News for 05 August 2013

All the news for Monday 5 August 2013


The Netherlands win the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup

Argentina take Silver, India claim Bronze in Mönchengladbach



The Netherlands defeated Argentina in the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup final. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The reigning champions from the Netherlands defended their title at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup. The Dutch girls won the final against Argentina 4-2 in the shoot-out clinching the trophy for a record third time in women’s Junior World Cup history. The breathtaking final was tied 1-1 after regulation time and went into shoot-outs to decide the winner. India claimed their first-ever medal when winning the Bronze medal match against England. The Indian girls take home the Bronze medal with a 3-2 shoot-out victory. The winning goal was scored by 17-year-old Navneet Kaur.

The final ranking sees all five continents being represented in the Top 8 which underlines the inclusivity and global popularity of hockey. Spain walked away with a narrow 1-0 win against Australia in the 5th place play-off match. Spain have thus reached the top five for the first time in Junior World Cup history. Team USA celebrated a deserved 4-2 victory over South Africa to reach the seventh place at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup.

New Zealand fought past Germany in the last match on Pitch 2, winning by the narrowest of margins to take 9th place. Korea was the stronger team in the match for 11th place against China and took an easy 4-0 win. In the match for 13th place, Belgium got the better of Canada in one of four shoot-outs today. In the match for 15th place, Russia claimed victory after taking Ghana into their second shoot-out in as many days.

Final: Netherlands v Argentina 1-1 (1-0), 4-2 PSO

The final got underway in front of a packed crowd in Mönchengladbach’s Hockeypark. The match started slow but quickly escalated into a fast-pace game with chances either side. Argentina forced the first penalty corner midway through the first half but Julia Gomes Fantasia’s flick went wide of goal. The Leoncitas had slightly more ball possession, but failed to convert this advantage to goals.

The Netherlands forced their first penalty corner of the game in the 28th minute. However, the Argentine goalkeeper Sofia Montserrat made a tremendous save against tournament top scorer Lieke van Wijk. Before, Montserrat had parried well against Samantha Saxton firing from close range. With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Dutch girls forced their second penalty corner which was brilliantly converted by drag flicking specialist van Wijk. Montserrat had no chance as the ball hit the top corner of the net. The reigning champions held a narrow 1-0 lead at halftime.

After the break, the Dutch goalkeeper Anne Veenendaal was called into action several times as Argentina looked to draw. The Leoncitas pushed hard to force the equaliser but Veenendaal made sure that nothing gets passed her. On the other side, Montserrat parried another penalty corner flick from van Wijk. The Leoncitas eventually levelled the score to 1-1 with a great goal in the dying minutes of the game. With four minutes remaining on the clock, Jimena Cedres deflected a penalty corner shot from Gomes Fantasia into the net.

As the score remained tied at 1-1, a penalty shoot-out was necessary to decide the winner. Six of eight shots went in. Marloes Keetels, Sarah Jaspers, Maria Verschoor and Laurien Leurink scored for the Dutch side, while the Leoncitas Maria Granatto and Jimena Cedres failed to convert. Florencia Habif and Julia Gomes Fantasia were the only ones scoring goals for Argentina.

Bronze medal match: India v England 1-1 (1-0), 3-2 PSO

The Bronze medal match started off with an early penalty corner to England but Grace Balsdon’s shot was deflected before reaching India’s goalkeeper Chanu Sanarik Ningombam. The English girls kept pushing for the opening goal but it were India who would get on the scoreboard first. A counter-attack saw Rani powerfully strike home after 13 minutes of play. A few minutes later, India failed to double their lead from a penalty corner variation. The Indian girls slowly took control of the match, but were unable to break the English defence. The halftime score stood at 1-0.

England entered the second half with a different attitude. They stepped up the pace and pressed for the equaliser and eventually got it through Anna Toman by shooting on target in a crowded circle. Both teams kept going and went for the winning goal but ran out of time. As the result remained tied 1-1 after 70 minutes of play, the Bronze medal match was decided in a penalty shoot-out competition.

India substituted their goalkeepers replacing Ningombam by Bigan Soy who has not played a single minute in this tournament so far. Only 5 of 14 attempts were successful in the shoot-out competition with Rani scoring twice and Navneet Kaur scoring for India and Emily Defroand converting twice for England.

Voices after the match:

Neil Hawgood, coach India: “It means a lot to our kids’ psychology that they can actually win a medal. They have never been in those games before. We practiced shoot-outs, so I thought we would score more than three out of seven. Our goalkeeper Bigan Soy, who never played a minute the whole tournament, did a great job. It was clear, when it comes down to shoot-outs, she will be in the goal.”

Rani, Indian player: “We are so happy and we have to thank our goalkeeper Bigan Soy who did very well in the shoot-outs. We were mentally prepared for shoot-outs which was good. This is our first-ever medal in a Junior World Cup, now we will celebrate!”

Bigan Soy, Indian goalkeeper during shoot-outs: “I did my very best and it’s a good feeling to know that I saved my team. I’m very happy. It now feels as I would have played the whole tournament.”

Navneet Kaur, scorer of the winning goal: “This is my first Junior World Cup and my first medal, I’m so happy. It was tough to take a second penalty after I didn’t score from the first. I knew that I need to get the goalkeeper to dive and then I can score. This is what I did.”

Individual awards

Player of the tournament
: Rani (India)

Goalkeeper of the tournament: Sofia Montserrat (Argentina)

Top scorer: Lieke van Wijk (The Netherlands)

For more information about Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, please visit our official tournament microsite by clicking here. The microsite will bring you all of the news coming from the event, including written match reports, action photos, official match documents, goal scoring statistics, as well as live streaming from all matches in the main stadium.

FIH site



The Netherlands crowned Junior World Champions after shoot-out drama

The reigning champions defend their title at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup



The Netherlands defeated Argentina in the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup final. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The Netherlands defeated Argentina 4-2 in a shoot-out to clinch the trophy at the Women’s ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach 2013. The breathtaking final between The Netherlands and Argentina was tied 1-1 after regulation time and went into shoot-outs to decide the winner.

The final got underway in front of a packed crowd in Mönchengladbach’s Hockeypark. The match started slow but quickly escalated into a fast-pace game with chances either side. Argentina forced the first penalty corner midway through the first half but Julia Gomes Fantasia’s flick went wide of goal. The Leoncitas had slightly more ball possession, but failed to convert this advantage to goals.

The Netherlands forced their first penalty corner of the game in the 28th minute. However, the Argentine goalkeeper Sofia Montserrat made a tremendous save against tournament top scorer Lieke van Wijk. Before, Montserrat had parried well against Samantha Saxton firing from close range. With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Dutch girls forced their second penalty corner which was brilliantly converted by drag flicking specialist van Wijk. Montserrat had no chance as the ball hit the top corner of the net. The reigning champions held a narrow 1-0 lead at halftime.

After the break, the Dutch goalkeeper Anne Veenendaal was called into action several times as Argentina looked to draw. The Leoncitas pushed hard to force the equaliser but Veenendaal made sure that nothing gets passed her. On the other side, Montserrat parried another penalty corner flick from van Wijk. The Leoncitas eventually levelled the score to 1-1 with a great goal in the dying minutes of the game. With four minutes remaining on the clock, Jimena Cedres deflected a penalty corner shot from Gomes Fantasia into the net.

As the score remained tied at 1-1, a penalty shoot-out was necessary to decide the winner. Six of eight shots went in. Marloes Keetels, Sarah Jaspers, Maria Verschoor and Laurien Leurink scored for the Dutch side, while the Leoncitas Maria Granatto and Jimena Cedres failed to convert. Florencia Habif and Julia Gomes Fantasia were the only ones scoring goals for Argentina.

