maximum chances. They have been playing well to create chances but proper execution was missing.

“Our forward line was up to the mark in this game and if it retains the momentum, we can beat even top teams like Germany,” said the coach, before expressing satisfaction on the overall performance.

“The team is in rhythm as our defence and midfield is also showing a lot of responsibility. The performance of both our goal-keepers has also been impressive.”

The former Olympian was confident of the team’s chances to advance further as they take on South Korea tomorrow in the quarter-finals.

“The team is highly confident after finishing on top of the group and we look to raise our game further. We are only targeting the victory stand at this stage.”

The Express Tribune



Pakistan thrash South Africa 6-2

By Mushtaq A Subhani




JOHOR BAHRU: Pakistan outplayed South Africa 6-2 to qualify for the semi-finals in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Hockey League played in Malaysia on Tuesday.

Pakistan will now face South Korea in semi-finals on Thursday.

Mohammad Zubair made first breakthrough scoring goal in the 13th minute and just after four minutes Shafqat Rasool double the lead.

South Africa reduced the lead in the 25th minute but two minutes later Abdul Haseem Khan deflected the ball into net and Pakistan were leading 3-1 when the first half ended.

Six minutes after the second half began Haseem Khan made his second goal to strengthen Pakistan lead to 4-1.

In the 60th minute, Haseem completed his hat-trick and three minutes later Zubair scored his second goal to take Pakistan to a formidable position at 6-1.

However South Africa reduced the margin to 6-2 two minutes before the end of the match.

The News International



Pakistan rout South Africa 6-2 to top Group B

Staff Report


KARACHI: Pakistan crushed South Africa 6-2 in the Men’s Hockey World League in Malaysia on Tuesday to top Group B, thanks to goal difference. Abdul Haseem Khan scored a hat-trick as the greenshirts raced to a two goal lead by the 17th minute. South Africa managed to pull a goal back in the 25th minute when Wade Paton drag flicked a sensational penalty corner effort just inside the right post. But Pakistan responded almost immediately as Haseem got a crucial touch on a penalty corner to score his first goal of the game and Pakistan’s third. They went into the half with the greenshirts leading 3-1.

Pakistan started the second half much the same way the did the first as Haseem finished off a move by putting the ball into the goal on 41 minutes. South Africa then tried to put Pakistan under a spell of pressure, but the greenshirts responded with another goal as Haseem secured his hat trick and effectively killed off the match as a contest.

South Africa had various good chances of their own and could easily have had more notches on the scoreboard were it not for some top class goalkeeping from Pakistan’s Imran Butt, who made some wonderful saves to deny the South African strikers. Pakistan’s Mohammad Zubair turned in Shakeel Abassi’s cross-shot to secure a brace before the South Africans got a consolation goal. With the win giving Pakistan a better goal difference than England, they topped Group B and will now face South Korea, who finished fourth in Group A, in the quarterfinals on Thursday (tomorrow).

The Daily Times



Pakistan crush South Africa 6-2

LAHORE - Pakistan crushed South Africa 6-2 to qualify for the quarter-finals in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Hockey League played in Malaysia on Tuesday.

According to information made available here, Pakistan will now face South Korea in the semi-finals. M Zubair made first breakthrough scoring goal in the 13th minute and just after four minutes Shafqat Rasool double the lead. South Africa reduced the lead in the 25th minute but two minutes later Abdul Haseem Khan deflected the ball into net and Pakistan were leading 3-1 when the first half ended.

Six minutes after the second half began, Haseem Khan made his second goal to strengthen Pakistan lead to 4-1.

In the 60th minute, Haseem completed his hat-trick and three minutes later Zubair scored his second goal to take Pakistan to a formidable position at 6-1. However, South Africa reduced the margin to 6-2 two minutes before the end of the match.  In Butt, who was also injured mid-way through the match, Pakistan have found a solid replacement for Salman Akbar and is living up to the legacy his brother Rehan Butt has left in the team. The result means Pakistan topped Group ‘B’ and will now face Korea in the quarterfinal stage on July 4 (16:15 PST), their first real test of the tournament.

