News for 02 Septembert 2013

All the news for Monday 2 September 2013


S. Korea wins record fourth Asia Cup title



IPOH: It was a close call but South Korea reaffirmed their status as Asia’s best when they defeated India 4-3 in a hugely entertaining final in the 9th Asia Cup at the Azlan Shah Stadium.

The Koreans played one of their best games here in Ipoh and managed to subdue a determined Indian side hoping to seal their World Cup berth by winning the title.

There is no shame in the defeat for the Indians as they display a very high quality in terms of performance and were only beaten by a team that had players with skills to match them.

The Koreans had already booked their World Cup berth going into match and it was in India’s interest to go for a win and confirmed their berth as well.

Korea’s win has now confirmed Malaysia’s world Cup berth instead. The Indians have also made it but need for the Oceania championships to be over in November before their place is confirmed.

Both teams also met in the group stage and the Indians won 2-0.

But this time in the final it was the Koreans who started off aggressively and were two goals up by half time.

This meeting the two Asian giants is also their 70th. The Koreans  lead with 31 wins as opposed to 27 losses and 12 draws.

Korean penalty corner specialists Jang Jong-hyun was on target in the 28th minute. The goal took his tally to eight in the top scorers list.

One minute after that goal You Hyo-sik added that second with a twp in from close range after three Indian defenders were beaten by a square pass into the D.

The Indians fought back in the second half and in the 48th minute they had as lifeline when Rupinderpal Singh scored from the penalty corner.

And in the 55th minute Nithin Thimmaiah added a field goal to put the game firmly on their sights again.

Nam Hyun-woo regained the lead for the Koreans in the 57th minute but only to see mandeep Singh score from close range in the 66th minute.

As a penalty shootout loomed the Koreans earned a penalty corner in the 68th minute. Instead of taking a direct hit the Koreans played a variation and Kang Moon-kweon scored from the left side.

Moon-kweon was named man-of-the-match for his winning goal.

Special Awards
Best goalkeeper – P.R. Sreejesh (India)
Top scorer - Jang Jong-hyun (S.Korea) – 8 goals
Best outstanding player –V. R. Raghunath (India)
Fairplay Trophy –Japan

Official Asia Cup site



Third place consolation for Pakistan



IPOH: Pakistan overcame their agony of missing out a place the 2014 World Cup to clinch third place in the 9th Asia Cup after a 3-1 win over Malaysia in the play-off match at the Azlan Shah Stadium.

The Pakistanis were worthy winners as they put aside their semi-final defeat to ensure of at least a podium finish in the tournament.

Both Pakistan and Malaysians went into the match knowing that only pride was at stake. The Malaysians have a World Cup berth in hand while the Pakistanis are out of the 2014 Final;s in Holland.

So a podium finish may not be enough got either team. But that was not to be as they went head to head and served up a deserving match with rain falling.

The Pakistanis had the upper hand for most part of the first half and they even three penalty corners to get the goals.

Still their attempts fell flat and against the run of play the Malaysians grabbed the lead in the 35 minute through a field goal by Faizal Saari.

That didn’t stop the Pakistanis as in the 35th minute Abdul Haseem Khan scored a field goal to go off at half time at 1-1.

In the second half both teams continued to attack and were evenly matches.

Pakistan earned their fourth penalty corner in the 54th minute and this time Muhammad Imran sent his drag flick high to the left of Roslan Jamaluddin.

With lead in the bag, the Pakistanis continued to attack and two minutes later Abdul Hassem scored his second goal on the match when he deflected in a Waseem Ahmad cross into the semi-circle.

The Malaysians tried to come back into the game and had several good chances to score. Pakistan’s veteran goalkeeper Salman Akbar was in good form to deny them time and again.

Pakistan forward Abdul Haseem Khan was named man-of-the-match.

Official Asia Cup site



Malaysia men qualify for Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014

Korean success at Asia Cup guarantees Malaysia ticket to The Hague



(Photo: Frank Uijlenbroek)

Malaysia men have become the latest team to achieve qualification for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014, the International Hockey Federation’s showpiece event which takes place in The Hague, Netherlands.

The joint men’s and women’s competition takes place from 31st May to 15th June next year, with the 15,000-seater Kyocera Stadium playing host to the finest international hockey teams in the world.