FIH site



India take Bronze at Women's ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup

Korea sail past China to claim 11th place



India won their first-ever medal in Women's Junior World Cup history. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

India won their first-ever medal in women’s Junior World Cup history. The Indian girls take home the Bronze medal with a 3-2 shoot-out victory over England at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach. The winning goal was scored by 17-year-old Navneet Kaur. Korea was the stronger team in the match for 11th place against China and took an easy 4-0 win.

Bronze medal match: India v England 1-1 (1-0), 3-2 PSO

The Bronze medal match started off with an early penalty corner to England but Grace Balsdon’s shot was deflected before reaching India’s goalkeeper Chanu Sanarik Ningombam. The English girls kept pushing for the opening goal but it were India who would get on the scoreboard first. A counter-attack saw Rani powerfully strike home after 13 minutes of play. A few minutes later, India failed to double their lead from a penalty corner variation. The Indian girls slowly took control of the match, but were unable to break the English defence. The halftime score stood at 1-0.

England entered the second half with a different attitude. They stepped up the pace and pressed for the equaliser and eventually got it through Anna Toman by shooting on target in a crowded circle. Both teams kept going and went for the winning goal but ran out of time. As the result remained tied 1-1 after 70 minutes of play, the Bronze medal match was decided in a penalty shoot-out competition.

India substituted their goalkeepers replacing Ningombam by Bigan Soy who has not played a single minute in this tournament so far. Only 5 of 14 attempts were successful in the shoot-out competition with Rani scoring twice and Navneet Kaur scoring for India and Emily Defroand converting twice for England.

Voices after the match:

Neil Hawgood, coach India: “It means a lot to our kids’ psychology that they can actually win a medal. They have never been in those games before. We practiced shoot-outs, so I thought we would score more than three out of seven. Our goalkeeper Bigan Soy, who never played a minute the whole tournament, did a great job. It was clear, when it comes down to shoot-outs, she will be in the goal.”

Rani, Indian player: “We are so happy and we have to thank our goalkeeper Bigan Soy who did very well in the shoot-outs. We were mentally prepared for shoot-outs which was good. This is our first-ever medal in a Junior World Cup, now we will celebrate!”

Bigan Soy, Indian goalkeeper during shoot-outs: “I did my very best and it’s a good feeling to know that I saved my team. I’m very happy. It now feels as I would have played the whole tournament.”

Navneet Kaur, scorer of the winning goal: “This is my first Junior World Cup and my first medal, I’m so happy. It was tough to take a second penalty after I didn’t score from the first. I knew that I need to get the goalkeeper to dive and then I can score. This is what I did.”

Placement 11-12: Korea v China 4-0 (2-0)

Two early goals by Kim Hyun Ji and Kang Jina had Korea two goals ahead by the ninth minute. Following this early blitz however, China held Korea at the 2-0 scoreline for the remainder of the first half, spite the fact that Korea were the stronger team and had a bigger share of possession and the better opportunities.

In the second half, an early goal from Cheon Eun Bi and Kang Jina's second of the day bookended an otherwise uneventful half of back and forth with few opportunities at either end. China tried to get a goal back, especially towards the end of the match, but the girls could not make their efforts count, and Korea came out of the match on top with a 4-0 win.

With this in, Korea take 11th place, and China finish 12th, which for both teams is below their current world ranking - China is 7th in the world at this point in time, and Korea is 8th.

FIH site



Spain finish 5th for first time in Women’s Junior World Cup history

Belgium claim 13th place with win over Canada



Spain walk away with 5th place after defeating Australia 1-0. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Spain walked away with a narrow 1-0 win against Australia in the 5th place play-off match at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach. Spain have thus reached the top five four the first time in Junior World Cup history. In the match for 13th place, Belgium got the better of Canada in another shoot-out on Pitch 2.

Placement 5-6: Spain v Australia 1-0 (1-0)

The Jillaroos entered the pitch with passion and went after a quick goal. They forced three early penalty corners but could not capitalize on any of them. Australia were the dominant side early in the game but failed to put something on the scoreboard. But the Spanish goalkepper Mariona Girabent made outstanding saves against Anna Flanagan and crew, securing that nothing gets past her. However, it were Spain who opened the scoring against the run of play. Their first penalty corner was superbly converted by Cristina Guinea to put her team ahead. The two teams then battled the rest of the first half without scoring. 

Australia forced another penalty corner at the beginning of the second half. The flick was taken by the FIH Young Player of the Year, Anna Flanagan, but fantastically saved by goalie Girabent. The Jillaroos kept control of the match with good passing play but simply did not score. The Spanish defence stood firm holding the strikers outside the circle. Like in their quarter-final, which they lost 1-0 to England, Australia dominated play but did not tie the game.

With ten minutes remaining on the clock, a good counter-attack almost led to a second goal for Spain but Carola Salvatella could not beat Audrey Smith in the Australian goal.  Shortly after, Marta Bosque forced a penalty stroke for Spain after she was fouled by goalie Smith. The stroke was poorly taken by captain Berta Bonastre and stopped by the goalkeeper. Australia had one last opportunity to equalise when they forced a penalty corner in the last minute of the match but Flanagan’s attempt was blocked.

Placement 13-14: Canada v Belgium 1-1 (1-1) 1-2 PSO

In the match for 13th place, Canada had advantages in the first half, including a number of penalty corners, but between some complicated variations and some good Belgian defending, their attempts were all futile. A goal against the run of play from Pauline Leclef got Belgium ahead late in the first half, but within less than a miute, Canada caught up with a goal from open play by Priya Randhawa.

The teams headed into halftime at 1-1, and after the break, there was 35 minutes of back and forth between two equal contenders. Neither team could create much danger, there were few scenes in or around the circles, and when the final whistle sounded, the second shoot-out on Pitch 2 today was needed to separate the teams.

In the shoot-out, Belgium was the more efficient side, scoring twice from the first series of five attackers, while Canada could only manage one goal. Belgium thus take 13th place in the tournament, a good result for this very young team. Canada finish 14th amongst the 16 participants in the Women's ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup.

FIH site



South Africa eighth, Dutch retain title at 2013 Junior World Cup in Germany

JONATHAN COOK



SA U21 captain Izelle Lategan. File photo: Plate Pictures

Captain Izelle Lategan’s South Africa U21 women’s hockey team finished eighth of the 16 nations that qualified for the 2013 Women’s Junior World Cup tournament, which ended at Warsteiner Stadium in Mönchengladbach, Germany Sunday evening.

SA lost 4-2 to the USA in the seventh/eighth place playoff after the score was 2-1 to the Americans at half-time.

The Netherlands retained their title with a 4-2 win on penalty shootout over 2009 JWC silver medallists Argentina after the score was 1-1 at full-time.

India, ranked 12th in the world at senior level, won the bronze medal, an achievement that in comparative terms must surely rank as the best of the tournament.

The International Hockey Federation reports that the USA had a deserved victory over South Africa.

“It was a very hard game,” said USA head coach Steve Jennings. “We knew South Africa were going to be tough. In the second half we scored some great goals, which finally separated the teams.”

“It was a very competitive game, the USA are a good hockey team,” said SA head coach Lindsey Wright. “It has been a great tournament. I hope my girls learned a lot and that they are able to take it home.”

In the 15th minute, Marie Elena-Bolles opened the scoring for the USA with a deflection goal. South Africa stepped up the pace, forcing their first penalty corner after 28 minutes, and converted. After the first shot was saved, Liné Malan followed up and hit the ball towards goal, where Nicole Walraven was waiting to deflect it into the net.

However, the USA went 2-1 up before half-time via a penalty corner goal from captain Laura Gebhart.

A competitive second half saw scoring opportunities either side. Despite there being no goals in the first 25 minutes, the half was full of good hockey and both goalkeepers - Lauren Blazing of the USA and second-half substitute Nicole la Fleur for South Africa - impressed.