Quarterfinal lineup (July 4):
Argentina v South Africa
England v Japan
Pakistan v Korea (16:15 PST)
Germany v Malaysia.

The Nation



Shukri looks towards WC 2014

Even though it has taken him a long time to complete his studies due to his involvement in hockey, Shuk or his real name Mohamad Shukri Abdul Mutalib still holds the ambition to play at the World Cup and at the Olympics.

The 27 year old who has been studying  Physical Education- Management  for the past six years at University Putra Malaysia was born in Trolak, Perak.

He hopes that he would be able to play in the World Cup and Olympic Games before he retires from hockey and after which will open his path to be a sports teacher once he gets his degree.

Ge was a 17 year old freshie when he represented Malaysia at the 2004 Olympics Qualifiers at Athens, given the nod over many senior players by the then national coach Paul Lissek.

"I can never forget that for it helped me improve my game after that. It was quite an experience and though we failed to make it to the Olumpics it lit a fire in me to one day play in the Olympics,: said Shuk.

The fifth born of seven siblings has a family background of sports for two of his brothers play hockey since they were in primary school.

Shuk started to represent his school when he was 10 years old, having 177 cap since making his debut at the age of 18 in the year 2004.

Being in a team that became the runner up for Asian Games 2010 was the best and worst moment for him in his hockey career. This is because due to that, the team did not make it to the 2012 Olympics from the Asian Games slot which only the winner will qualify.

"That was the nearest I got to playing in the Olympics and it came a year after we missed the cut for the 2010 New Delhi World Cuo,: added Shukri.

Together with his teammates Mohd Shahrun Nabil, Azlan Misron, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Abdul Jalil and Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor under the guidance of national coach Paul Revington, they are the frontliners for the country’s hockey team hunting a spot to the world cup through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals right here in Taman Daya, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

"We play Germany and it will be tough but not impossible. There is still a match to play though many may have written us off," said Shukri.

Known to be a bit quiet but friendly, hockey, he says is his favourite sport. However he says that since 10 years ago, the sport has undergone quite a few changes.

Shuk who is playing the right back position is no longer needed to defend only.  He would have to help out the strikers to cover the middle field as well.

For him, modern day hockey requires every aspect applied on the field including high physical training, swiftness and of course tactical skills.

Shuk is one person that becomes friends with just about everyone. He doesn’t have a best friend on the team but for him each teammate is his best friends.  Everyone is treated equally.

Shuk has a very busy schedule everyday therefore he doesn’t really have the time to hang around because he has to divide his time between hockey and studying. Any extra time he has he would be spending it for his own or sleep as resting for him is very important as well.

Shuk is determined to get the national squad to the World Cup in The Hagus, Netherlands next year. 

Official WHL R3, Johor Baru Microsite



Shukri hears his calling



HE was only 18 when former Malaysian coach Paul Lissek gave him a break over many other experienced hands to play in the 2004 Athens Olympic Qualifiers.

Today, Shukri Mutalib is 177 caps old, and has seen action at many levels of the game, but not the World Cup or the Olympics.

And he is determined to add to his profile next year's World Cup, which means he will give his all in the match against Germany.

"I can never forget the day I was selected for the Athens Olympic Qualifiers for it made me a much better player after that. It was quite an experience and although we failed, it lit a fire in me which will only be satisfied if I play in the Olympics or the World Cup," said Shukri.

There were many near misses for this lad, as he helped Malaysia to a bronze in the Asian Games, which was the best as well as the worst moment for him as Malaysia gave away the 2010 Olympics ticket to Pakistan on a 2-0 score.

"That was the closest I got to playing in the Olympics and it came a year after we missed the cut for the 2010 New Delhi World Cup (losing to New Zealand 2-1 in the Invercargill Qualifier final)," said Shukri.

