News for 26 August 2013

All the news for Monday 26 August 2013

German men claim record eighth European title

Belgium's silver is best result in European Championship history

Germany claimed the 2013 EuroHockey Champions title in Boom (Photo: EHF / Frank Uijlenbroek)

On the last day of the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships, Germany sneaked past Belgium to defend their European title, and the Netherlands staged a comeback to win bronze over England. Spain defeated Poland to finish fifth, and Ireland wrestle a draw from the Czech Republic to win their spot amongst Europe's top eight in 2015.

Final: Germany - Belgium 3-1 (0-0)

Germany successfully defended their European title with a 3-1 win against the Belgian hosts.

The final was played with the 8.600 seater stadium sold out and no empty seat in sight. The large and vocal crowd spurred the Red Lions on to an energetic start that saw them have several promising opportunities, but they couldn't make them count. Germany stepped up towards the break but could not yet get on the scoreboard, and the first half ended goalless.

After the re-start, it was Belgium who got the better start, as Tom Boon finished off an attack with the first goal of the match. Only minutes later however, Germany levelled the scores again, as Martin Zwicker deflected a shot across the line.

Ten minutes later, Germany then went ahead, as Benni Wess dashed into the circle from the right and slammed the ball into the boards. Belgium pushed to pull level again and had some chances, but eventually, it was the Germans again who scored, when Oliver Korn guided the ball into the goal from his vantage point at the post.

The German men thus took the crown, their record 8th European title, to complete the double after their women took gold yesterday, and denying the home team the elusive triumph on home soil. Nonetheless, the silver medal is the best finish ever for the Red Lions.

Bronze medal match: Netherlands - England 3-2 (1-2)

In the bronze medal match, the Netherlands came out winning, thanks to a hattrick from Jeroen Hertzberger.

Hertzberger had opened the scoring early with a penalty corner goal, but England turned the result around with fast counter-attacks. Iain Lewers scored a fantastic goal, landing a cracking shot into the top of the net from an impossibly narrow angle. A penalty corner goal from Richard Smith just before halftime gave England a 2-1 lead into the break.

The Dutch came back with a vengeance after the re-start however, and Jeroen Hertzberger turned the tables with two goals scored less than three minutes apart. The orange shirts went on to protect their lead despite some good efforts by England, claiming the bronze medal with their 3-2 win.

Pool C: Ireland - Czech Republic 3-3 (1-2)

The second match of the day had Ireland stage a late comeback to hold the Czech Republic to a draw that secured Ireland's status as top eight in Europe until 2015.

The match had seen a surprise start as the Czech Republic took an early lead when Lukas Plochy's ball across the circle was deflected into the goal by the Irish defence. Eight minutes later, Štepan Bernátek even doubled the advantage with a brilliant deflection into the top of the net. In the stands, the Polish players were cheering as the unexpected turn of events opened up the door for Poland to maintain A status in Europe.

Ireland were finally able to get their foot in the door when Conor Harte first got the them on the scoreboard midway through the first half, but the Czech held on to their lead tightly. Midway through the second half, Ondrej Vudmaska even re-established the two goal lead, but under the impression of impending relegation, Ireland starting to increase the pressure and attack relentlessly.

Stuart Loughry got a touch on a cross to get Ireland within striking distance in the 58th minute, and Irish captain John Jackson finally crushed Czech and Polish alike when he converted a penalty corner. The Czech team could turn the match around again and the draw stood at the final whistle, sending Poland and the Czech Republic into relegation while Ireland join Spain as 2015 EuroHockey Championship participants.

Pool C: Spain - Poland 4-1 (2-0)

The early morning game in Boom had seen Spain sail past Poland.

Spain had good control over the match, scoring a pair of goals in each half to secure fifth place in the competition. Pau Quemada authored Spain's first goal from a penalty corner with his trademark dragflick, and Edi Tubau piled on the second in the dying seconds of the first half.

Two minutes after the break, Tubau found the mark again with a penalty stroke, scoring his second of the day and sixth overall in the event, which eventually crowned him Topscorer of the Tournament. Pawel Bratkowski pulled one back for Poland from a penalty corner shortly after, but that was all Poland could do. Miki Delàs still piled on a late goal to establish the 4-1 final scoreline. Spain were thus safely parked in fifth place while Poland eventually ended up relegated to Europe's second flight for 2015.

To follow the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships in more detail, please visit or

FIH site

German hockey teams in double triumph at Eurohockey 2013

The German men's hockey team has won the final of the Eurohockey Nations Championships in Belgium, completing a historic double triumph after the women's team claimed victory at the competition on Saturday.

Sunday's 3:1 (0:0) win against Belgium in front of some 8,400 spectators in the Belgian town of Boom marks the eighth time the German men's team has won the European trophy.

Germany made a strong return after the host's Tom Boon scored a controversial goal in the 38th minute to take Belgium to a 1:0 lead, with the first German goal coming in the 41st minute (Martin Zwicker), the second in the 51st minute (Benjamin Wess) and the third directly after that (Mats Grambusch).

Belgium had defeated Germany 1:2 in the semi-finals.

The men's expected victory comes a day after Germany's women somewhat unexpectedly claimed their Eurohockey title by defeating England 2-0 in a penalty shootout after a 4:4 draw in regular time.

It was the German women's team's second Eurohockey trophy, and follows a disappointing Olympics performance that saw the team make it only to seventh place.

Deutsche Welle

England men settle for fourth at EuroHockey Champs

Nick Catlin in action in the Bronze medal game.

England’s men have come away from the EuroHockey Championships with fourth place after losing 3-2 against the Netherlands in their bronze medal match. England went into the break with a 2-1 lead thanks to goals from Iain Lewers and Richard Smith, but they couldn’t hang on to their advantage in the second half as the Dutch scored twice in three minutes to turn the game around and claim the victory and the bronze medal.

Speaking after the game head coach Bobby Crutchley said, "I’m obviously frustrated that we didn't get the medal because we went out there to win, but that frustration is mixed with a lot of pride in the way that we played and have performed this tournament. It was a 10 minute spell that lost us the game today, where our concentration dropped and we let them [Netherlands] turn the game around and we can't afford to do that against a side as good as the Dutch."

A proud England Captain, Barry Middleton added, "It felt really good today and I think that was probably our best performance of the tournament, which is great to do against such quality opposition. It was frustrating to have that 10 minute spell where we let them get on top and play the way they wanted to play. And from there it was always going to be tough to come back. It was pretty gutting not to get anything out of the game, I think we had enough of the play that we could have done that and at least taken it to a shoot-out. There's a lot of positive stuff that we can take from this tournament, but playing teams like the Netherlands we don't want to just be saying "we played well", we want to be winning."

Crutchley was reluctant to pick out individual players for their performances this tournament, but added, "This tournament has been about the team and allowing this young squad to grow as a unit, but I think it's fair to pick out Nick Catlin who has been fantastic. He's such an exciting player to watch and to see him making that next step to becoming a real world-class player who other teams are scared of is great. It's also good to have Iain Lewers back in defence after his time out with injury and what a quality player he is."

Looking ahead over the next few months, Crutchley added, "The guys will have a bit of a break now and then we'll come back in October and push hard over the winter to continue to improve this squad. Next year will be very exciting with the World League Final, the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games. Like Barry said, we want to be winning these big games and getting results against the best sides on the world, and that's the big challenge that lies ahead."

The Netherlands opened the scoring in the ninth minute after winning their first penalty corner of the game. With their usual penalty corner expert, van der Weerden, not on the pitch it was left to Jeroen Hertzberger to line-up and he didn't disappoint the Dutch fans as he expertly drove the ball home past George Pinner in England's goal.

England pushed forward and were rewarded for their efforts in the 15th minute when England Captain Barry Middleton called for the video umpire after he'd spotted a Dutch foot in the circle. The resulting penalty corner was initially saved, but East Grinstead's Iain Lewers, almost on the back line, fired the ball into the top of the Netherlands' goal from the tightest of angles to pull the scores level at 1-1.

There has been little to separate these sides in their encounters this year and with just a minute to go before half-time it looked like they would head into the break on level terms, but England had other ideas. An excellent strike from Hampstead & Westminster's Richard Smith from a penalty corner was dragged low to the right of Jaap Stockmann in goal to give England a 2-1 lead at the end of the first-half.