On 60 minutes, Nikki Parsley got her name on the scoresheet for the USA’s third goal, firing in a penalty corner. The Americans added another goal when Emma Bozek scored from a penalty corner on 68 minutes.

“Lindsey replaced the goalkeeper with a kicking back and our striker Tarryn Glasby slotted a superb goal for 4-2,” said SA team manager Charmaine Koekemoer. “However, there was not enough time on the clock to force a draw.”

CLASSIFICATION MATCHES


(15/16) Russia 1 Ghana 1 (3-1 SO); (13/14) Belgium 1 Canada 1 (2-1 SO); (11/12) South Korea 4 China 0; (9/10) New Zealand 2 Germany 1; (7/8) USA 4 South Africa 2; (5/6) Spain 1 Australia 0; (3/4) India 1 England 1 (3-2 SO); (1/2) The Netherlands 1 Argentina 1 (4-2 SO).

* SO (penalty shootout)

Highlights of the JWC can be found online at www.youtube.com/fihockey

SA Hockey Association media release



Junior Black Sticks claim 9th place

German hosts finish 10th at ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup



(Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

New Zealand fought past Germany in the last match on Pitch 2 at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, winning by the narrowest of margins to take 9th place.

Germany v New Zealand 1-2 (0-1)

Motivated by an early goal from Michaela Curtis that gave them a psychological advantage, New Zealand put constant pressure on the German defense and had play confined to the German half of the field for long stretches of time, while Germany struggled to find a way through the ranks of the Kiwis.

The teams headed ino the break with New Zealand one goal ahead, after they were unable to extend their lead despite the superiority in the field, but after the restart, New Zealand immediately pulled further ahead, when Erin goud converted a penalty corner in the 37th minute.

Two goals down, Germany starte to push back harder and their efforts were rewarded six minutes later when team captain Rebecca Grote scored a goal from open play to narrow the gap. For the remainder of the match, Germany pushed for the equalizer. New Zealand held fast however, and didn't allow the Germans many opportunities to score. As the clock ticked down, Germany replaced their goalkeeper with a kicking back, and desperately pushed forward but the final whistle cut their plight short, and the Junior Black Sticks threw their arms in the air in celebration.

New Zealand finish 9th in the tournament, a place both teams coveted after disappointingly being confined to the lower half of the table after finishing third in their respective pools, while the German hosts take 10th place.

FIH site



Indian girls edge out England to win bronze

Special Correspondent



MAIDEN SUCCESS: Jubilant Indian hockey players carrying their captain Sushila Chanu after winning the bronze medal at the Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany, on Sunday.

For once, the nerves failed the opposition. And the Indian women’s hockey team took full advantage of it, finishing on the podium of the junior World Cup for the first time, defeating England 3-2 on penalties in the bronze-medal play-off.

In fact, this is the maiden success for the Indian women’s hockey team, across age groups, at the world level. Their best before this was a fourth place finish, at the 1974 World Cup and the 1980 Olympics.

It was also the culmination of Rani Rampal’s success who, after promising so much in her maiden international outing three years back, fell by the wayside because of fitness issues. Rani scored the lone goal in the match and twice in the shootout. The teams were tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time.

Only 5 penalties converted

The extent of pressure can be gauged from the fact that of the total 16 strokes taken, only five were converted. But where Navneet Kaur managed to keep control of her second shot after wasting the first, Anna Toman failed.

Credit is also due to goalkeeper Bigan Soy, who stepped on the turf for the first time in the tournament in the shootout. If ever there was a case of keeping nerves, this was it. And Soy came out a winner, like the rest of the team.

The Hindu



Indian girls win first-ever World Cup medal

NEW DELHI: It was celebration time for country's hockey lovers as India held their nerves to beat a fancied England 3-2 on penalties to claim the bronze medal in the Junior Women's World Cup in Monchengladbach, Germany on Sunday.

Blog: Hockey girls give us the real Chak De moment

Defending champions the Netherlands, who India lost to in the semifinals, lifted the trophy by beating Argentina 4-2 on penalties.

The Indian girls showed maturity beyond their age in the thrilling match to clinch the bronze, thus becoming the first women's hockey team from India to win a medal in a World Cup. India's gamble to field goalkeeper Bigan Soy for the first time in the tournament during the penalties paid off as she came up with several saves to help the team finish on the podium.

"It means a lot to our kids' psychology that they can actually win a medal," India's coach Neil Hawgood said after the match. "Our goalkeeper Bigan Soy, who had not played even a minute in the whole tournament, did a great job. It was (always) clear, (that) when it comes down to shootouts, she will be in the goal," he was quoted as saying.

Soy added: "I did my very best and it's a good to know that I saved my team. I'm very happy. It now feels as if I have played the entire tournament."

Rani, who was later named "Player of the Tournament", opened the account for India in the 13th minute of the match before England equalized in the 55th through Anna Toman as both team teams finished the regulation time tied 1-1. The penalty shootout saw more misses than hits as both the sides failed to score from four strokes each.

India scored from their first attempt while England converted their last one. Rani scored from India's first stroke after Toman missed England's first. No goals were scored from the next six as England went to their final shot trailing 0-1 in the shootout. After Emily Defroand found the target to level the score, India needed to score their final hit to win. But Poonam Rani failed to score.

In the sudden death, Rani and Defroand scored for their teams respectively before Poonam Rani missed to give England a chance to wrap up the match. But Shona McCallin failed to take advantage. Navneet Kaur, who had earlier missed a penalty, rose to the occasion by scoring in her attempt while Toman could not convert to hand the Indian girls a well-deserved win.

"This is my first Junior World Cup and my first medal, I'm so happy. It was tough to take a second penalty after I didn't score from the first. I knew that I needed to get the goalkeeper to dive and then I could score. This is what I did," said Navneet, another team member.

Vice-captain Rani said that the team was well-prepared. "We were mentally prepared for the shootouts, which was good. This is our first-ever medal in a Junior World Cup, now we will celebrate," Rani said. This was the best finish by the team in the event, having finished outside top-eight in their earlier three attempts.

HI announces cash reward

Hockey India (HI) on Sunday announced that each member of team will be rewarded with a cash prize of Rs one lakh, according to agencies. Chief coach Hawgood will also receive a cash reward of Rs one lakh.

The Times of India



Hockey girls do a Chak De! in real life, win first ever bronze medal in junior World Cup

Rutvick Mehta


Indian women create history by winning country's first ever bronze medal in junior hockey World Cup, edge out England 3-2 on penalties.

Indian hockey has finally something to cheer about. And it’s not the men but the girls who have made their sticks talk and created history by winning India’s first ever bronze medal in the Junior Women Hockey World Cup. India edged out England 3-2 on penalties in Germany on Sunday. Reigning champions Netherlands beat Argentina 4-2, also on penalties, to clinch the cup.

Eighteen-year-old Rani proved her worth as India’s vice-captain, scoring India’s only goal in regulation time – which ended 1-1 – and then finding the net twice in the shootouts. Navneet Kaur’s strike got India a 3-2 lead and when England’s Anna Toman missed the next shot, it secured the memorable victory.

Interestingly, goalkeeper Bigan Soy stepped out for the first time in the entire tournament to save India’s den in the shootouts.

Coach Neil Hawgood was obviously a happy man, “It means a lot to our kids’ psychology that they can actually win a medal. They have never been in those games before. Our goalkeeper Bigan Soy, who got to play a minute in the whole tournament, did a great job.”

It may be recalled that the Indian girls defied all odds to beat some top teams, none less than New Zealand, Russia and Spain after losing their opening tie to Australia. And according to Harbinder Singh, one of the teams’ selectors, the win against New Zealand changed it all for the girls.