"And tomorrow (today) I get another chance to help the country, and after many disappointing moments in my career, I aim to get it right this time.

"It will be tough against the Germans, and even though many have written us off, my team-mates and I believe we are capable of pulling off an upset," said Shukri.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Schlagen Sie die Deutschen!


Malaysian goalkeeper S. Kumar will have to bring out his best to stop the Germans.

MALAYSIA chose their destiny against Olympic champions and World No 1 Germany, and will now have to bring out their best in the World League Semi-finals at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.

They played their worst match against England, losing 2-1, but if they manage the form against Pakistan (4-4) and South Africa (6-4), the Germans will have their hands full in the quarter-finals today.

Only the top-three teams qualify for the World Cup next year, and so Malaysia must make the semi-finals to have two more shots at the ticket.

German coach Markus Weise knows it would not be easy to tame the Malaysian side, especially at the Taman Daya Stadium.

"I have seen some great improvement in the Malaysian team under coach (Paul) Revington and it will not be an easy match. There are many fast strikers in the Malaysian team, and they are especially dangerous in the counter. The penalty corner battery is also solid," said Weise.

Germany have been far from impressive as they were held 1-1 by Argentina, and needed a boost of opening own goals from South Korea and Japan to win 5-0 and 3-1 respectively.

And while the Koreans looked like they gave up and gave away the huge margin win, the Japanese held them to a 1-1 tie, before bowing out in the second half due to mistakes among their defenders, and not moments of brilliance form Germany.

Revington has a plan, and it will be modelled after the 3-2 defeat to World No 2 Australia in the Azlan Shah Cup final in March.

Back then, Malaysia held the Aussies to a 2-2 draw with goals from Faizal Saari and Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin before Australia struck the winner four seconds from the final hooter.

In the group stage, Malaysia held Australia 1-1.

"We have had a good build-up towards this tournament especially the Azlan Shah Cup where we drew 1-1 and then only lost by one goal against Australia.

"I have a fighting side, and I believe they will not disappoint me tomorrow (today)," said Revington.

Malaysia scored a total of 11 goals in three matches, but the minus point is that they have been guilty of giving away too many penalty corners and letting in a massive 10 goals.

The match looks lop-sided on paper, as a world No 13 side battles the mighty Germans, and only sheer grit would turn the tide towards Revington's men.

Quarter-finals -- Argentina v South Africa (2.45pm); England v Japan (5pm); Pakistan v South Korea (7.15pm); Germany v Malaysia (9.30pm).

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey



Electric Ireland Irish Women Strike early to beat Scotland



The Electric Ireland Senior Women's team secured a deserved 4-1 win in their 2nd test game of the week in Newtownabbey vs Scotland. The game marked yet another significant milestone for a member of the Green Army as Omagh woman Shirley McCay claimed her 150th Ireland cap in front of her home crowd and took over the captain's armband from regular skipper Alex Speers

The two sides had met each other twice recently in early June in Edinburgh with a 2-2 draw and 4-3 win to Scotland highlighting the competitive level of both teams.

Tonight's game was played in unusually wet & windy conditions for a July evening but it didn't affect Ireland who raced into an early lead in the 3rd minute when Alex Speers finished neatly from the left of the circle following good work by Nicci Daly to get to the line and pull back for Speers. Ireland's first half performance certainly had more intensity than yesterday's game with Wales with the Green Army aggressive in their tackling from the offset.

Deirdre Duke went close to extending the lead for Ireland mi-way through the half but saw her shot from just inside the circle fly wide of the goal following good work from Megan Frazer down the left hand side of the Irish attack.

Scotland's first real chance of the first half came in the 19th minute when they won a penalty corner but Ireland defended resolutely and the change went begging for the Scots. Ireland won their first corner with 12 minutes to play in the half following good work from Meeke & O'Flanagan. Audrey O'Flynn shot was blocked but Ireland won a second corner which pin balled around the circle before falling to Alex Speers to nudge home and give Ireland a 2-0 lead.