Malaysia’s berth at the summer spectacular was guaranteed following Korea’s dramatic 4-3 triumph over India in the final of the men’s Asia Cup 2013 in Ipoh (MAS).

Like all of the continental championships, the big prize on offer at the Asia Cup was direct World Cup qualification to the event winner. However, with Korea having recently been promoted from first reserves to confirmed World Cup qualifiers thanks to Argentina’s victory in the Pan American Cup, the door was opened to the other reserves for the tournament. Last weekend, second reserves Spain were confirmed for the event courtesy of Germany’s success in TriFinance EuroHockey Championships, meaning that third reserves Malaysia become the team to benefit from Korea’s Asia Cup victory.

Malaysia are the tenth men’s team to qualify for the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, with two more places up for grabs at the upcoming continental championships in 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
Korea: Continental champions Asia
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) *
Spain: 5th place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Rotterdam (NED). **
Malaysia: 5th place – Hockey World League Semi-Final, Johor Bahru (MAS) ***

* 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.
** Spain qualified as second reserve courtesy of Germany’s victory in the TriFinance EuroHockey Championships. Spain (5th in Rotterdam) were named second reserve ahead of Malaysia (5th in Johor Bahru) courtesy of a superior placing in the FIH World Rankings.
*** Malaysia qualified as third reserve courtesy of Korea’s victory in the Asia Cup 2013.

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 two continental championships. However, if any of the above listed teams also becomes continental champion it will open the door to the team that finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals that has not yet qualified for the World Cup. This team can be found below.   

India: 6th in Rotterdam / 4th reserve for World Cup.

FIH Media release



Korea pips India in a dramatic finish

S. Thyagarajan



India's Mandeep Singh, left, and South Korea's Kang Moon-kyu battle for the ball during their final match of the 9th men's Asia Cup field hockey tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia, on Sunday. Photo: AP

In what could go down in the history of Asian hockey as a momentous final, India recovered three times to level, but eventually slithered down the valley of defeat against Korea in the final of the Asia Cup here on Sunday.

Korea’s 4-3 win confirmed its continental berth to the World Cup at The Hague. This was Korea’s fourth triumph in the competition.

Interestingly, this outcome helped Malaysia, which finished fourth, to earn its place in the World Cup.

If there was a tie that contained all the ingredients of a fitting finale, it emerged at the Azlan Shah stadium on Sunday. True, it was patchy in some parts, but it underscored the technical excellence and the tactical approach of the teams.

Korea, which had lost the earlier meeting in the group stage, was marginally more cohesive when it came to fashioning sallies that forced the Indian defenders into repeated errors.

Quick goals

The brightest patch for the Koreans came in the first half when they slammed in two goals in two minutes. Jang Jong converted a penalty corner beating the in-form Sreejesh, and before the cheers tapered off came the second, scored beautifully by You Hyo Sik.

On resumption, the Indian attack looked palpably aggressive and well synchronised thanks to crisp passes by Sardar Singh and Kothajit Singh, helped by Birendra Lakra.

Quite few openings were conceived. Midway through, Rupinder Pal Singh produced a thunderous drive from a penalty corner to heighten the tension for the Koreans. Minutes later, India struck again when a Chenglensana initiative culminated in Nikkin Thimmaiah slotting the ball into the cage.

Level amidst excitement all round, the Indian defenders were stretched by a series of raids prompted by Lee Nam Yong. A penalty corner scrimmage off a shot by Jang Jong ended in Aussie umpire Murray Grime awarding a penalty stroke, which Nam Hyun Woo converted without fuss.

If anyone had thought that India was caving in, a goal by Mandeep Singh off a clear cross by Birendra Lakra brought the cheers back. At 3-3, with only minutes remaining, it was touch-and-go for both teams. The possibility of a tie-breaker was in the air.

Disastrous moment

But the disastrous moment came when the defence fumbled, conceding a penalty corner which enabled Kang Moon to snatch the match winner three minutes from the end amidst spontaneous joy of the Korean supporters.

Malaysia, which came into the competition in quest of that elusive gold, finished without a medal of any hue when Pakistan inflicted a 3-1 defeat.