“After the loss to Australia, there was a lot of pep talk by the coach and support staff,” Singh said. “The way the entire team regrouped after the opening loss was commendable, and once they got into the winning streak, their team spirit rose further and they never looked back.”

Another reason why these girls punched above their weight was that around seven from the squad were also part of the senior women’s team for the FIH World League Round 3 in Europe.

“The experience the girls got from playing against the senior teams in Europe made a lot of difference in terms of their own play and planning and strategies,” Singh said.

“Look, India has had very less podium finishes and we defeated some very high-level teams in the competition. The entire team, coach and the support staff deserve maximum praise for this,” he added.

Hockey India secretary Narendra Batra announced that the entire team and coach will be rewarded with Rs 1 lakh each, while the support staff will get Rs 50,000 each.

“People have stopped expecting anything from Indian hockey and we haven’t won anything either lately. And if the turnaround starts from the junior level, then it’s nothing like it,” Batra told dna.

Rani’s words summed up the mood, “This is our first ever medal in a Junior World Cup, now we will celebrate.”

Indeed, they deserve to!

DNA



Indian girls bring back memories of hockey's golden era

Jaspreet Sahni



India beat England to win their first medal across all world cups after a gap of 38 years. (FFU Press Agency)

On a Sunday evening, far away in Monchengladbach, Germany, 18 Indian girls in a country of 1.2 billion have sent this message back home: "It's possible". Stand up, applaud, cry, cheer, shout your lungs off. Indian hockey has won a world cup bronze medal.

The news is struggling to find its way down the esophagus. Not unnatural though, as it fails to recognise 'success' that Indian hockey hasn't tasted for years. It last happened 38 years ago. Men brought the World Cup trophy back home in 1975. This time it's the turn of women, not the trophy but a bronze that's worth it's weight in gold.

For a moment it looked to be slipping away into the lap of colonial cousins - England, after the Dutch had earlier denied India a shot at the trophy. But the girls fought tooth and nail throughout the 70 minutes and the ensuing shoot-out. Then, it was leaps in the air, slides on the ground, jumps on the shoulders, tears in the eyes, hugs of success, high fives and a lap of honour with the Tricolour. Honour in every sense - well deserved and hard earned.

A bronze may sound 'okay' to some and a third position so-so. But those in the know of the battle Indian hockey is fighting recognise the mountain these girls have managed to climb.

Fraught with administrative tussles, frequent sackings of the coaching staff, cultural differences, language barriers, a continuous effort to chase the European teams who keep gaining ground over India and the resultant lack of success, Indian hockey has repeatedly fallen after finding strength to get up.

True that hockey is considered a man's game in India. Success of the game in India is evaluated on the success of its men's team. But this doesn't make men the sole catalyst of hockey's revival. Women can do that job equally well, and they have shown that today. They have shown that there is no dearth of talent, that Indian hockey is in talented young hands, provided it can be properly harnessed.

This win is one of those moments that has once again given Indian hockey the strength to stand up. But to ensure that it doesn't fall again is the collective responsibility of the players, who need to be consistent, and administrators, who need to be honest and proactive.

IBN Live



India wins first ever bronze medal in junior women hockey

Monchengladbach: India has won its wins first ever bronze medal in junior women hockey World Cup, defeating England 3-2 on penalties.

Indian girls created history by winning country's first ever bronze medal in the junior women hockey World Cup as they pipped England 3-2 penalties, riding on striker Rani's dazzling show, in the ongoing Junior Women's hockey World Cup in Monchengladbach.

Hockey India has announced a cash reward for the Indian team. Each player will get Rs 1 lakh each.

Rani opened the scoring for India with a field goal in the 13th minute to put the girls in blue 1-0 ahead. 18-year-old Rani scored India's only goal in the regulation time and then found the net twice in the penalty shoot-out to script India's memorable victory.

India had surprised top teams in the competition and they finished their campaign in superb manner. England girls could consider themselves unlucky as they were pipped in the bronze medal match by South Korea in the last edition of the championship in Boston.

The two teams had ended 1-1 after regualtion time.

Navneet Kaur's strike handed India a 3-2 lead in the shoot out and when Anna Toman missed the following shot, it secured India's win.

Rani took the first stroke in the shoot-out and scored straight away. None of the England player could score except Emily Defroand, who cancelled India's lead on both occasions.

Navneet had missed her earlier stroke but beat the rival goalkeeper in her second attempt as India gained upper hand again.

Anna, who had found the equaliser in the regulation for England, could not rescue her side this time in the pressure situation.

Earlier, Rani had put India ahead in the 13th minute through her brilliant field goal. The Indian girls defended their citadel well and maintained the lead till the half-time break.

England tried hard to get an equaliser and in the second half and Anna Toman brought her side back with her 55th minute strike.

The deadlock remained till the full time and the game was stretched to penalty shootout.

Indian girls, reached the semi-final with a win over Spain and lost out to Netherlands 3-0 on Friday.

Zee News



India win historic bronze at junior women hockey World Cup

MONCHENGLADBACH: Indian girls created history by winning country's first ever bronze medal in the junior women hockey World Cup as they pipped England 3-2 on penalties, riding on striker Rani's dazzling show, on Sunday.

18-year-old Rani scored India's only goal in the regulation time and then found the net twice in the penalty shoot-out to script India's memorable victory.

Navneet Kaur's strike handed India a 3-2 lead in the shoot out and when Anna Toman missed the following shot, it secured India's win. The two teams had ended 1-1 after regulation time.

India had surprised top teams in the competition and they finished their campaign in a superb manner.

England girls were also chasing their first bronze medal, having finished fourth at the last edition in 2009 in Boston, where they had lost the bronze play-off to South Korea.

Rani took the first stroke in the shoot-out and scored straight away. None of the England player could score except Emily Defroand, who cancelled India's lead on both occasions.

Navneet had missed her earlier stroke but she beat the rival goalkeeper in her second attempt as India gained upper hand again.

Anna, who had found the equaliser in the regulation for England, could not rescue her side this time in the pressure situation.

Earlier, the match started off with an early penalty corner to England but Grace Balsdon's shot was deflected before reaching India's goalkeeper Chanu Sanarik Ningombam.

The English girls kept pushing for the opening goal but it were India who would get on the scoreboard first. A counter-attack saw Rani powerfully strike home after 13 minutes of play.

A few minutes later, India failed to double their lead from a penalty corner variation. The Indian girls slowly took control of the match, but were unable to break the English defence. The halftime score stood at 1-0.

England entered the second half with a different attitude. They stepped up the pace and pressed for the equaliser and eventually got it through Anna Toman by shooting on target in a crowded circle in the 55th minute. Both teams kept going and went for the winning goal but ran out of time.

As the result remained tied 1-1 after 70 minutes of play, the match was decided in a penalty shoot-out competition.

India substituted their goalkeepers replacing Ningombam by Bigan Soy who had not played a single minute in this tournament so far.

Only 5 of 14 attempts were successful in the shoot-out.

The Times of India



HI announces cash reward of Rs 1 lakh for Players and coach

NEW DELHI: Hockey India (HI) secretary general Narinder Batra today announced that each member of India's junior women hockey team which won the country's first ever bronze medal at the World Cup today will be rewarded with a cash prize of Rs one lakh.

India today won its first ever bronze medal in junior women hockey World Cup after defeating England 3-2 on penalties in Monchengladbach, Germany.

"Each player of the Indian junior women's team will receive a cah reward of Rs one lakh, while the support staffs will be rewarded with Rs 50,000 each," Batra said.

India's chief coach Neil Hawgood, who also attributed the women's team's success in the ongoing Junior Hockey World Cup, will also receive a cash reward of Rs one lakh, Batra said.

Earlier, India had lost 0-3 to defending champions Netherlands in the second semifinal.

The Times of India



Junior World Cup fourth place for England U21s


Suzi Petty in action against India. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek.