Scotland pulled one back with 9 minutes to play in the half when Holly Cram blasted the ball into the circle and it took a nasty deflection off an Irish stick high into the net. There was still time for Ireland's Nikki Evans to have a goal chalked off for an earlier infringement and Katie Mullan to sting the palms of the Scottish keeper before the teams headed for the break with the score 2-1 to Ireland

With a very wet pitch in the 2nd half, both sides failed to create any real chances and their play was littered with errors. It wasn't until 14 minutes into the half that Ireland extended the lead as Nikki Evans weaved past two defenders before seeing her effort blocked but UCD's Chloe Watkins was on hand to sublimely lift the ball over the keeper high into the net to make it 3-1 to Ireland.

Midway through the half Ireland were reduced to 9 players as first Beatty and then O'Flanagan both saw themselves yellow carded and out of the game for 5 minutes. Ireland weathered the Scottish storm during this key moment though and maintained the 2 goal lead for the Green Army.

Ireland made it 4-1 with 10 minutes to play when strong midfield running from Megan Frazer saw her burst through the Scottish defence and fire a shot from the top of the circle which Deirdre Duke deflected home to grab her first International goal for Ireland.

Speaking after the game, Electric Ireland Senior International Coach, Darren Smith said "It's good to have a nice win and we scored some good goals. Our intensity, work rate and effort was far superior than yesterday. To a degree I thought the score flattered us, they played some good hockey on a heavy pitch and we have got to be mindful that it is going to be another tough battle ahead on Thursday here at Mossley Hockey Club"

Ireland will face Scotland two more times this week on Thursday & Friday with a 12pm start for both games.

Ireland 4 (Speers x2, Watkins, Duke)
Scotland 1 (O.G.)

Ireland Starting XI: Smithwick, Evans, Speers, McCay, Carroll, O'Flynn, Daly, Atcheler, Gray, Pinder, Duke

Subs: Frazer, Mullan, Watkins, O'Flanagan, Meeke, Beatty, O'Flanagan (GK)

Irish Hockey Association media release



Scotland suffer Ireland defeat

Scotland Women suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Ireland this evening, going 1-0 down in the three match series being played at Newtownabbey this week.

An Irish own goal, caused by a deflection on a Holly Cram strike inside the circle, was the only consolation for the Scots.

Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, "Today Ireland took their chances but the shoreline flatters them slightly. I'm happy with the effort put in by the players but there are areas we will look to work towards improving for Thursday's game."

Ireland opening the scoring as early as the fourth minute when Alex Speers finished off Nicci Daly’s cutback from the goal-line, putting the visitors on the back foot at 1-0.

Ireland almost extended their lead midway through the first half when Dierdre Duke’s shot narrowly missed the target.

The first Scottish attack on goal was registered in the 19th minute but the penalty corner set-play was defended well by the home side.

Ireland then won a penalty corner in the 23rd minute, from which Audrey O’Flynn’s shot was defended, but the Irish were awarded a second penalty corner from which they doubled their lead to 2-0 when Speers finished from close range in the 25th minute.

Nevertheless, Gordon Shepherd’s side pulled a goal back at 2-1 eight minutes from half-time when Holly Cram’s shot took a deflection off an Irish stick to land in the back of the net.

With conditions proving tricky in the second half due to the rain, both sides struggled with the ball.

However, Ireland reclaimed their two goal advantage in the 49th minute when Nikki Evans’ effort on target was blocked by Amy Gibson only for Chloe Watkins to finish off high into the net for a 3-1 lead.

With Ireland reduced to nine players as a consequence of two yellow cards, Scotland piled on pressure but were unable to make the numerical advantage count.