As the second half got underway England's slender lead did not last long as a slight lapse in concentration cost them two goals in quick succession. In the 39th minute the Dutch won a penalty corner which Hertzberger, again, fired home to even the score at 2-2. This time the ball went under the outstretched leg of Pinner. It took just three more minutes for the Dutch to turn the game around and it was a Hertzberger hat-trick as he fired home with pin-point accuracy inside Pinner's left post.

England battled hard to get back into the game, but after conceding the two earlier goals the Netherlands took control of the play and enjoyed the majority of the possession. With only a couple of minutes left on the clock a ball came in to Adam Dixon, but he just couldn’t connect with the pass and the match finished 3-2.

Jeroen Hertzberger 9, 39, 42 (PC, PC, FG)  

Richard Smith 34 (PC)
Iain Lewers 15 (PC)

Click here to read the full match report.

England will have a chance to get back into the medals in two years time with home support as the 2015 EuroHockey Championships come to London.

England Hockey Board Media release

England lose to Holland to miss bronze medal

England men were denied bronze at the EuroHockey championship as they lost 3-2 to Holland in the third-place play-off in Belgium.

England, coached by Bobby Crutchley, fell behind to an early penalty corner but two set-piece goals of their own had them 2-1 up at the break. But then Holland star Jeroen Hertzberger scored twice to complete his hat-trick and secure the bronze medal.

Meanwhile England women’s captain Kate Walsh has promised they can bounce back from the penalty shoot-out defeat to Germany in Saturday’s final.

“I have absolutely no doubt that this squad has got a gold medal in it,” she said.


Ireland 3-3 Czech Rep Men's European Hockey

Ireland took on the Czech Republic this morning in their final encounter of this European Hockey Championships.

Ireland bossed the majority of play and possession in the first half but two well taken opportunities by the Czech Republic saw them with an unlikely two goal lead in the 12th minute. The first goal coming off an Irish stick when Lukas Plochy laid back a ball for his attacker but a green stick tipped it past David Harte in goals. Just eight minutes later the Czech Republic laid in a super shot from outside of the D picking up Bernatek for a great deflection leaving Harte no chance to go 2-0 up.

Ireland continued to retain the lion's share of ball possession and their dominance finally paid off when Conor Harte converted Ireland's fourth penalty corner chance with a low hard drag in the 17th minute.  But despite dominating play Ireland trailed 1-2 at the break.

Ireland were put on the back foot once again on the 58th minute when Vudmaska picked up a pass to first time it over an oncoming David Harte to make it 3-1. Ireland knowing they needed a draw to retain A status in Europe continued knocking out goal scoring opportunities but the goals were hard to come by especially with an on form Neusser in goals.

Ireland's persistence finally paid dividends with a lovely Stuart Loughrey sliding reverse stick deflection off Peter Caruth's cross in the 58th minute to bring it back to 3-2. Just two minutes later Captain John Jackson levelled with a switch on the penalty corner routine in the 60th minute.

Ireland were not out of danger and had to put in some good defensive work to thwart any break away Czech chances but they held their nerve knowing that a draw was good enough to ensure they retained their status in top flight European hockey.

Commenting after the game Coach Meredith was obviously pleased at achieving their number one goal of maintaining A status "Obviously today was all about the result and retaining our A Division status and European ranking, so from that perspective, we have achieved one of our key objectives. The manner in which we achieved that result really illustrated some of the group's core strengths, showing tremendous resilience and strength of character in how we went about working our way back into the game twice from a two goal deficit."

"Despite the fact that we controlled possession and managed the game on the ball pretty well, the goals we conceded are a good example of areas we need to improve on if we want to progress and are indicative of areas that in the end cost us our place in a semi-final when we had one more goal against us from a team ranked 11 places above us."

"The contribution from younger players in their first major tournament was a highlight and the fact that we are able to not only be competitive with the world's best, but retain our current ranking in a rebuilding phase is something really positive to take away."

"Moving forward it would certainly assist our growth substantially if elements of the Irish corporate world can also see what positive role models we have representing the country and what a great product Hockey is at this elite level and look to align themselves with a group of committed, hardworking athletes as we move toward the qualification process for the Rio Olympic Games"

IRELAND 3 (1) Conor Harte 17th PC; Stuart Loughrey 58m OP; John Jackson 60m PC
CZECH REPULBLIC 3 (2) 4m Lukas Plochy; Bernatek 12m op; Vudmaska 52m op

IRELAND Starting XI v Czech Rep.
1. HARTE, David (GK)
3. JACKSON, John (Captain)
6. GORMLEY, Ronan
7. WATT, Michael
8. CARGO, Christopher
12. MAGEE, Eugene
13. CARUTH, Peter
18. McCANDLESS, Bruce
27. HARTE, Conor
29. BROWN, Peter
32. O'DONOGHUE, Shane

Irish Hockey Association media release

Spain men join 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup party

Euro glory for Germany sends fellow Europeans through to The Hague

Spain qualified for The Hague thanks to their 5th place finish in Rotterdam (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) can confirm that Spain men have become the latest team to be assured of a place at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup. The greatly anticipated joint men’s and women’s event takes place at the Kyocera Stadium in The Hague, Netherlands from 31st May to 15th June next year. 

Spain’s berth at Hockey’s global showpiece event was guaranteed following Germany’s triumph in the final of the TriFinance EuroHockey Nations Championships in Boom, Belgium.

Like all of the continental championships, the big prize on offer at the Euros was direct World Cup qualification to the event winner. However, with Germany having already achieved World Cup qualification thanks to a first place finish at the recent Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johor Bahru, a World Cup ticket was immediately handed to the higher ranked of the fifth place finishers from the two World League Semi-Final events. Spain (FIH World Ranking: 6)  and Malaysia (FIH World Ranking: 13) were the respective fifth place finishers in Rotterdam (NED) and Johor Bahru (MAS), with Spain’s superior ranking being enough to guarantee a World Cup berth.

Spain become the ninth men’s team to qualify for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, with three more places up for grabs at the upcoming continental championships in Asia, Oceania and Africa. Eight women’s teams have also been confirmed for the event, with the remaining places going to the winners of the Asian, Oceania, Pan American and African continental championships.

More information about the World Cup qualifiers and qualifying process can be found below.

Rabobank Hockey World Cup – Men’s Qualifiers

Netherlands: Hosts.
Germany: Continental Champions Europe
Argentina: Continental Champions Pan America
England: 3rd place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johor Bahru (MAS)
Belgium: 1st place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
Australia: 2nd place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED)
New Zealand: 4th place – Rabobank Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED) *
Korea: 4th place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johor Bahru (MAS).**
Spain: 5th place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED). ***

*       Netherlands finished third in the Hockey World League Semi-Final event in Rotterdam.  As they are already pre-qualified as the host, this means that the highest ranked fourth place finisher from both Semi-Final events earns direct qualification to the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. This place goes to New Zealand, who were fourth in Rotterdam and currently sit fifth in the FIH World Rankings.

**    Korea qualified as first reserve courtesy of Argentina’s victory in the Pan American Cup.

*** Spain qualified as second reserve courtesy of Germany’s victory in the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships.

World Cup Qualification - The Next Stage

The remaining places at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup for men will be filled by the winners of the final three continental championships. However, if any of the above listed teams also becomes continental champion it will open the door to the teams that finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals that have not yet qualified for the World Cup. These teams can be found below, in order of their placing in the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.   

Malaysia: 5th in Johor Bahru / 3rd reserve for World Cup *
India: 6th in Rotterdam / 4th reserve for World Cup

* Spain (5th in Rotterdam) were named second reserve ahead of Malaysia courtesy of a superior placing in the FIH World Rankings.

FIH site

Santi Freixa, Natascha Keller and Teun de Nooijer enter EHF Hall of Fame

3 legendary players are first inductees for newly created Hall of Fame

The EHF Hall of Fame welcomed its first inductees (Photo: EHF / Frank Uijlenbroek)

The official induction ceremony of the new EHF Hall of Fame took place at the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships in Boom, Belgium on Saturday 24 August, just before the women’s final. Marijke Fleuren, President of the EHF, invited the three players to enter the EHF Hall of Fame.