England lost out in a tense penalty shuffle contest as they failed to beat India to the bronze medal at the ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach.

After falling behind to a Rani goal in the 13th minute, England couldn’t carve out the chance to get back into the game.

But in the second half, England showed a much more attacking mindset, playing with more pace and putting India on the back foot.

With 15 minutes remaining, Anna Toman hit an equaliser. After receiving the ball in a busy D, Toman managed to find a gap to flick her shot into the goal. Neither side could find another goal and so the strike forced shuffles.

England saw all but one of their five shots saved or pushed wide but Amy Tennant in the England goal kept them in it with some superb goalkeeping.

Tennant narrowed the angle of her onrushing Indian opponents by coming off her line early and the tactic worked as she made some great saves. Only Rani, who had scored in normal time managed to get the ball past her.

It came down to Emily Defroand to give England a lifeline and she took it, neatly rounding the keeper before slotting in.

This meant that the game would be decided by sudden death shuffles and Defroand stepped up to immediately follow up her first strike with another with Rani adding another to her tally for India.

But it was India who took the victory in sudden death shuffles. Anna Toman, who had already rescued England once in the tie, couldn’t find a way past Bigan Soy after Naveet Kaur had given the Asian side the advantage. England finish fourth in the competition.

Head coach, Craig Keegan, said: “It’s always the toughest way to end a tournament, to lose on penalties but it was probably our best half of hockey in the second half today, to really push India and score the goal and then press for the winner.

“Saying that I am proud of the team is a bit of an understatement. We have been on an incredible journey over the past two weeks and I have empathy for the players as finishing fourth is the worst position possible.”

England Hockey Board Media release



Jillaroos finish sixth at the Junior World Cup

1-0 defeat to Spain concludes Jillaroos' tournament


Australia’s U21 women’s hockey team, the Jillaroos, finished sixth at the Junior World Cup in Germany on Sunday after going down 1-0 to Spain in their final match of the tournament. In a game reminiscent of their earlier quarter final defeat to England, Australia were in control throughout but failed to find a way past a determined Spanish defence and ultimately lost out to one of their opponent’s rare shots on target.

The match was decided by a solitary penalty corner goal from Spain’s Cristina Guinea in the 23rd minute.  And while the Jillaroos had their chances, particularly from penalty corners, they emerged goalless against opponents that had finished top of Pool D earlier in the tournament.

Australia began the fifth-sixth playoff in the same way as they had their previous matches, pressing Spain high up the pitch and winning a brace of early penalty corners. But in a half characterised by spells of Australian possession broken by quick attacking breaks, it was one of those breaks that resulted in the corner from which the Jillaroos fell behind to Guinea’s shot.

The second half saw Spain soaking up more Australian pressure with goalkeeper Mariona Girabent pulling off several blocks. With time ticking down as they pressed for the equaliser, Australia were caught out on the break with goalkeeper Audrey Smith conceding a penalty stroke with just six minutes remaining. However, the Queensland shot-stopper made amends with a simple right footed save from Spanish captain Berta Bonastre to keep alive the Jillaroos’ hopes.

Australia had one final opportunity to send the game to a shoot-out with a last minute penalty corner but it was well defended and the danger cleared.

The result sees Australia’s talented young side finish sixth as Spain clinch fifth spot.

There is still Australian interest in the Junior World Cup, however, with the appointment of young Aussie umpire Kylie Seymour (NSW) to the tournament’s grande finale, the gold medal match between the Netherlands and Argentina.

Jillaroos squad v Spain
Started

Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA)
Madison Fitzpatrick (Cabarita Beach, QLD)
Anna Flanagan (Canberra, ACT) (captain)
Jordyn Holzberger (Ipswich, Queensland)
Nina Khoury (Newtown, NSW)
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA)
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC)
Audrey Smith (GK) (Wynnum, QLD)
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW)
Jade Warrender (Orange, NSW)
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT)

Substitute Used
Murphy Allendorf (Mount Gravatt, QLD)
Lily Brazel (Newington, NSW)
Mathilda Carmichael (Willoughby, NSW)
Kathryn Slattery (Como, WA)
Amelia Spence (Taroona, TAS)

Substitute Not Used
Elizabeth Duguid (GK) (Darwin, NT)
Kate Gilmore (Red Hill, ACT)

Hockey Australia media release



Junior Black Sticks finish 9th at Junior World Cup




The Junior Black Sticks Women have edged hosts Germany 2-1 to finish 9th at the Hockey Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany this morning.

A complete team performance from the Kiwi girls saw them dominate the first half, although converting opportunities proved difficult.

Goalkeeper Georgia Barnett made several critical saves from German shots before a stunning goal to the near post from Michaela Curtis gave New Zealand the advantage.

Led by stand-out players Brooke Neal and Rhiannon Dennison, the Junior Black Sticks continued to build pressure while Germany became frustrated and struggled to get through the defence.

Just two minutes into the second half, the Junior Black Sticks pulled further ahead when Erin Goad converted from a penalty corner.

Two goals down, Germany desperately attempted to mount a comeback with play on the turf becoming a lot less one-sided.

German captain Rebecca Grote scored 10 minutes into the half to pull her side right back into the game, but New Zealand held strong and denied the host nation any further opportunities.

The Junior Black Sticks finish their tournament 9th overall, playing a lot better than their final placing might suggest with four wins, one draw and one loss.

The Junior Black Sticks are part of the Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks Programme which offers international competition, training camps and quality coaching experience to the next generation of Black Sticks.

RESULT

Junior Black Sticks 2: (Michaela Curtis, Erin Goad)
Germany 1: (Rebecca Grote)
Halftime: NZ 1-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release



Kylie Seymour umpires Junior World Cup Final

Aussie umpire took charge of Netherlands v Argentina with South Africa's Michelle Joubert


The Jillaroos might not have reached the medal matches at the Junior World Cup but Australia was represented in the Final with young umpire Kylie Seymour appointed to the main match.

Kylie told us back in April that her primary aim this year was to perform well at the Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach and she’s certainly achieved that. Her performances throughout the tournament led to her appointment to the Final, alongside South African umpire Michelle Joubert. The pair officiated the match between the Netherlands, the defending champions, and Argentina’s youngsters – a number of whom may well make the step up to the senior Argentina team in time for October’s International Super Series Hockey 9s here in Australia.

And there was plenty to keep on top of with the two best teams in the world at U21 level going head to head. A 1-1 draw forced a shootout competition, keeping Kylie and her umpiring colleague on their toes, with the Netherlands ultimately winning the shootout 4-2 to retain the title they won in 2009.

Read our previous interview with Kylie here.

Congratulations Kylie.

Hockey Australia media release

 



Dutch clinch series title from England


England men v the netherlands day 3 of NOW Pensions Nations Cup

The final match of the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup did not disappoint as four goals apiece from England and the Netherlands resulted in a thrilling draw. Goals from Beeston teammates Ben Arnold and Michael Hoare, as well as two own goals, proved not to be enough as the Netherlands snatched a last minute equaliser to draw the scores level at 4–4 and take a series win 1–0.

Speaking after the game, Head Coach Bobby Crutchley reflected on the match, “Once again we’ve plenty to be really pleased about, our general play and control in the game was really good, and we were a threat going forward which is something we’ve worked hard on since Thursday. I’m a bit frustrated with the way we panicked slightly at the end, rather than continue to play our hockey as we know we can. We managed to get hold of the ball plenty of times, but just weren't strong enough on it. With the injuries sustained in yesterday’s game we were playing without a full squad and we did run out of legs towards the end.”

Adding his thoughts on the Player of the Series and captain, Barry Middleton’s performance over the three games, he added, “Barry’s been on great form and he's a world class player. His ability on the ball stands out so much. Even when he’s got three or four Dutch players around him he's able to get out of trouble and that just reflects the talented athlete he is.