They were left to rue the missed opportunity to get back into the game when the fourth goal was scored in the 60th minute. Megan Frazer blasted an effort from the top of the circle, which was deflected into the net by Duke to round off the scoring at 4-1 to Ireland.

Ireland (Speers 4’, 25, Watkins 49’ Duke 60’) 4-1 Scotland (O.G, 27’)

Scotland Women: Amy Gibson, Nicola Cochrane, Becky Ward, Catriona Ralph, Holly Cram, Linda Clement (c), Ailsa Wyllie, Leigh Fawcett, Nikki Kidd, Susan McGilveray, Ali Howie, Nicola Skrastin, Emily Maguire, Aileen Davis, Amy Brodie, Sarah Robertson, Nikki Lloyd, Morag McLellan.

Scottish Hockey Union media release



Canada Defeats Wales 3-1



After a bit of a slow start the previous game, the WNT looked to come out strong against Wales, however, the Welsh who  came out firing, putting Canada on the defensive, and generating a penalty stroke early on.

The stroke was batted away by the Canadian goalkeeper Kaitlyn Williams but served as the wake up call Canada needed. Not long after, Canada’s Kate Gillis gave her team a one goal lead after a long corner resulted in a chaotic scramble in front of the Welsh net. 1-0 for Canada.

As the minutes in the first half began to wind down, Canada maintained constant pressure, managing to keep the ball in their opponents end. Before the half came to a close, Canada struck again as Marion Dickinson converted a well-executed penalty corner into the team’s second goal. Her diving tip beat the Welsh keeper.

The second half commenced with the Canadian team again putting their opponents under immense pressure, dominating their attacking 25 for most of the second half. From the ground, Canada’s Gillis managed to net her second goal of the game to make the score 3-0 after midfielder Danielle Hennig drove towards the circle and hit a flat reverse shot.

Wales quickly responded, surging into the Canadian’s defensive end and winning a penalty corner. A strong shot from the top of the circle ricocheted off several players and resulted in Wale’s first goal of the three game series.

When the match ended, the score was 3-1 for the Canadians. Team Canada will take to the field again on Canada Day to face off against Scotland.

Field Hockey Canada media release



Sandeep, Shivendra miss Asia Cup bus

A week after being part of the Indian squad at the Hockey World League Round 3, senior players Sandeep Singh and Shivendra Singh find themselves out of favour for the upcoming Asia Cup.

The Hockey India list of 48-probables for the ninth men’s Asia Cup, to be held at Ipoh (Malaysia) from August 24 to September 1, has several youngsters.

The list was finalised by Hockey India selectors B.P. Govinda, Savitri Purty, chief coach Michael Nobbs, scientific advisor Jason Konrath and government observer Harbinder Singh.

It is surprising that the two, along with young forward Mandeep Singh, have gone from being part of the playing XI at Rotterdam to not finding a place even among the 48.

“The decision was purely on performance. In Shivendra’s case, we wanted someone experienced because Gurvinder Singh Chandi was out with injury, but he did not live up to expectations.

As for Sandeep, he has got enough chances but hasn’t justified his presence, either as a drag-flicker or a defender,” said chief selector Govinda.

Seven goalkeepers

The list includes seven goalkeepers, nine defenders, 12 midfielders and 20 forwards. Another surprise inclusion is Danish Mujtaba as the player is still recovering from knee surgery and not likely to come back for a few months.

The preparatory camp will be held at SAI Centre, Bangalore, from July 16 to August 16. India is placed in Pool B with Korea, Bangladesh and Oman while Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and Chinese-Taipei are in Pool A.

The Hindu



Sandeep Singh dropped from probables list for Asia Cup

NEW DELHI: Dragflicker Sandeep Singh was on Tuesday dropped from the list of 48 Indian probables, for next month's Asia Cup in Malaysia, who will train in Bangalore from July 16 to August 16.

Sandeep, who was picked for the World League Round 3 (SemiFinal) played at Rotterdam, Netherlands last month, was dropped yet again after India's dismal show in the event.