List of participants

Meanwhile, the Asian Hockey Federation confirmed on Sunday the list of participants for the next AHF Champions Trophy to be held in Kakamigahara (Japan) from November 1 to 10.

The men’s section consists of China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Oman and Pakistan, while the women’s group comprises China, India, Japan and Malaysia.

Briefing the media after the council meeting here, Tan Sri Alagendra, secretary-general, AHF, announced that Vietnam would be allowed to participate in the next SEA Games although it is not yet a member of FIH or AHF.

The SEA Games are scheduled to be held in Myanmar in December.

A women’s development conference is to be held in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the next Asia Cup for women from September 21 to 27.

The results: Final: Korea 4 (Jang Jong, You Hyo Sik, Nam Hyun Woo, Kang Moon Kweon) bt India 3 (Rupinder Pal Singh, Nikkin Thimmaiah, Mandeep Singh). 3-4: Pakistan 3 (Abdul Haseen Khan 2, Muhammad Imran) bt Malaysia 1 (Faisal Saari).

Final placings: 1. Korea, 2. India, 3. Pakistan, 4. Malaysia, 5. Japan, 6. Oman, 7.Bangladesh, 8. Chinese Taipei.

Player of the tournament: V.R. Raghunath (India); Man of the final: Kang Moon Kweon (Korea); Top scorer: Jang Jong (8 goals) Korea; Best goal-keeper: Sreejesh (India); Fair play: Japan.

The Hindu



Korea retain Asia Cup after defeating India

NEW DELHI - India suffered a massive blow in their quest for direct entry in the hockey World Cup after losing 3-4 to South Korea in the final of the ninth Asia Cup.

Malaysia will go through to the quadrennial event after India's defeat and Sardar Singh's team will have to wait for the Oceania championship to finish in October-November.

Korea got off to a great start when they scored two goals in quick succession. Jang Jong Hyun converted the penalty corner in 28th minute and soon after You Hyo Sik scored a field goal to leave the Indians trailing 0-2. In the second half, Rupinderpal Singh and Nikkin Thimmaiah helped India level the game before Korea were given a penalty stroke which was converted by Nam Hyun Woo.

But the match went to the wire as Mandeep kept India in hunt after scoring an excellent field goal with five minutes to go in the match. However, India lost the plot in the end when Korea managed to score the winning goal in the dying minutes of the match to lift the coveted title.

Already out of next year's World Cup, Pakistan had something to cheer about as the three-time champions defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1 to win the bronze medal.

Pakistan, who needed to win the Asia Cup to qualify for next year's World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands, dished out a spirited performance to prevail over the erring Malaysians.

Pakistan, who will miss the World Cup for the first time since the introduction of the event in 1971, scored through a brace from Abdul Haseem Khan (35th, 56th) and skipper M Imran (54th) to register the victory in the third-fourth place play-off match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium. For Malaysia, Faizal Saari scored the lone goal in the 34th minute. It was a chance for Malaysia to avenge their 1-4 defeat at the hands of the same opponents in the pool stages but they let the opportunity slip because of their own mistakes. Played under heavy weather conditions, at least the first half, the bronze medal play-off match between Pakistan and hosts Malaysia was a keenly-contested battle.

Pakistan had a close shave in the opening minute of the match when M Razie Abd Rahim's high flick from Malaysia's first penalty corner hit the cross bar. Minutes later veteran Shakeel Abbasi's weak shot from close range was easily blocked by Malaysia goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.

Thereafter, Pakistan earned three penalty corners but failed to convert a single one on a turf that had become heavy because of continuous downpour. After failing to make use of their second penalty corner, Malaysia broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through Saari, who had to dive full length to connect to a Jivan Mohan's pass past Pakistani goalkeeper Salman Akbar.

Malaysia's joy was shortlived as Pakistan drew parity seven seconds from halftime. A clever scoop from captain Muhammad Imran found Abdul Haseem Khan alone inside the hosts' circle and the striker beautifully controlled the ball to push it past Jamaluddin to go into the breather locked at one apiece.