Simon Mantell was unavailable for England selection so Cannock’s David Beckett was called into the squad for his first senior international cap. In addition to Darren Cheesman and Richard Smith being on the side-line, Ollie Willars and Dan Shingles also sat this one out, following slight injuries after yesterday’s match. Consequently, Andy Bull stepped up from the U21s to make us a squad of 17.

The Netherlands came out of the blocks quickly and were awarded a penalty corner within the first minute after a driving run led to a foot inside the circle. Rogier Hofman injected to Mink van der Weerden, who drag flicked the ball high into the net, past a diving George Pinner to give the Dutch a 1 – 0 lead.

Both teams defence worked hard, making it difficult for either side to create goal-scoring opportunities. However, two minutes before half time, England made it 1 – 1 as Nick Catlin rifled a great ball into the circle and a helpless Dutch defender could do nothing as it deflected off his stick and into his own goal.

At the start of the second half, the Netherlands again were awarded a penalty corner early on and they capitalised, restoring their one goal advantage. Van der Weerden got his second of the game as he drag flicked powerfully into the top right corner to leave the score at 2 – 1.

England didn’t let their heads drop though and bounced back instantly to equalise and take the lead in the space of six minutes. Firstly, an aerial ball found an unmarked Barry Middleton in the circle. He held it up well, waiting for support to arrive, before slipping the ball square to a diving Ben Arnold who swept it home. Moments later, Beeston’s Michael Hoare pounced on a loose ball at the top of the circle and fired an unstoppable shot into the net, to give him a memorable first international goal and England a 3 – 2 lead.

Pinner made a series of smart saves and Iain Lewers defended bravely to keep England ahead, but neither of them could prevent Constantijn Jonker lifting the ball from close range into the goal to bring the scores level at 3 – 3. Again though, England responded immediately as Lewers fired a reverse stick shot into the circle, getting the faintest of deflections off a Dutch stick to give the hosts a 4 – 3 lead with nine minutes remaining.

It looked as though the winners of the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup was going to have to be decided by a penalty shoot out, but in the dying seconds the Dutch managed to clinch an equaliser and secure an overall series win. They were awarded a penalty corner and Van der Weerden expertly drag flicked the ball into the net for his hat-trick and a 4 – 4 draw for his team.

Speaking after the game England captain and player of the series Barry Middleton said, “I've been really pleased with our level of play here this week. We had a couple of bad results in Hamburg and I think some doubts had crept into the team, so it's great to get these scores against a side as strong as the Netherlands. I think we pushed them really hard and probably deserved a little more out of the series, but we'll still go away satisfied with our overall performance. I thought Andy Bull coming in to play for us after playing two games for U21s shows how good we are as a squad, and how the guys are able to step up to the challenge so well.”

England’s men will be in action again from 18 August in the TriFinance EuroHockey Championship in Antwerp, Belgium. Watch it live on the BBC Red Button, online and on iplayer. The squad will be announced on Tuesday 06 August.

ENGLAND 4 (1)
OG 34, 61
Ben Arnold 41 (FG)
Michael Hoare 44 (FG)

NETHERLANDS 4 (1)
Mink van der Weerden 2, 39, 70 (PC)
Constantijn Jonker 60 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release



Victory snatched from England at last minute

By Andrew Elliott


ENGLAND suffered a cruel late blow as the Netherlands’ Mink van der Weerden scored a penalty corner in overtime to secure the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup in Wakefield.

England looked to have won the game 4-3 – meaning a penalty shoot-out to decide the three-match series – only to concede a corner with seconds remaining, which Van der Weerden converted.

Ben Arnold and Michael Hoare scored for England, with two own-goals by the Dutch.

Coach Bobby Crutchley said: “It was good preparation for the European Championships later this month.”

Daily Express



Holland stun England in overtime to win hockey Nations Cup


England's Michael Hoare, centre right, battles for possession against Holland during the third game of the Nations Cup at Wakefield. Photograph: Ady Kerry/PA

Holland's set-piece specialist Mink van der Weerden scored a penalty corner in overtime after the final whistle to complete his hat-trick in a 4-4 draw against England and secure the Nations Cup in Wakefield.

England looked to have won the game, meaning a penalty shoot-out to decide the three-match series, only to concede a controversial corner with seconds left.

With time expired the first attempt resulted in a second corner from which Van der Weerden fired home.

It was a cruel end for England who looked on course to register their first win after a defeat and a draw this week.

Van der Weerden had given Holland an early lead but England equalised when Nick Catlin fired the ball into the circle and it deflected off the Holland defender Oliver Polkamp and into the goal. Van der Weerden restored Holland's advantage before Ben Arnold and Michael Hoare put England in front. Constantijn Jonker levelled only for Catlin to score what he thought was the winner in the 61st minute before the late twist.

The Guardian



U21 men take NOW: Pensions Nations Plate


England U21 men play Malaysia in NOW Pensions Nations Plate

The final match of the NOW: Pensions Nations Plate was an eleven goal thriller which saw the Malaysian U21 side steal a 6 – 5 win against England U21s right at the end.

Malaysia were 2 – 0 up after just nine minutes with two almost identical goals from penalty corners, converted by Zulhairi Hashim. England pulled a goal back when Sam French finished off a well-worked penalty corner routine, however Hashim’s hat-trick came on 20 minutes after he fired home another penalty corner. Rob Farrington made it 3 – 2 going into the break with a powerful reverse stick strike from the top of the circle.

After half time, Azrul Hasbullah added to the Malaysian tally, making it 4 – 2, before three goals in seven minutes from England’s Farrington, Luke Taylor and Nick Bandurak gave the home side a 5 – 4 lead going into the final minutes. Hashim was on target again though from a penalty corner to bring the sides level again, before Rashid Baharom grabbed the winner late on to leave the final score at 6 – 5.

With nothing to separate the two sides over the three match series, it went to a penalty shoot out to determine the winners. After five shuttles each and the scores still tied, it went to sudden death. Player of the series, Rob Farrington stepped up and calmly converted after Diccon Stubbings had saved the Malaysian shuttle before, securing a NOW: Pensions Nations Plate victory for England U21s.

Speaking about the U21s performance across the series and the preparation for the U21 Junior World Cup in Delhi in December, Head Coach Jon Bleby said, "I think this series has been brilliant for our preparations and it’s great to play against the Malaysians who have such a different style of hockey to us. Winning the series on a shoot out was obviously an added bonus. I think Rob Farrington has had a really good series and he has a lot of potential in that midfield role; he's certainly one to keep an eye on in the future."

ENGLAND 5 (2)
Sam French 16 (PC)
Rob Farrington 24, 57 (FG, PC)
Luke Taylor 59 (PC)
Nick bandurak 63 (FG)

MALAYSIA 6 (3)
Zulhairi Hashim 6, 9 21, 68 (PC)
Azrul Hasbullah 53 (FG)
Rashid Baharom 69 (FG)

England Hockey Board Media release



England thump national juniors

BY S.RAMAGURU


KUALA LUMPUR: The national juniors were well beaten in their second match against England in their three-match series at the Wakefield Sports Club in Leeds, England on Saturday.

The English dominated the match to rout Malaysia 5-1 after the two sides drew 3-3. on Thursday. And team manager Mirnawan Nawawi said England were aggressive in the match and took their chances better.

“Overall, the players tried very hard to improve their game. They went all out and we did push the English hard,” said Minarwan.

The English side took a 2-0 lead in the first half and never looked back after that.

Rob Farrington gave England the lead in the 27th minute off a penalty corner and a powerful reverse stick strike from Nick Bandurak in the 32nd minute gave them a 2-0 lead going into the break.

Andy Bull made it 3-0 from a penalty corner goal in the 45th minute.