The Asia Cup, which is into its ninth edition, will be held in Ipoh from August 24 to September 1.

Hockey India selectors B P Govinda, Savitri Purty, chief coach Michael Nobbs and scientific advisor Jason Konrath alongwith government observer Harbinder Singh selected the core probables.

India is placed in pool B with Korea, Bangladesh and Oman while Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and Chinese-Taipei are in Pool A.

The Asia Cup is also the qualification tournament for the FIH Men's World Cup to be played in The Hague, The Netherlands from May 31 to June 15 next year.

The list of 48 senior men core probables includes seven goalkeepers, nine defenders, 12 midfielders and 20 forwards.

The List of 48 senior men core probables:

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, PT Rao, Sreenivasa Rao Katharu, Nanak Singh, Naveen Kumar, Jagdeep Dayal, Abhinay Kumar Pandey.

Defenders: VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh, Harbir Singh Sandhu, Amit Rohidas, Sampath Kumar Maylaram, Gagandeep Singh, Dayananda Chanamthabam, Narinder Pal Singh, Gurmail Singh.

Midfielders: Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, M B Aiyappa, Kothajit Singh, Pardeep Mor, Vivek Dhar, Birendra Lakra, Jaspreet Singh, Simranjit Singh, Manjit Kullu, Vikas Pillay, Sumit

Forwards: SV Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Chinglensana Singh, Danish Mujtaba, SK Uthappa, Pradhan Sommanna, Nithin Thimmaiah, Dharamvir Singh, Akashdeep Singh, MG Poonacha, Prabhdeep Singh, PL Thimmanna, Sukhdev Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Jasjeet Singh, Nikin Thimmaiah, Harman Preet Singh, Manjinder Singh, M.K Muddappa, Gagandeep Singh.

The Times of India



Sandeep Singh left out of Asia Cup probables' list

Rutvick Mehta



Sandeep Singh

Sandeep, however, said he was not aware of being axed."I haven't received any information from either Hockey India or the selectors, so I can't comment," he said.

India’s drag flicker Sandeep Singh has made many a comeback, none less than the famous return to the national team after being wheel chaired for almost two years in 2006 after being accidentally shot at.

However, it might well be the end of the road for the former India captain as far as the Hockey India selectors are concerned. The 27-year-old has been left out of the list of 48 core probables for next month’s Asia Cup in Malaysia.

“Sandeep has had his time,” government observer Harbinder Singh, who was part of the selection panel of the probables, told dna. “When you have drag flickers like VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh and youngsters like Gurmail Singh, there can be no place for someone like Sandeep.”

India’s dismal show in the recent FIH World League Round 3 (semifinals) in The Netherlands, alongwith Sandeep’s poor personal form, seems to have been the last nail in the coffin for the selectors.

“Sandeep, as a defender, has a lot of weaknesses. If your attacking unit is scoring four goals and the defence is allowing five, that is a serious problem. His weak defence was ultimately a loss to the team,” Harbinder added.

The selection panel felt blooding in youngsters was the way forward. “The seniors have to make way for juniors. We were not satisfied with the result at The Netherlands, and we felt our defence and failure to convert penalty corners was the main reason for it,” he said.

Sandeep, however, said he was not aware of being axed.“I haven’t received any information from either Hockey India or the selectors, so I can’t comment,” he said.

DNA



HI names 48 probables for Asia Cup; Sandeep dropped

New Delhi - Following India’s miserable performance in the Hockey World League at Rotterdam recently, which was a qualification event for the 2014 World Cup, Hockey India has cast the net wide to pick 48 core probables for a coaching camp in preparation of the team for the 9th Asia Cup, to be held at Ipoh (Malaysia), from August 24 to September 1.

The Asia Cup will be India’s last hope to qualify for the World Cup, for if they win the title, they would make the cut. The World Cup will be held in The Hague (Holland) from May 31 to June 15, 2014.