The inaugural inductees are:

Natascha Keller (GER) - for more information and an honours list click here

Santi Freixa (ESP) - For more information and an honours list click here

Teun de Nooijer (NED) - For more information and an honours list click here

Since its foundation in 1969, the EHF has always valued its players with Best Player, Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper awards at all of our Tournaments. However in recent years, as the players, coaches and umpires have performed better, given more, developed themselves through their actions on and off the field of play, it was felt that it was time for a way to honour outstanding performances and contributions by those that are involved on the field in hockey.

The idea of a Hall of Fame, a place (albeit a virtual one, to be held on the EHF website where people can admire, enjoy and revel in the achievements of the greatest in our sport.

Marijke Fleuren said, “The EHF Hall of Fame is our way of honouring and highlighting some of the most significant figures in European Hockey. The inaugural inductees into the EHF Hall of Fame are all International Senior players, have all consistently displayed high levels of sportsmanship, and have had a deep and meaningful impact in hockey on and off the pitch.”

In September 2013 the EHF will announce the process for EHF Member Associations to nominate future candidates for induction. Induction will take place biennially during the EuroHockey Championships.

FIH site

Defending champions South Korea too good for Bangladesh

IPOH: Defending champions South Korea started their campaign in the Group B of the Asia Cup with a 9-0 rout of Bangladesh at the Azlan Shah Stadium in the second day of action.

From the word go, the Koreans took charge of the match and completely outclassed the Bangladesh side.

The Koreans had already qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Holland but they were still determined to retain the Asia Cup title.

They were also champions in 1993 and 1999.

The Koreans were under no pressure and the tie with the Bangladeshis became just another formality.

It didn’t take them long to start the scoring with You Hyo-sik scoring off a field attempt.

Hyun Hye-sung then added a brace in the 21st and 35th minutes from a field and penalty corner attempts while Jang Jong-hyun was on target in the 30th minute to give the Koreans a 4-0 first half lead.

There was no let up in the Korean attack n the second half, as they kept rigid to their free flowing ways.

The 29-year-old Jong-hyun added his second goal in the 41st minute and youngster Jung Man-jae scored the sixth goal in the 52nd minute.

Jong-hyun completed his hattrick in the 67th minute while Lee Seung-iil and Kim Young-jin added the final two goals in the 68th and 70th minutes respectively to give the Koreans a 9-0 win.

Jong-hyun was named the man-of-the-match.

Official Asian Cup site

Japan keeps alive semi-final hope with win over Chinese-Taipei

IPOH: Japan kept alive their hopes of a semi-final berth from Group A in the Asia Cup after a 5-1 win over Chinese-Taipei at the Azlan Shah Stadium.

The win was the first for the Japanese after two matches in the tournament. They will now have to beat Malaysia in their final group match on Tuesday to book a place in the semi-finals. 

Japan and Chinese-Taipei had both lost their opening matches on Saturday. Japan suffered a 0-7 loss to Pakistan while the Chinese-Taipei team was defeated 2-10 by host Malaysia.

Thus the match today was for each team to secure a win and stay in the hunt for a semi-final place in Group A.

It was a much closer fight between the two East Asian sides. The Japanese who finished in sixth place at the recent World Hockey League semi-final in Johor Baru were expected to dominate the exchanges.

They duly took the lead in the 21st minute through a Kei Kawakami field goal.  

But the Chinese-Taipei team managed to find the equaliser in the 28th minute with Chen Yuan Fan netting a field goal to walk off at half time in a stalemate.

But the Japanese were a rejuvenated side in the second half as they hit four goals to take the match in a comfortable fashion.

Katsuyoshi Nagasawa scored in the 49th minute to give them the lead and Ippei Fujimoto added another goal four minutes later to keep them firmly in grip of the match.

Shinji kawauchi and Yasuhiro Nakayama added to the tally in the 58th and 67th minutes.

Nagasawa was picked as the man-of-the-match.

Official Asian Cup site

Pakistan is the first team to book semi-final berth in Asia Cup

IPOH: Former champions Pakistan qualified for the semi-final of the Asia Cup with a 4-1 win over Malaysia in the Group A tie at the Azlan Shah Stadium.

Both teams needed to win to grab a place in the last four. The Pakistanis proved a handful for the Malaysians as they overcame a one-goal deficit to notch this important win.

It is not over for the Malaysians as they still have the game against Japan on Tuesday to book their berth. 

Pakistan was the more determined team in the match, as they needed to reach the final to keep their World Cup hopes alive. Malaysia on the other hand had their world cup berth under wraps and as such did not have any pressure going into the game.

Both teams also meet recently in the World Hockey League semi-finals in Johor Baru. The first match at the group stage ended in a 4-4 draw. The second match in a classification math-up ended 3-1 in favour of the Malaysians.

It was mot surprising that the Malaysians drew first blood with a penalty corner goal taken by Mohamed Razie Rahim in the 28th minute.

But Muhmmad Zubair made sure of an equaliser in the 33rd minute, which allowed both teams to walk off at half time on equal terms.

The second saw Pakistan starting aggressively and they took the lead in the 46th minute through Muhammad Dilber off a field attempt.

The Pakistanis pressed forward and had better chances at goal. And they must have pleased that their late attacks bore fruit with two own goals,

In the 60th minute they increased their lead when Mohamed Fitri Saari scored an own goal after a quick counter attack by the Pakistanis.

That gave the former champions the spur needed to win the match and soon scored another goal to cement the tie.

With three minute to go for the match to end, a Shafqat Rasool ball into the D was deflected into goal by keeper S. Kumar.

Shakeel Abbsi who had a good game in the midfield position was named man-of-the-match.

Official Asian Cup site

Pakistan seals semifinal spot

S. Thyagarajan

Pakistan put up a sparkling display to overcome host Malaysia 4-1, and ensured itself a place in the semifinals of the Asia Cup hockey championship here on Sunday.

It was an absorbing match involving two well-matched outfits. But Pakistan, which was a bit more skilful and aggressive, emerged a deserving winner.

The pace and precision exhibited by the Pakistan frontline — where Dilber Muhammad played the stellar role along with Zubair Mohammad — were bewitching to behold.

It was the Zubair who restored parity after Malaysia struck through a penalty corner in the first half. . Another impressive performance was that of Shafqat Rasool who broke through the rival defence time and again.

Malaysia matched its opponent move for move, and it was Shafqat’s goal — Pakistan’s third — which sent the host sliding to defeat.

Korea beat Bangladesh 9-0 — a performance that both mirrored the team’s confidence borne out being the first Asian team to qualify for the next World Cup, and underlined its stature as the defending champion here.

It must be conceded that Bangladesh offered all the resistance it could drum up against a combination of proven class. Expectedly, the Koreans struck mainly through penalty corners where the accomplished Jang Jong held undisputed sway.

India takes on the reigning champion in a key Pool B encounter on Monday. This match will go a long way in assessing the levels of the team which is yet to make the grade for the next World Cup in The Hague in 2014.

Not much can be made out of India’s 8-0 victory over Oman in the opening match; in a way, it provided a glimpse of methodical work-patterns but was devoid of ingenuity or improvisation required to tackle strong outfits like Korea.

India’s record against the Koreans is not exactly glowing. India has lost 30 of the 68 matches played, winning 26 and drawing 12.

In the Asia Cup, though, it has fared better, with five victories out of the eight played since 1985. Korea did not take part in the inaugural edition in 1982 at Karachi.

The last meeting between the teams was at the same venue last March, in the Azlan Shah tournament where India lost 2-1.

The results: Pool B: Korea 9 (You Hyo Sik, Hyun Hye Sung-2, Jang Jong-3, Jung Man Jae, Lee Seung, Kim Yong Jin) bt Bangladesh 0. Pool A: Japan 5 (Kawakeni Kei, Nagaswa Katsuyoshi, Fujimoto Ippai, Kawauchi Shinji, Nakayama Yasuhiro) bt Chinese Taipei 1 (Chen Yuan Fan); Pakistan 4 (Zubair Muhammad, Dilber Muhammad, Shafqat Rasool, Umar Bhutta) bt Malaysia 1 (Rahim Razie).

Monday’s matches: Bangladesh v Oman (3-35 p.m. IST); India v Korea (5-35 p.m.) with six points.