Malaysia pulled a goal back through Mohd Aminudin Mohd Gaffar in the 53rd minute but an own goal by Malaysia’s Kavin Karthik in the 62nd minute and a clever finish from Joe Sharp one minute from time made it 5-1.

The Star of Malaysia



Netherlands claim Electric Ireland EuroHockey U18 Title




The Netherlands capped off a fantastic week of hockey as they claimed the Electric Ireland EuroHockey U18 title in Dublin with a 1-0 win over rivals Germany. Sophie Slinkert struck the all-important goal after two minutes to claim the title. Germany for their part matched the Netherlands throughout but it was to be the team in Orange's day as they held on to claim to the title. Netherlands Maxime Kerstholt was also named top scorer.

In the Bronze medal game, England overcame France after a tense game which also went to the dreaded shootout. France took the lead in the 39th minute through Ines Brabant but England equalised in the 48th through Pascale Massey. Neither team could force the breakthrough thereafter and England prevailed in the shootout to claim the bronze medals.

In today's early action, Pool C was finalised as Belgium confirmed their place at the top of table with a close fought 2-0 win over Wales. Manon Simons & Alice Weicker grabbed the goals late on for Belgium. Both teams celebrated at the final hooter with the teams lining up arm in arm to salute their loyal supporters as Belgium were confimred as 5th place and Wales in 8th.

The second game was an end to end clash between Ireland and Russia as both teams entered the game on exactly the same points and goal difference with 6th place on the line as well as A Division status. Russia took the lead through Yulia Kasakova in the 7th minute. Ireland fought back well and actually took a 2-1 lead into the half time break first through an OG off a Russian stick and then Robyn Chambers struck to give the 'Little Green Army' the lead. Russia levelled 11 minutes from time to set up a frantic finish in which neither side could find the target. Both sides had to settle for the lottery of the shootout and Russia prevailed 2-1 as both keepers forced a number of shots wide. The result means Ireland finish the tournament in 7th position and will sadly lose their A division status. Russia's captain Maria Yashchenko meanwhile was named player of the tournament.

Irish Hockey Association media release

 



European bronze joy for England U18 Girls


U18s squad for 2013 EuroHockey Championships

England Under-18 Girls secured bronze in the EuroHockey Youth Championships in Ireland on Sunday, beating France in a thrilling penalty shootout in Dublin.

All square at 1-1 after normal time, England held their nerve through the penalty shootout which they won 3-1 to spark celebrations among the team and supporters.

Head Coach Andy Bradshaw said: “This has been a great end to nine months of hard work and some massive ups and downs. They made the game hard for themselves, but when it mattered they kept their composure in the shootout and managed to pull the win out.”

France had taken the lead on 38 minutes with a goal at a penalty corner shortly after half time, but England battled back in style on the 47th minute.

A good build up down the right hand side by Maddie Newlyn saw the ball crossed in to Pascale Massey who was unmarked in the D, and she fired home at the left post to equalise.

France sat deep for the rest of the half, leaving England to work hard to create chances on goal. Ultimately the scoreline was unchanged and a penalty shootout beckoned.

Rebekah Walker confidently scored England’s first goal, and while France equalised with their first effort, Meg Crowson saw her effort saved.

But England goalkeeper Rebecca Garner pulled off a great couple of saves to keep England in the match, while Kitty McWhirter scored with a penalty stroke, after she had been fouled by the French goalkeeper during her shuffle.

Now leading 2-1, England secured victory when Ellie Tait shot home from the left to put the game beyond France.

England Hockey Board Media release



Injury worries for Asia Cup-bound team

Harpreet Kaur Lamba


India’s campaign at the crucial Asia Cup men’s hockey tournament in Malaysia this month is under threat from a spate of injuries.

The growing list of the walking wounded  - that includes as many as four strikers - has the thinktank in a tizzy, and interim coach Roelant Oltmans says it will "require a lot of work to put in place a fit and competitive team."

Said Oltmans on Sunday, "It is a pity that these four will not be available (for this tournament) as all of them are very good players. Of course, it affects us and the plans, but I am not going to put too much attention on this.

"We have a lot of work to do and have to make sure that we put in place a fit and competitive team for the Asia Cup. Injuries are part of a top athlete’s life, and we have to take it in our stride."

S.V. Sunil was the latest to join the list after he collided with the goalkeeper during a practice game in Bengaluru two days ago.

"It couldn’t have come at a worse time. I have a fracture and ligament tear in the elbow. I have been advised six weeks of rest. It is very disheartening to miss out on the event," said the 24-year-old from Bengaluru.

The others include young striker Akashdeep Singh, who was ruled out last week with a shin injury. Forwards Gurvinder Singh Chandi (ankle) and Danish Mujtaba (knee) too are recovering from injuries sustained in the past and it means India will go into the crucial event with a depleted forwardline.

The squad of 33 probables gathered in the capital on the day and will begin their final leg of preparations from Monday. Oltmans said there were a "lot of areas" that needed attention.

"There are a number of areas, which of course I cannot talk about. We are working according to a structure, and we have things planned out for these 12-13 days. There are a number of issues, that include speed, agility, technique, mental and physical attributes. The work is on.

"It was important to train in Delhi because of the weather too, as we are going to face similar humid conditions in Malaysia," said Oltmans, who took charge after the sacking of Michael Nobbs last month.

The Asia Cup is the last opportunity for India to qualify for next year’s World Cup, having missed out on a berth during the World League Round 3 in Rotterdam two months ago.

The Asian Age



Yet another injury blow to India, Sunil ruled out of Asia Cup

NEW DELHI: India's prospect in the upcoming Asia Cup hockey tournament were dealt a severe blow after star forward S V Sunil had to be ruled out of August 24-September 1 event due to an elbow injury.

Sunil has become the latest casualty after injuries forced strikers Akashdeep Singh, Danish Mujtaba and Gurwinder Singh Chandi also to sit out of the all-important tournament.

Sunil, a livewire on the turf and a certain pick for the Asia Cup, suffered a ligament tear on his left elbow last Friday during the preparatory camp at the SAI centre in Bangalore and has been advised rest for six weeks.

"I suffered the injury during Friday's training session. I slipped and collided with the goalkeeper and tore the ligament of my left elbow. The doctor has advised me six weeks rest," said Sunil.

"It's very disappointing that I will miss such an important tournament like the Asia Cup. But there are some things which are out of our hands. I will pray that we come out winners in the Asia Cup, which will secure our ticket to next year's World Cup. There is no reason why we can't win the tournament. The boys are really working hard," he added.

After having failed to secure a direct berth in the FIH World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands from the FIH World League Round 3 in Rotterdam, India will now have to win the Asia Cup, to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia to qualify for next year's mega-event.

But injury concerns seemed to be hounding the team even before departing for the tournament.

While Akashdeep's suffering from a career-threatening shin-splints injury, 20-year-old Gurwinder has been out of competitive action for more than six months now following an ankle injury sustained during the inaugural Hero Hockey India League. Danish, on the other hand, recently underwent a knee surgery and will be out of action for the remainder of 2013.

Meanwhile, the ongoing national camp will restart in New Delhi from tomorrow after Hockey India decided to abandon the Sports Authority of India, South Centre yet again because of the worn-out Polytan turf there.

The turf at the SAI Centre in Bangalore has long gone past its expiry date and has become slippery, raising general apprehension that it is impossible to go all out on the pitch without inviting injuries.

Niggles have been the order of the day and last week only, Gurmail Singh, Harbir Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh sent the team think-tank into a tizzy when they sustained minor injuries during the training.

Interestingly, in April last year, India's former chief coach Michael Nobbs had ruled the turf at the South Centre unsuitable for high-intensity training and had forced the mandarins of Hockey India to shift the senior camp out of Bangalore.