The coaching camp will be held at the SAI Centre (Bangalore) from July 16 to August 16. The probables include seven goalkeepers, nine defenders, 12 midfielders and 20 forwards. India were let down by goalkeepers and the defenders, which included three drag-flick specialists, in the World Cup qualifying event, and as a result, Hockey India decided to tap the maximum available talent and observe them closely in the month-long camp in Bangalore before finalizing the Asia Cup team.

Senior selectors B.P Govinda, Savitri Purty, chief coach Michael Nobbs and scientific advisor Jason Konrath, along with Government observer Harbinder Singh, selected the probables for the Asia Cup camp.India are grouped in Pool B with Korea, Bangladesh and Oman while Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan and Chinese-Taipei make up Pool A.

Goalkeepers: PR Sreejesh, PT Rao Katharu, Nanak Singh, Naveen Kumar, Jagdeep Dayal and Abhinay Kumar Pandey; Defenders: VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh, Harbir Singh Sandhu,Amit Rohidas, Sampath Kumar Maylaram, Gagandeep Singh, Dayananda Chanamthabam, Narinder Pal Singh and Gurmail Singh; Mid-fielders: Sardar Singh, Manpreet Singh, M B Aiyappa, Kothajit Singh, Pardeep Mor, Vivek Dhar, Birendra Lakra, Jaspreet Singh, Simranjit Singh, Manjit Kullu, Vikas Pillay and Sumit; Forwards: SV Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi, Chinglensana Singh, Danish Mujtaba, SK Uthappa, Pradhan Sommanna, Nithin Thimmaiah, Dharamvir Singh, Akashdeep Singh, MG Poonacha, Prabhdeep Singh, PL Thimmanna, Sukhdev Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Jasjeet Singh, Nikin Thimmaiah, Harman Preet Singh, Manjinder Singh, M.K Muddappa and Gagandeep Singh.

The Tribune



Carvalho slams Nobbs's performance as hockey coach

MUMBAI: Former skipper Joaquim Carvalho hit out at chief hockey coach Michael Nobbs, saying the Australian has not done anything worthwhile to galvanise the sagging fortunes of the team in his two-year-old tenure.

"He has shown no improvement in the Indian team. A good coach needs to come up with good strategies against specific opponents, should have good management and communication skills as well as ability to read the game. He is no coach," Carvalho , who also coached the national team, said.

However, Carvalho's former India and Mumbai teammate Mervyn Fernandis has questioned frequent changes of coaches.

"I do not believe in talking about coaching. That's my personality. We have made so many changes, brought in foreign coaches after using Indians, but where have all these changes got us to? And before making any change we should see what are the other options," Fernandis said.

Nobbs, under whom India finished 12th with the wooden spoon in the London Olympic Games last year, is under serious pressure to help team qualify for the next men's World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands scheduled for May-June, 2014.

The Indian team, led by Sardar Singh, failed to achieve its primary aim to qualify for the showpiece event at the World League semifinal at Rotterdam last month.

Nobbs's could be in the line of fire if the Indian team fails to earn a direct entry into the world cup by winning the eight-nation Asia Cup, which is slated to be held from August 24 to September 1 at Ipoh, Malaysia.

India are to compete with Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, Oman, Chinese Taipei and hosts Malaysia.

Carvalho, a top half back who represented the country in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, wondered why Dutchman Roelant Oltmans, whose credentials were much higher as coach, was functioning as the High Performance Director and not as the chief coach of the national team.

"Nobbs has been paid handsomely and if India does not qualify for the World Cup it will be money going down the drain," said Carvalho.

Fernandis, on the other hand, said a coach can take the players only to a certain limit, beyond which it was for them to take their own game forward.

"The coach has his limitations and it's for the players to make extra efforts to improve. From what I have been seeing, some of them lack basics. I see them passing the ball and then standing stationary, instead of running into open spaces," he remarked.