The Hindu

Entertaining duel

ASIA CUP: Pakistan assured of top spot, Malaysia need to beat Japan


Malaysia’s Faizal Shaari tries to get past Pakistan’s Rashid Mehmood in their Asia Cup match at Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday. Pic by Muhaizan Yahya

MALAYSIA played well in patches but Pakistan were brilliant when chances came their way as the latter won the the crucial Asia Cup match 4-1 at Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday.

With the win, Pakistan are virtually assured of the top spot in Group A, as they next play Taiwan while Malaysia must beat Japan to play in the semi-finals.

"We did discuss about the possibility of the last match (against Japan) might just turn out to be the decider and now we have to plan to beat them to play in the semi-finals," said Malaysia coach Paul Revington.

Seasoned striker Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin summed up the Pakistan defeat: "We did not have enough strikers in the semi-circle to score goals, as Pakistan defended in numbers and relied on counter attacks.

"Against Japan, we need to open up the match upfront, and the strikers must avoid tight marking."

Malaysia played controlled hockey, but the formation broke 15 minutes into the match after Firhan Ashaari and Baljit Singh were flashed the green card within minutes of each other.

And while they were both warming the bench, nine-man Malaysia were placed under tremendous pressure and Pakistan won their first penalty corner in the 16th minute.

But poor trapping saw them bungle the chance, and Malaysia started attacking again after both the benched players were called in back.

Pakistan got their second break in the 20th minute, when goalkeeper S. Kumar was the only man to beat, but Muhammad Dilber slammed the ball wide instead of trying to dribble the goalkeeper.

Malaysia did not disappoint their fans when they won their first penalty corner in the 25th minute, and Razie Rahim's low drive floated past a sea of legs to sound the board for the lead.

The match turned into a highly entertaining duel, as Pakistan went looking for the equaliser before the break, and Zubair Mohammed nailed it in the 33rd minute off a field attempt.

Malaysia tried to regain the lead after the breather, but Pakistan defended stoutly, with at least five players for every Malaysian on the ball.

And in the 45th minute, off a rare second half counter, Zubair got the last touch to score his second goal and give his team the lead.

Pakistan sealed the match in the 60th minute, when Fitri Shaari deflected in an own goal, and then a deflection off S. Kumar's pads gave them another own goal for a comfortable 4-1 win.

In Group B, defending champions South Korea played their first game, but were on fire to hammer Bangladesh 9-0, after taking a 4-0 lead in the first half.

Today, South Korea play India to decide who top the group.

New Straits Times

Pakistan ‘boosted’ by Malaysia rout

By Fawad Hussain

Pakistan increased their chances of qualifying for the World Cup as they raced to the semi-finals with a 4-1 win against hosts Malaysia in the Asia Cup. PHOTO: FILE AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan crossed their first hurdle towards World Cup qualification yesterday, reaching the semi-finals of the must-win Asia Cup tournament after a convincing 4-1 victory against Malaysia in a tough Group A encounter in Ipoh.

Having run riot against Japan 7-0 in their opener, Pakistan continued their run, overcoming the hosts – backed by a good number of home supporters – despite conceding the lead.

The opening stages of the match saw an exchange of attacks till the home team struck in a 27th minute penalty-corner through M Razie.

However, Pakistan rejuvenated themselves to level the score three minutes before half-time with Mohammad Zubair’s strike.

The second half was dominated by the greenshirts who scored three goals at regular intervals to seal the important win.

Dilbar Hussain and Mohammad Waqas scored for Pakistan while their last goal came after a clever hit by Mohammad Irfan from long range took a touch from the Malaysia goal-keeper before  going in.

With back-to-back wins, Pakistan lead Group A and are scheduled to meet minnows Chinese Taipei tomorrow in their last group fixture.

Win crucial in title hunt: coach

Although the home team is a few places behind in the world rankings, Pakistan coach Tahir Zaman termed the win over Malaysia crucial for its chances.

“It has doubled the team’s confidence,” Zaman told The Express Tribune from Ipoh after the win.

“Malaysia have proved themselves to be tough opponents especially at home. It was a high-pressure game and given that fact, I am delighted with this win.

“It was very important for us to defeat Malaysia to lift our morale for the remainder of the tournament.

“We are already in the semi-finals. Our real test will be the game against India or South Korea – our likely opponents – and this win will help us in that crunch battle.”

The former Olympian also expressed satisfaction on the team’s performance so far.

“I am happy to see an improvement in all departments especially in defence and attack. Yes, we missed a couple of opportunities against Malaysia but the ratio has decreased.”

Pakistan must avoid bad patches: Samiullah

Legendary Olympian Samiullah Khan was content with the win over Malaysia, but he warned the team of being complacent.

“Pakistan showed an improvement from their game against Japan,” stated Samiullah.

“They used wingers which is a big plus for us. I am happy with the overall performance so far.

“But I will suggest the team to be on its toes throughout the event. This tournament is very important for the survival of our hockey.

“The crucial games are yet to come and we will have to avoid bad patches during the match.”

The Express Tribune

Pakistan impress in 4-1 win over Malaysia

Taimur Sikander

Pakistan need to win the Asia Cup to earn a spot in next year's World Cup.

Pakistan made sure their 7-0 thrashing of Japan wasn't just a flash in the pan as they defeated hosts Malaysia 4-1 on the second day of the Asia Cup.

Muhammad Imran's men, who are up against the wall and must win the title to earn a berth in next year's World Cup, produced a scintillating performance to down an opponent who have a tendency of raising their game when they play at home.

The two sides started in tentative fashion after their first day fireworks, albeit against much lesser opponents, but it was Pakistan who came close to scoring in the early skirmishes. Three missed opportunities later, however, Malaysia drew first blood through Muhammad Abdul Razie's penalty corner in the 26th minute of the game.

Buoyed by the effort, the home side came close to scoring yet again in the 30th minute, however, that passage of play finally put Pakistan in their stride and Shakeel Abbasi's run down the left flank was neatly finished off by Muhammad Zubair in the 33rd minute.

Pakistan came out even stronger in the second half and it paid immediate dividends. Shafqat Rasool's brilliant stick work left the Malaysian defence in their tracks as the young striker set up an easy goal for Muhammad Dilber, who tapped in the attempt in the 45th to give his side the lead.

Goals from Muhammad Waqas (61st) and Shafqat (67th) shut the hosts out of the match and gave Pakistan the top position in Group A with all 6 points from two matches.

Pakistan next play Chinese Taipei on Tuesday, while Malaysia will be up against Japan on the same day.


Pakistan rout Malaysia 4-1

Staff Report

LAHORE: Pakistan followed up their earlier victory in the Asia Cup Hockey Tournament against Japan by defeating Malaysia 4-1 at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh, Malaysia on Sunday. Muhammad Zubair, Dilbar Hussain, Muhammad Waqas and Shafqat Rasool struck one goal apiece against hosts Malaysia making it the second match in a row for Pakistan winning in the Asia Cup. Muhammad Imran’s men, who are up against the wall and must win the title to earn a berth in next year’s World Cup, produced a scintillating performance to down an opponent who have a tendency of raising their game when they play at home.

The two sides started in tentative fashion after their first day fireworks, albeit against much lesser opponents, but it was Pakistan who came close to scoring in the early skirmishes. Three missed opportunities later, however, Malaysia drew first blood through Muhammad Abdul Razie’s penalty corner in the 26th minute of the game. Buoyed by the effort, the home side came close to scoring yet again in the 30th minute, however, that passage of play finally put Pakistan in their stride and Shakeel Abbasi’s run down the left flank was neatly finished off by Muhammad Zubair in the 33rd minute.

Pakistan came out even stronger in the second half and it paid immediate dividends. Shafqat’s brilliant stick work left the Malaysian defence in their tracks as the young striker set up an easy goal for Dilbar, who tapped in the attempt in the 45th to give his side the lead. Goals from Waqas (61st) and Shafqat (67th) shut the hosts out of the match and gave Pakistan the top position in Group A with all 6 points from two matches. Pakistan next play Chinese Taipei on Tuesday, while Malaysia will be up against Japan on the same day. Pakistan had missed an opportunity last month to book their place in the World Cup line-up, finishing the World Hockey League at the seventh place among eight teams. The greenshirts are now hoping to clinch the Asia Cup so that they could qualify for the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World Cup to be held in Hague, Netherlands next year.