The Times of India



U.S. Men’s National Team host Chile in preparation for Pan American Cup

Head coach Chris Clements set to announce final Pan Am Cup roster on August 5


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – August 1, 2013 – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Chris Clements will spend one final weekend analyzing players tactical knowledge and performance before finalizing the squad that will compete at the 2013 Pan American Cup in Brampton, Ontario, August 10-17. Clements intends to announce the 18-player Pan Am Cup roster on Monday, August 5.

“The players have prepared very professionally and we are now working on fine tuning set plays and tactical plans,” said Clements. “Every drill and test match is based around performance and we will select the 18-players that are performing at their best right now.”

Prior to departing for the Pan American Cup on August 7, the squad will compete in two friendly test matches against Chile on August 5 (2 p.m. PT) and August 6 (2 p.m. PT) at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Cali. Chile is a familiar opponent and a traditional Pan American rival. The U.S. faced Chile in late February at the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The U.S. narrowly fell to Chile, 1-0 after a scoreless first half.

Once in Brampton, the U.S. will match-up against Trinidad and Tobago for a final preparation test match before the World Cup qualifying tournament commences. The U.S. drew Trinidad and Tobago, 1-1, in regulation at the World League Round 2 in Brazil.

“The matches against Chile and Trinidad and Tobago will help the selected squad become more cohesive and confident as a unit before the first match at the Pan American Cup,” said Clements.

A large majority of the U.S. Men’s National Team have relocated to San Diego, Cali. to train full-time at the Olympic Training Center as part of a centralized training program. The squad has been together since returning from a tour in Australia in mid-July.

“The Australian Tour was fantastic and a very good indicator of where we are and the level of play we need to compete at,” said Clements. “Since returning from Australia, our training has been high intensity and competitive in nature. We have been training six days a week in preparation for the Pan American Cup and will look to finalize routines with our upcoming two test matches against Chile.”

As Clements looks to finalize the roster for the World Cup qualifying event, he will be looking for players ability to perform under pressure as well as execution of tactical knowledge and pre-determined game plans. He will also be analyzing versatility and physical capacity to select the best 18-players for the squad, no easy feat.

The U.S. Men were drawn into Pool A at the Pan American Cup alongside Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay. Competing in Pool B will be host Canada, Chile, Brazil and Trinidad and Tobago. The U.S. will open pool play on August 10 against Uruguay, followed by Argentina on August 11 and will conclude pool play against Mexico on August 13. Semifinal action will be played on Thursday, August 15 with the final slated for Saturday, August 17. The winner of the Pan American Cup will earn a spot at the 2014 World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

“Our goal is to finish top two in our pool and progress into the semi-finals and from there anything is possible,” said Clements. “We are in a heavy rebuilding phase with our young squad and need to compete for a win one match a time.”

The U.S. finished second at the 2009 Pan American Cup in Santiago, Chile. Canada will look to defend their 2009 title with a gold medal on their home turf, while Argentina will look to improve from their bronze medal performance.

USFHA media release



Hockey haven left to rot

Sports mandarins snooze after league, blemishes mar Rs 1.5cr turf in Morabadi

SANTOSH K. KIRO



Black spots swamp a corner of the artificial turf at the hockey stadium in Ranchi

Ranchi’s coveted green, which hosted the high-octane Hockey India League (HIL) earlier this year, is turning black, but its guardians are not seeing red.

The Rs 1.5-crore artificial playground was laid at the Astroturf Hockey Stadium in Morabadi in 2007 and was expected to have a shelf life of a decade, but lack of maintenance has left it with blemishes all over within six years of a ceremonial debut.

While black spots are conspicuous by their presence on the over 5,000sqm turf, layers of dust have left its verdant visage jaded.

“The Astroturf is crying for urgent attention. For any synthetic turf, cleaning should be done every week, but this one hasn’t been cleaned in months (since the January-February tourney). The turf is rotting because of negligence,” an official of Hockey Jharkhand said, requesting anonymity.

A visit to the Morabadi stadium showed that his apprehensions were not unwarranted. Though the Astroturf was fenced, as it should be to control access, it had no cover to protect it from the onslaught of soil and dirt. In another pointer to shoddy housekeeping, the turf has been cleaned — a few times that is — with untreated water. Dissolved solids and impurities are slowly and steadily rendering the surface slippery.

Sources said the stadium had a skeletal army of foot soldiers — two security guards who at best keep canine intruders at safe distance from the expensive field and three women who, occasionally, broom the administrative building. There is no dedicated team to clean the turf itself, a job that demands both periodicity and expertise.

“Let alone dusting drive on the field, the tanker in the administrative building — from where water is sourced for bathing the turf — has not been cleaned in years. The inside of the tank is grimy and mossy. No wonder every time a water jet is released, dirt accumulates on the Astroturf,” said another Hockey Jharkhand official.

A senior office-bearer of the state hockey outfit pointed out that the life of a good synthetic turf was at least seven years. “And, if proper care is given, it can host matches for 10 years,” he said, conceding that all was not well with the lone Astroturf in Ranchi.

In a nutshell, if the state’s sports mandarins do not wake up now, it can give up hopes of bagging fixtures for the second edition of HIL.

During the first edition, several matches were played at the stadium and home team Ranchi Rhinos had emerged the champions. The occasion had been no less than a long-drawn festival for residents of the capital and the state, where hockey is more than just a game. It is a tradition. Jharkhand has produced many hockey stars like the legendary Jaipal Singh who won gold for the country in the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam.

Hockey Jharkhand president Sudesh Mahto, whose office is housed in the administrative building of the stadium, could not be reached. A close aide, however, said that the former minister was not in the know.

Officials in the sports department too admitted ignorance. “I had no knowledge that the Astroturf is getting spoilt. I will soon initiate steps for its cleaning and maintenance,” promised state sports director Ashok Kumar.

The Telegraph crowdsources guidelines for the sports department on how to maintain the Morabadi Astroturf

Keep it clean

Areas adjacent to the turf must be free of litter, mud and debris

Provide trash cans, if necessary

Control unnecessary and unauthorised access

Cover it up

Use a clean tarp

Make sure the cover is large enough to extend beyond playing surface, to avoid accumulation of water/debris at edges

Remove dirt and trash from field before covering

Never put a cover on wet or damp field

Watch for mildew or stains when the cover is removed and, if present, clean the field before using cover again

Water quality

Raw or polluted water is not recommended for field washing or cooling

Untreated water contains large quantities of dissolved solids and leave deposits behind

Frequency of cleaning

Removal of loose rubbish and surface dust should be done at least once a week

A thorough wet cleaning (with special detergents) should be done at least once or twice a year

The Telegraph, India



Marist hosts hockey event

Rashneel Kumar


THE Marist men's and women's club from Suva is gearing up to host the 2013 Marist Eastgate Memorial Hockey Tournament from September 20 to 22 at the Fiji National Hockey Centre in Laucala.

Tournament committee member Paul Fraser said preparations were on track for the one of the most anticipated tournaments in the Fiji Hockey Federation calendar.

He said they were in process of sending invitations to teams around the country.

Teams from Ba, Lautoka, and Nadi with a large contingent from Suva district is expected at the three-day tournament.

"Last year the Naidrodro club from Ba, made a return to club hockey and the club is expected to participate in the 2013 Marist Eastgate Hockey Open," Fraser said.

"A team from New Zealand and a team from Australia have shown interest, which we still waiting for confirmation.

"We are also trying to bring two NZ-based umpires of international standard; one who is currently umpiring in the Junior Hockey World Cup which is currently held in Germany."

The men's and women's teams will battle it out for the prestigious Reginald and Dorothy Eastgate Memorial trophies while the mixed under-14 development teams will tussle for the Apted Trophy.

Fraser thanked previous sponsors Connect Velocity, Crest Chicken and Transtel for their support.

The Fiji Times