"For example, a guy like Birender Lakra was showing good signs of improving but in the last tournament he was disappointing. The players are stagnating. They have to show the urge to improve," Fernandis said.

The Times of India



Malone names Electric Ireland U18 Irish Women's Squad



Electric Ireland U18 Women's Head Coach, Richie Malone has today named a strong squad to compete at the Electric Ireland U18 Women's EuroHockey Championships which will take place at UCD, Dublin from 29th July to 4th August 2013.

The tournament, running as part of The Gathering, will feature the cream of European Women's Hockey including Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, England, Russia, France and Wales as well as Malone's Ireland team who will be keen to impress on home turf.

Malone's squad will be captained by Loreto player Jessica McGirr with Lurgan girl Hannah Grieve acting as vice-captain for the squad. There is one goalkeeping spot in the squad still to be confirmed and this will happen following this weekend's games in England.

The Electric Ireland U18 Irish Women's team have been drawn in Pool A along with hockey superpower Netherlands, France and our close neighbours Wales. The Green Army will kick off their campaign vs. Wales on Monday 29th July 2013 at 5pm and then face The Netherlands at 5pm the following day before wrapping up their Pool games vs. France at 1pm on Thursday 1st August 2013. Based on their final Pool positions all 8 teams will feature in a crossover day on Saturday 3rd August with the top two teams from each pool game playing off in two exciting semi-finals for a place in the showpiece Electric Ireland U18 Women's EuroHockey Championships Final on Sunday 4th August 2013.

Speaking to hockey.ie  Malone said "It's exciting to be involved with such a talented group of  players, who have worked extremely hard in recent months, the opportunity to represent your country in always special but the chance to play in a home European's in front of all your friends and family is something extra special. As we head into the English series next weekend myself and my management team are really excited to see how we grow as a group and progress as our preparations for the Europeans in July continue."

Electric Ireland U18 Irish Women's Squad

1. Elaine Carey (Colaiste Iognaid/Galway Hockey Club)
2. Emma Duncan (Kilkenny College/Old Alexandra)
3. Aisling Cronin (Loretto Wexford/Wexford Hockey Club)
4. Abby Oakes (Mount Mercy/Cork Harlequins)
5. Rachel Gray (Alexandra College/Old Alexandra)
6. Millie O'Donnell (Alexandra College/Old Alexandra)
7. Amber Gleeson (Alexandra College/Old Alexandra)
8. Sarah Hawkshaw (Mount Sackville/Railway Union)
9. Jessica McGirr (Loreto Beaufort/ Loreto)
10. Claire Foley (St Gerards/Pembroke)
11. Sarah Twomey (Mount Anville/Hermes Hockey Club)
12. Ayeisha McFerran (Larne Grammar/Randalstown)
13. Robyn Chambers (Rainey Endowed/Ballymoney)
14. Hannah Grieve (Lurgan College/Lurgan)
15. Ruth Maguire (Larne Grammar/Ulster Elks)
16. Zara Thom (Methodist College Belfast/Harlequins)
17. Emma Kernaghan (Ballymena Academy)
18. To be confirmed

Early bird season tickets for the Electric Ireland U18 Women's EuroHockey Championships  are now available on http://www.hockey.ie

Irish Hockey Association media release



Archibald rules out return to Black Sticks


Ryan Archibald. Photo / Getty Images.

Former New Zealand men's hockey captain Ryan Archibald has ruled out an immediate return to the national squad but says he hasn't made a decision about a possible return for the World Cup or Commonwealth Games.

The 32-year-old who has played more than 250 internationals for the Black Sticks will play for Auckland in the National Hockey League but said his career was now his priority ahead of hockey. He had planned to retire from international hockey after last year's disappointing Olympic campaign but playing in the NHL helps to keep his options open.

Archibald has been one of New Zealand's best players over the past decade and in 2008 was selected for the World All Stars and was a finalist for the prestigious Euro Hockey MVP award.

The New Zealand Herald