The Daily Times

Pakistan beat Malaysia 4-1 to enter semis of Asia Cup

IPOH (Malaysia): Three-time champions Pakistan became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of the Asia Cup hockey tournament after defeating Malaysia 4-1 in their second Pool A match on Sunday.

After this victory, Pakistan are atop Pool A with six points from two games ahead of Malaysia who have three points from as many games.

Pakistan next play Chinese Taipei on Tuesday, while Malaysia will be up against Japan on the same day.

For the winners, all the four goals came through field efforts from the sticks of Muhammad Zubair (32nd), Muhammad Dilber (46th), Muhammad Waqas (60th) and Shafqat Rasool (67th). Malaysia's lone goal was scored by Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim in the 26th minute.

The clash between Pakistan and Malaysia was an absorbing contest with both teams playing aggressively. The two teams produced entertaining, fast hockey much to the delight of the crowd gathered at the Sultan Azlan Shah stadium.

Pakistan got the first scoring chance in the 16th minute when they earned their first penalty corner, only to waste it.

Another scoring opportunity went abegging for Pakistan soon when an unmarked Muhammad Dilber missed an open chance, hitting the ball wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

But Malaysia were quick to capitalise on their chances and shocked Pakistan in the 26th minute when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim broke the deadlock with a powerful low dragflick to the left of experienced Pakistan goalkeeper Salman Akbar from the hosts first penalty corner.

Malaysia had a great chance of doubling their lead a few minutes later but an Mohd Fitri Sari shot wide with only Pakistan goalkeeper Akbar to beat.

Pakistan cashed in on Malaysia's missed opportunities and eqaulised in the 32nd minute through Zubair who was beautifully set up by veteran Shakeel Abbasi's fine run from the right flank.

Pakistan came out with more purpose in the second half and surged ahead in the 46th minute through a field goal from Dilber after he was set up by a Rasool's brilliant solo run from the right flank.

Pakistan kept up the tempo and mounted continuous raids into the Malaysian citadel and their efforts paid dividends when Waqas made the scoreline 3-1.

Rasool then joined the party and registered his name in the scoresheet just three minutes from the hooter to take the match beyond the reach of the home team.

Malaysia did get two back-to-back penalty corners in the final minute of the match but failed to utilise both.

Meanwhile, in an earlier Pool A match, Japan defeated Chinese Taipei 5-1 to register their first win in the tournament.

Japan took the lead in the 22nd minute through a field goal from Kei Kawakami before Chinese Taipei reduced parity seven minutes later Yuan-Fan Chen as both the sides went into half time locked at 1-1.

After the change of ends it was all Japan as they scored four more goals to register their first points in the eight-nation event.

Katsuyoshi Nagasawa restored Japan's lead in the 48th minute through penalty corner conversion.

Japan scored three more goals through field efforts from Ippei Fujimoto (57th), Shinji Kawauchi (59th) and Yasuhiro Nakayama (67th) to complete the tally.

The Times of India

Defending champs South Korea start in style


Bangladesh’s Barmon Tapos (left) racing away with the ball while South Korea’s Kim Seong Kyu gives chase during the Asia Cup Group B match on Sunday. Defending champions South Korea won 9-0. - RONNIE CHIN / The Star

IPOH: South Korea started the defence of their Asia Cup hockey title in grand fashion, whipping Bangladesh 9-0 in a Group B match at the Azlan Shah Stadium on Sunday.

Jang Jong-hyun was the hero for the Koreans, who have already qualified for next year’s World Cup Finals in Holland.

He scored a hat-trick (31st, 42nd and 67th).

Hyun Hye-sung scored a brace (21st, 35th) while You Hyo-sik (4th), Jung Man-jae (52nd), skipper Lee Seung-ll (69th) and Kim Young-jin (70th) contributed the other goals.

The Koreans, who have won the Asia Cup three times, face India on Monday.

The winners will proceed to the semi-finals.

India, who have yet to qualify for the World Cup, outplayed Oman 8-0 in their opening match on Saturday.

For the record, India and Korea have met 68 times since 1985. The Koreans hold the advantage, having won 30, lost 26 and drew 12 times.

In their last encounter at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in March, the Koreans won 2-1.

“Although we have qualified for the World Cup, we will not take it easy against India,” said Korean coach Shin Seok-kyo.

“We are here to defend our Asia Cup title and we want to book our place in the semi-finals.

“This tournament is part of our preparations for next year’s World Cup and Asian Games in Incheon.

“The pressure is on India as they have yet to book a place in the World Cup.

As for us, we will play a fast attacking game to counter the skilful Indian team,” added Seok-kyo.

In another Group A match, Japan, who were humiliated 7-0 by Pakistan on Saturday, bounced back to stay in the hunt for a semi-final spot by beating Taiwan 5-1.

Kei Kawakami (22nd), Katsuyoshi Nagasawa (48th), Ippei Fujimoto (57th), Shinji Kawauchi (59th) and Yasuhiro Nakayama (67th) scored for Japan.

Taiwan’s consolation goal was scored by Chen Yuan-fan in the 29th minute.

Japan will wrap up their group fixtures against Malaysia tomorrow.

The Star of Malaysia

Defending champions South Korea rout Bangladesh 8-0

IPOH (Malaysia): Holders South Korea started their title defence with a resounding 8-0 win over minnows Bangladesh in their first Pool B match of the 9th Asia Cup hockey tournament on Sunday.

For the winners, Jang Jong Hyun (31st minute, 42nd, 67th) and Hyun Hye Sung (21st, 35th) scored three and two goals respectively, while You Hyo Sik (4th), Jung Man Jae (52nd), captain Lee Sung II (69th) and Kim Young Jin (70th) each sounded the board once.

Although Korea dominated the match and had lion's share of possession but they were far from convincing.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, were mostly busy in defending and had to thank their goalkeeper Mohammad Zahid Hossain who denied the Koreans on numerous occasions to keep the margin of defeat on the lower side.

However, it took Korea just four minutes to break the deadlock when You Hyo Sik scored with a fierce hit from top of the Bangladeshi circle.

The Koreans doubled their lead in the 21st minute through a field goal from Hyun Hye Sung.

The Koreans were nowhere near to their best with penalty corner conversion as they utilised just four of the whopping 14 they earned in the entire match.

After wasting six penalty corners, Korea finally converted a set piece in the 31st through Jang Jong Hyun, who scored his first of the three goals of the day.

Hyun Hye Sung scored his second from a penalty corner to help Korea take a 4-0 lead at the break.

The script was the same after the change of ends as Korea pumped in five more goals to add to Bangladesh's misery.

Jang Jong Hyun converted another penalty corner in the 42nd minute before Jung Man Jae scored a field goal to make it 6-0 in favour of the defending champions.

Jang Jong Hyun was yet again at the thick of things converting Korea's 14th and last penalty corner before skipper Lee Sung II and Kim Young Jin scored two quick field goals in the final stages of the match to complete the rout.

Korea will next play India while Bangladesh will be up against Oman in the two Pool B matches on Monday.

The Times of India

Organizers fail to play Chinese Taipei national anthem

IPOH (Malaysia): The organizers of the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament were in for big embarrassment when they failed to play the national anthem of Chinese Taipei ahead of its second Pool A encounter against Japan on Sunday.

As per world body's (FIH) norm, it is mandatory to play the national anthem of every team before an international tie.

Soon after Japan's national anthem was played, Chinese Taipei players were waiting for their national anthem but to their dismay it never started, forcing the organizers to announce that the anthem cannot be played due to some technical glitches.

When asked Chinese Taipei coach Chung Teng Wei about the glitch, he said: "It was not the ideal start to our match. My boys were obviously little disappointed that something like this happened with us.

"But you can't blame the organizers as well because it was a technical fault. It was out of their control. But we hope this sort of thing is not repeated in the tournament.

Chinese Taipei eventually succumbed to their second defeat in the tournament, losing 1-5to Japan.

In their tournament opener, Chinese Taipei were handed a 2-10 drubbing by hosts Malaysia on Saturday.

The Times of India

Oltmans: South Korea a is a challenge before us

s2h team

India opened its account in style by beating Oman 8-0 in the Asia cup opener. Indian chief coach Roelent Oltmans is pretty happy with the team's performance.

"I am very satisfied with the way we played our first game. Winning first match with a big margin is always a good sign," says the Dutch.

India did not capitalise much on the penalty corners, and also tried some variations instead of going for drag flicks. But the coach is not disappointed with this. "I don't think we were that bad on penalty corners. Yah we did some experiments, and when you play against the weaker teams, it's chance for you to try something new," Oltmans says.

India is missing the services of its 4 key players, although its performance in the first match seemed very unmoved from the fact. Coach himself doesn't care much about the injured players.

"See, I cannot talk about those who are not with us now. I can only think about those who are in the squad. And these youngsters also performed well. This is a very talented lot and I am sure they will do a good job in the upcoming matches," Oltmans says. India is facing a tough opponent, South Korea, in the next match, the match everyone is looking forward to in the Pool B. Coach knows it's not going to be easy against the Koreans.

"Souh Korea is a very good team. They are one of the tournament favourites, and they will pose a big challenge before us. But we also have prepared well, and this big win against Oman will give us a lot of confidence," the chief coach concludes.

Korean Coach: We would never take India lightly

s2h team

Just like India, Pakistan and Malaysia, South Korea also started off their Asia cup campaign in great style. The 3-time Asia Cup winners routed Bangladesh 9-0 in their opener.

But their real test will be against India.

Korea will face the Indian team on Tuesday and both the teams have got the right start.

South Korean coach Shin Seok feels that the win over Bangladesh would surely help them against India.

"India is a good side, and they beat Oman by 7 goals, but we have won our match by 9 goals. It's a very good start. We played according to our plan and did not give the Bangladesh team any chance to score even a single goal. I am happy the way our team has played," says the Korean coach.

When asked about the Indian team, Shin Seok asserts he would never take India lightly.

"India is a very strong team. Their captain Sardar Singh is their key player and he will pose us the biggest threat. We will try our best to control him," Shin says.

A former drag-flicker himself, and with three equally competent specialist flickers in his squad, Shin Seok very well knows that India is also good in this department, and he can counter the likes of Raghunath and Rupinder Pal.

"Indian drag-flicker Raghunath is a good flicker. They also have a couple of more guys who are capable of scoring goals via flicks. We will try not to concede many penalty corners," Shin explains the core of his approach for India match.

South Korea has already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, and their coach wants to see more Asian teams in the big event.

"As an Asian, I would surely like to see India and Pakistan in the World Cup. This will create a balance there. Both are good teams and are capable of making it to the World Cup," South Korean coach concludes.

He perhaps reflects the mood of Asian hockey community though.

Bajwa backs Pakistan to win Asia Cup despite tough pool

Imran Ali Teepu

ISLAMABAD. The Secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Asif Bajwa said on Saturday that the national squad has the potential to win the Asia Cup and ensure a berth for the Hockey World Cup.

Pakistan opened its Cup campaign with a 7-0 hammering of Japan on Saturday.

“I am sure our players can beat the best sides in the world since they have the skill and the stamina to do so,” PHF secretary told Dawn.

He maintained that national coach Olympian Tahir Zaman has been assigned the task to prepare the players because “he is the only FIH qualified coach in the country and that is why we have hired him.”

“Tahir has selected the squad independently and is ready to take full responsibility for their performance. For instance, he has hired the services of his choice goalkeeper and has devised his own strategy and is confident that it would help the national squad to qualify for the World Cup,” added the former Olympian.

Pakistan are faced with a do-or-die situation in the Asia Cup, being held in Ipoh, Malaysia, where they will have to win the title in order to qualify for the next year’s FIH Hockey World Cup.

Teams like South Korea, India and Malaysia pose real threat for Pakistan but Bajwa sounded confident about his team’s chances. “Yes, the competition is tough in our pool but I am sure that we will win the title,” claimed Bajwa.

When asked about how things would shape up if Pakistan failed to win the title, Bajwa said: “It will not be the end of the world for national hockey squad. We will be playing the Champions Trophy since the squad has already qualified for the event.”

The 2014 edition of the Champions Trophy would be played in India.

Meanwhile, sports analyst Amir Bilal contested Bajwa’s views and said the chances for the greenshirts to confirm a berth for the FIH hockey World Cup are grim in Ipoh.

“How could you generate results from a coach who has been assigned the duty hardly few months back?” he said.

“On one side we have to win a title since it is a do-or-die thing for the greenshirts. On the other hand the national squad has to maintain its runner-up title as well,” added the sports analyst.

Pakistan were the runner-up of the last edition of the Asia Cup when they lost by a solitary goal against South Korea in the final held in 2009 in Kauntan, Malaysia.

Asked whether luck can play any part in Pakistan victory, Bilal said: “Let’s not confuse skill and stamina with luck in this highly technical game because you have to be prefect in defence, attack and your finishing act to go top.”


Indian hockey is more professional now: Kurtz

IPOH: One the first foreign coaches to have worked with the Indian team, German Oliver Kurtz feels that Indian hockey has become more professional now, the lack of which resulted in the eight-time Olympic champions slide in the last three decades.

Kurtz, who assisted countryman Gerhard Rach as coach of the Indian team in the 2004 Athens Olympics where the team finished seventh, reminisces his short stint with India and said a professional approach is key to any country's success in modern day hockey.

"Indian hockey is more professional now. It is making a big difference. There is a totally different culture in Asia. Earlier, there was no professionalism in teams like India and Pakistan which I believe is a reason behind their fall in world hockey," Kurtz said on the sidelines of the ninth Asia Cup.

"If you look at teams like Australia, Germany you will get an idea how professionally they work. The daily routine of these teams, the fitness level of their players...

"Indian hockey is slowly becoming more professional. They have hired specialised people for every aspect of the game. In Hockey India League, India now has the world's biggest and most expensive hockey league," said Kurtz, who is here as the coach of Oman.

The former German striker said Indian hockey's decision to invest on youth paid rich dividends.

"In the last 3-4 years India has focussed on the youth and now this is getting them results. I always love to see India playing good hockey. Individually the Indian players are very good," said Kurtz, who was a member of Germany's gold medal winning team in 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Kurtz, however, advised the administrators of the game back in India not to indulge in frequent change of plans.

"India is on a very good way to recovery. Indian hockey has improved by leaps and bounds, but it will take time, may be 2-3 years more.

"But India need to focus and trust in one plan. The problem arises when too many changes are made. If every time a new plan is introduced then the players get confused," Kurtz observed.

Kurtz had high regards about Indian hockey's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans' abilities.

"India has got the right man in Oltmans to guide them. He knows what he has to do. He is working very hard with this Indian team. He is not only helping the senior team but also developing the structure of hockey in India. I wish good luck to Roelant (Oltmans) and his team," he said.

A self-proclaimed lover of Asian style of hockey, Kurtz said the success of India and Pakistan are a must for the development of the game worldwide.

"World hockey needs India and Pakistan because of their typical, entertaining style of play," he believes.

"I like the Asian style of hockey. If you see the individual skills of players from Asian teams like India and Pakistan, they are just incomparable," Kurtz signed off.

The Times of India

U21 Burras beat Malaysia in game 1

Australia’s under 21 men, the Burras, got off to a winning start in the first of their four match series against Malaysia on Sunday evening with a 1-0 win in Brisbane.

Queenslander Justin Douglas scored the only goal for the Australians, who are taking on Malaysia as they continue their preparation for December’s Junior World Cup in India.

In what was a fairly even encounter, Douglas’ 56th minute strike from open play proved decisive despite both sides winning a handful of penalty corners. The Burras’ six shots on goal outweighed their Asian opponents’ two but they the Australian men will be looking to be more clinical as the series progresses.

Tweet about the series using #burrashockey and see your tweets on our social media hub.

Australia U21 Men v Malaysia U21 Men
Queensland State Hockey Centre, Brisbane

Sunday 25 August – 5:30pm AEST
Monday 26 August – 5:00pm AEST
Wednesday 28 August – 2:00pm AEST
Thursday 29 August – 3:30pm AEST

Australia U21 Men’s Squad - Match 1 v Malaysia

Ed Chittleborough (GK) (South Australia)
Robert Bell (Queensland)
Tyler Cowley (Victoria)
Blake Govers (New South Wales)
Casey Hammond (Victoria)
Cameron Joyce (South Australia)
Aaron Kershaw (New South Wales)
Matthew Pembroke (Queensland)
Aidan Rintala (Queensland)
Daniel Robertson (Western Australia)
Flynn Ogilvie (New South Wales)

Substitute Used
Adam Luck (GK) (Northern Territory)
Simon Borger (Queensland)
Matthew Dawson (New South Wales)
Will Gilmour (Victoria)
Frank Main (Western Australia)
Kane Posselt (Queensland)
Jayshaan Randhawa (Victoria)
Justin Douglas (Queensland)

Hockey Australia media release

Line-up complete for International Super Series Hockey 9s

Announcement of Canada and Malaysia makes for biggest ever Hockey 9s tournament

The line-up for hockey’s 2013 International Super Series Hockey 9s is complete with the women’s teams of Canada and Malaysia added to the bill for what promises to be the most hotly contested edition of the innovative 9-a-side tournament.

Canada and Malaysia will join Australia’s Hockeyroos and world champions Argentina in the women’s competition in Perth, WA. The line-up for the men’s tournament sees Australia’s world champ Kookaburras go up against Argentina, Pakistan and Malaysia.

The fixtures for the October tournament have also been released with tickets available through Ticketmaster.

The Argentinian women, known widely as ‘Las Leonas’, will open the event on the evening of Thursday 17 October against Canada, who are coached by Australian Ian Rutledge. The Hockeyroos’ opening tie sees them take on Malaysia in the evening’s second match.

Newly-crowned Pan American Cup champions Argentina men will be the Kookaburras’ opening night opponents with Pakistan and Malaysia rounding off what is sure to be a thrilling first day’s play.

The Hockeryoos’ much anticipated clash with Las Leonas will take place on the Saturday afternoon, just ahead of the Kookaburras’ final pool phase game against Pakistan.

Confirming the final all-star line-up, Hockey Australia Chief Executive Cam Vale said he expects the 2013 event to be a real crowd-puller: “The support for the International Super Series Hockey 9s from the hockey community is always strong but I expect this year it will be even greater with our strongest ever line-up.

“There are very few occasions in team sport when fans can see both the men’s and women’s world champions in the same place at the same time so having both the Kookaburras and Las Leonas on show in Perth is something of a coup for hockey in Australia.

“We look forward to welcoming back the Malaysian women’s team and to hosting Canada for the first time at the Hockey 9s. Their participation, along with that of Argentina and Pakistan, means that we’ll see teams representing four continents going head-to-head and there will no doubt be a tremendous buzz about the place.”

Explaining another of the reasons the event has proved so popular, Vale added, “The International Super Series has really captured the imagination in recent years and it has been Hockey Australia’s desire to maintain its affordability for fans and families. It is particularly pleasing that we can offer junior and concessions tickets starting at just $10 for an entire day’s entertainment and families for $50.”

A four day festival of hockey, this year’s International Super Series Hockey 9s will provide something for every member of the family, including a Fans’ Fun Zone where younger visitors will be able to pick up a Hookin2Hockey stick and give the sport a go. And there will be plenty of opportunities to meet the stars of the show, Australia’s Olympic hockey heroes, and the chance to pose for a photo with the World Cup trophy ahead of the Kookaburras’ defence of their world title next year.

Eventscorp, a division of Tourism Western Australia, is a proud supporter of the event.

Hockey Australia is also grateful to the Australian Sports Commission for its belief in the tournament’s concept dating back to 2011 and its underpinning financial support, as well as the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) for its partnership activities around the event as part of the Be The Influence campaign.

Fixtures – International Super Series Hockey 9s
17-20 October 2013, Perth Hockey Stadium, Perth, WA

Thursday 17 October
5:30pm AWST / 8:30pm AEDT – Argentina (w) v Canada (w)
6:25pm AWST / 9:25pm AEDT – Hockeyroos (w) v Malaysia (w)
7:20pm AWST / 10:20pm AEDT – Kookaburras (m) v Argentina (m)
8:15pm AWST / 11:15pm AEDT – Pakistan (m) v Malaysia (m)

Friday 18 October
5:30pm AWST / 8:30pm AEDT – Argentina (w) v Malaysia (w)
6:25pm AWST / 9:25pm AEDT – Kookaburras (m) v Malaysia (m)
7:20pm AWST / 10:20pm AEDT – Hockeyroos (w) v Canada (w)
8:15pm AWST / 11:15pm AEDT – Pakistan (m) v Argentina (m)

Saturday 19 October
12:20pm AWST / 3:20pm AEDT – Canada (w) v Malaysia (w)
1:15pm AWST / 4:15pm AEDT – Hockeyroos (w) v Argentina (w)
2:10pm AWST / 5:10pm AEDT – Pakistan (m) v Kookaburras (m)
3:05pm AWST / 6:05pm AEDT – Argentina (m) v Malaysia (m)

Sunday 20 October
10:30am AWST / 1:30pm AEDT – Men’s 3rd v 4th 
11:40am AWST / 2:40pm AEDT – Women’s 3rd v 4th
12:50pm AWST / 3:50pm AEDT – Women’s Final
2:00pm AWST / 5:00pm AEDT – Men’s Final

World rankings of competing nations
Men’s tournament: Australia (World ranking #2), Pakistan (#8), Argentina (#10), Malaysia (#13)
Women’s tournament: Argentina (World ranking #2), Australia (#6), Malaysia (#22), Canada (#23)

Hockey 9s
The innovative nature of the International Super Series Hockey 9s means that many of hockey’s most exhilarating elements are brought to the fore in its modified format:
•             Nine players per side, instead of 11, makes for a faster, more open match
•             Larger goals promise goals galore
•             20 minute halves provide the action in short, sharp, exciting bursts
•             Fewer rules make easier for fans to follow

Head to Ticketmaster to secure your ticket to watch both World Champions in action.

Hockey Australia media release

Tuffy Western Province signal their intent at hockey nationals


With a brand new title sponsor, Tuffy Western Province punched holes in the North West defence to open their campaign with a 5-1 win after leading 2-1 at half-time in the A Section of the BDO Men’s Interprovincial Hockey Tournament at Hartleyvale Stadium in Cape Town Sunday.

Province withstood an early setback when North West’s Essex Mbekeni got on the scoresheet in the 15th minute. Captain and double Olympian Andrew Cronje drew WP level in the 21st minute with a penalty corner drag-flick that cannoned into the backboard and Lloyd Norris-Jones gave the home side a 2-1 lead on half-time with a brilliant solo effort that left three defenders in his wake.

Cronje stretched his side’s advantage with another set-piece strike six minutes after the break before national strikers Craig Haley and Norris-Jones added the extras to the 5-1 final scoreline.

Defending champions Southern Gauteng made it clear that they are not going to relinquish the national title without a fight. Star-studded Southerns’ 5-0 win against Fain Eastern Province was built on a 2-0 half-time lead and the dozen nationally-capped players in coach Rob van Ginkel’s Johannesburg-based side have been around the block enough times to know how to repeat the success of last year in Bloemfontein.

Two goals within three minutes of each other by Clint Panther (open play) and Dean Symons (from a penalty corner) midway through the first half were followed by a Julian Hykes effort from the penalty spot three minutes after the changeover, then an own goal, and finally a Hykes strike from field play three minutes from the end.

The Durban-based KZN Raiders played accurate, precise hockey characterised by impressive ball speed as they stretched their second-string side, KZN Mynahs, to the limit and beyond, which resulted in a 11-1 victory after coach Ryan Hack’s side had led 5-0 at half-time.

The Raiders’ ability to relay the ball across the back at pace resulted in the Mynahs defence becoming overloaded at times and the spaces soon opened in the middle for strikers and midfielders to latch on to accurate crosses from the left and right.

With the composed Bruce Grant co-ordinating the direction and flow of play at centre back, outside halves Calvin Price and Stephen Wiggett were prominent down the flanks, while captain Wade Paton (3), Greg Last (2) and vice-captain Geoff Abbott , Matt de Sousa, Matthew Boote, Taine Paton, Keagan Robinson and Ryan Williams got onto the scoresheet. Davyn Keuter scored a consolation goal for Mynahs.

The special dispensation team, South Africa U21, who are due to play in the Junior World Cup in Delhi, India in December, enjoyed a solid 5-0 win over a Witwatersrand side that refused to lie down.

James Drummond broke the deadlock after a goalless opening 25 minutes and his success was followed by an own goal shortly after, for the 2-0 half-time lead. Matt Brown and Grant Glutz scored via penalty corners in the second half with striker Ignatius Malgraff netting the fifth goal a minute from the end.

Coach Fabian Gregory’s KZN Inland side were made to work hard for a 4-1 win over a determined Free State line-up coached by Atlanta 1996 Olympian Allistar Fredericks.

Jan Ras had opened the scoring for Free State, while Inland’s first-half equaliser went to Gavin Jelley. The team from the KZN capital added three more in the second half through Devon van der Merwe, Satchi Reddy and Zamo Cele.

Western Province Peninsula led Northern Blues 1-0 through a Bradley Venter goal before Richard Pautz drew the Pretoria side level four minutes from half-time. Northerns (Matt Guise-Brown) and Peninsula (Dale Isaac) traded goals in the 46th and 47th minutes respectively before Stephen Cant nailed the winner six minutes from full-time to give Northerns the win.

The pick of Monday’s matches could well be the battle between Tuffy Western Province and Fain Eastern Province at 6 pm.

The semi-finals and cross-pool playoffs are on Friday with the final and the classification matches on Saturday.

The second-tier B Section tournament kicks off Monday.



A Section: KZN Raiders vs WP Peninsula (10 am); Southern Gauteng vs Free State (12 pm); South Africa U21 vs KZN Mynahs (2 pm); Northern Blues vs Witwatersrand (4 pm); Tuffy Western Province vs Fain Eastern Province (6 pm).

Pitch B

A Section: KZN Inland vs North West (11 am).

B Section: EP Settlers vs Border (2 pm); Western Province Disas vs Namibia (4 pm).

SA Hockey Association media release

Strathmore Gladiators hold Nairobi Simba in Kenya Hockey Union premier league


Kennedy Osikuku of Police playing against Parkroads.

Strathmore Gladiators lived up to their name holding at bay champs Nairobi Simba in their Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) premier league match yesterday.

The two time champions put up a hard fight that ended in a 3-3 draw in a tough encounter played at Nairobi City Park Stadium.

Poor clearance by Strathmore’s goalkeeper Simon Odhiambo saw Simba go up two minutes into play. Former Stathmore player Davis Wanangwe pounced on the ball, poorly cleared, passing it to Asif Shah who scored a fantastic field goal.

The students did not waste time in retaliation and cancelled Simba’s goal in the sixth minute through Seth Oburu.

Richard Oracha wasted an open chance to put the Gladiators in the lead blasting wide. Four minutes later Asif Shah punished the student side slotting in a second.

Captain Hosea Walucho led from the front as he hauled his side level in the 58th minute.

A 65th minute own goal by Haggai Pepela put Strathmore in a better position to secure their second win of the season.

However, Simba were not ready to lose easily and veteran player and national team captain Wilson Otieno replied in the 67th minute to share the spoils.

“It’s a young team most of my boys have never played at this level but they are promising next season they would have acquired the experience needed,” Strathmore coach Meshack Senge said.

In another premier league encounter former champions Kenya Police extended their winning streak and opened an eight point gap ahead of their closest rival USIU.

Police beat Parkroad 4-0 in a continuation of last Sunday’s match that ended prematurely in the seventh minute due to poor state of the pitch.

They were leading by a solitary goal Francis Esikuri scored in the 20th minute from a penalty corner to put the officers two goals up.

Esikuri was at it aga after 32 minutes scoring a field goal that put the law enforcers 3-0 up by the half time.

They came from the breather re-energized to score their second through Moses Cheplaiti in the 36th minute.

Parkroad, however, improved their game and contained Police onslought to see game end 3-0.

The Standard Online

HI allows WSH players to be part of Hockey India League

Indian players who played the rebel World Series Hockey (WSH) organised by the Indian Hockey Federation have been granted amnesty to be brought into the players' auction for the second season of the Hockey India League (HIL) - India's official franchise-based domestic competition, Hindustan Times reported on Monday.

Hockey India (HI), India's recognised hockey body that runs the HIL, had barred all WSH players from being part of the HIL players' auction for its inaugural season last year, where Ranchi Rhinos were crowned the champions. But HI secretary general Narinder Batra confirmed to HT that they can now come under the HIL umbrella.

"The players approached us and showed their willingness to play in the HIL. Looking into their potential and future prospects, we are considering them for the mini-auction to be held in October," Batra said.

That could mean current national selectors and former India players Arjun Halappa, who left the national camp last year to play in the WSH, and Gagan Ajit Singh rubbing shoulders with a pool of players from which they have to pick India players in future team selections. But it remains to be seen what stand HI will take on their participation if they show their willingness.

Also among those pardoned will be Asian Games medallist Ravi Pal and former India striker Prabhjot Singh. The amnesty process for the rebel players started when they were permitted to play in the national championship after being snubbed for HIL's first edition. The second season of the FIH-backed league will be held in January-February next year.

Also likely is the addition of a sixth franchise to the HIL, which could be a team from Bangalore. That will open window for a number of players in the auction to be held in October. HT reported that the WSH players brought into the HIL auction have been given the opportunity to set their base price between $5600 and $15000.

HI's decision will also throw open the gates for these players to be considered for the national team. Until now, from among those who played the HIL, only Gurjinder Singh has been considered for the national squad.

IBNLive Sports

Sportt pays tribute to hockey bronze

Team members beaming with their medals: Michael O’Connor II; Shaquille Daniel (son of shooter Roger Daniel); and Ishmael Campbell.

The Sports Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SporTT) recently hosted a celebratory function for the national men’s hockey team who made history at the Pan Am Cup in Brampton, Canada, securing a hard-fought bronze medal.

By virtue of the third place finish, the team qualified to participate in the Pan Am Cup in 2017.

For a period of three months prior to the tournament, the team was assisted in their physical and mental preparation by the SporTT’s Elite Development & Performance Unit (EDPU).

At least three times a week, the players underwent physical assessments, strength and conditioning, massage therapy and sport psychology sessions.

According to captain Darren Cowie, this measure of intangible support was invaluable to the locally-based players and contributed to their ability to extend themselves on the field of play and their eventual success.

SporTT CEO John Mollenthiel was also present to bring congratulations on behalf of the company and the Ministry. He acknowledged the commitment shown by the EDPU staff and offered their services to any other national athlete or team that is keen on improving their physical preparation for competition.

The women’s squad, which will also participate in the Pan Am Cup from September 21 to 28, in Mendoza, Argentina, are currently benefitting from sport science and medicine services of the EDPU.

The Trinidad Guardian

What's in a name? Memories

Ashish Sen

The narrow lane opposite Raj Bhavan in Kolkata is famous for roadside eatery, ranging from chicken stew to rasomalai. But Draper Lane has got another identity. It is the birthplace of Bengal Hockey Association (BHA).

The office was formed in 1908 on the third floor of the building during the regime of the British rule. Now almost after 100 years, it will be known as Hockey Bengal.

Do we really need the change, asked one of the hockey umpires? "The priority should be to revive hockey in Kolkata, which was once the mecca of the sport. Besides, we don't have an astro-turf. We have been fighting for the issue for long, but didn't get any assurance from state government level," he alleged.

A club official from the Maidan rued that hockey lost its sheen once the big three on the Maidan stopped playing, citing poor infrastructure. "As a hockey lover, I deem myself proud to be associated with the sport which once produced the Olympians and most of them belong to the city. That is the biggest compliment I feel," he said.

Reminiscing those days when Leslie Claudius, Bir Bahardur Chettri, Keshav Dutt and many others climbed the stairs of the BHA office, he said the hallow sound of their footsteps on the wooden floor would give a signal to the office staff to prepare the afternoon tea. "Yaar, chai kidhar hai (where is the tea)?" they would ask.

Another veteran hockey umpire, representing the rival association, said the citizens should be united to find ways to bring back to the pristine glory of hockey. "That should be the motto rather than wasting time in re-naming the association. It can't deny history," he asked.

The Times of India