As the rain subsided, Pakistan slowly started to get their act together after the change of ends and dominated the share of exchanges. On the other hand, just like the semifinal against India, missed chances continued to haunt the Malaysians even today. The hosts made some good moves but once inside the opposition circle, they seemed to run out of ideas and waste easy chances. Pakistan dealt a second blow on the erring Malaysians when skipper Imran converted the team's fifth penalty corner in the 54th minute.

Two minutes later, Pakistan jolted the home team again when Abdul Haseem Khan scored his second goal of the day, deflecting in a pass from M Tousiq. Pakistan too has to thank their experienced goalkeeper Salman who made a couple of brilliant saves in the last 10 minutes of the game to deny any further inroads to the Malaysians.

An agile Salman made a fine double save in the 61st minute to deny Mohd Fitri Saari and Jivan Mohan. In search of goals, Malaysia put the Pakistan defence under constant pressure and earned three more penalty corners in the last seven minutes of the game but their drag flick specialist M Razie lacked precision.

The Nation



India go down fighting in Asia Cup hockey final

IPOH (Malaysia): India made a spirited fightback in the second half but failed to earn a direct berth in next year's hockey World Cup as they lost the high-scoring summit clash 3-4 to defending champions South Korea on Sunday.

The Indians, who are virtually assured of a place in the game's showpiece event to be held at The Hague, Netherlands, needed to win the eight-nation tournament to secure a direct entry in the World Cup.

Korea's fourth title win means Malaysia are certain to return to the World Cup after a gap of 12 years.

The Indians will now have to wait till the conclusion of the Oceania Cup in November, which either Australia and New Zealand is expected to win, for the official confirmation of their participation from the FIH.

Both Australia and New Zealand have already made it to the World Cup through FIH World League.

The Koreans scored through Jang Jong Hyun (28th minute), You Hyo Sik (29th), Nam Hyun Woo (57th) and Kang Moon Kweon (68th). For India, Rupinderpal Singh (48th), Nikkin Thimmaiah (57th) and Mandeep Singh (64th) were the goal-getters.

It was a case of near yet so far for the Indians who did a tremendous job in the second half, after going into the breather trailing by two goals.

But the Indians eventually fell short as Korea eked out a hard-fought win and also got their revenge over the Sardar Singh-led side against whom they lost 0-2 in the pool stage.

However, it was a great show by a young and inexperienced Indian team considering the fact that the country finished a lowly seventh in the last edition of the event in 2009.

It was a fitting contest between the two top teams of the Asia as both India and Korea matched each other stick to stick.

The Indians started the match on a bright note and dominated the early share of exchanges, India made some good moves from the right flank but the forwards fizzled after entering the opposition circle.

Korea's game was all about putting the Indian defence under pressure through counter-attacks.

The Indian defence was tested to the core by the quick, nimble-footed Koreans today from the beginning as goalkeeper P R Sreejesh made a valiant double save in the 21st minute to keep a clean slate.

Soon India had their first scoring opportunity through their first penalty corner but VR Raghunath's flick was blocked by a Korean defender.

In the 26th minute Nithi Thimmaiah had a good chance of giving India the lead but his reverse hit from close range went wide.

Korea soon earned their first penalty corner and tournament's top-scorer Jang Jong Hyun made no mistake, converting the set piece with a variation.

A minute later Korea stunned India again when You Hyo Sik tapped home from Nam Hyun Woo's cross from the left flank to go into the breather with a morale-boosting 2-0 lead.

The Indians, however, made a strong comeback after the lemon break and put the Korean defence under continuous pressure with repeated raids.

But goals eluded India till the 47th minute as Korea defended in numbers.

India pulled one back in the 48th minute from their second penalty corner which was perfectly converted by Rupinder to bring smiles back on the faces of the Indian crowd present at the stadium.

The goal lifted India's spirit as they went for relentless attacks and finally managed to reduce parity through young Nikkin Thimmaiah.

Nikkin scored in the 54h minute with a fierce reverse hit from top of the circle after receiving a pass from Manpreet Singh.

But India's joy was short-lived as Korea regained their lead three minutes later. The Koreans were awarded a penalty stroke after an Indian defender blocked Nam Hyun Woo's dragflcik with the body from their third short corner.

Nam Hyn Woo stepped up to take the penalty and calmly foxed Sreejesh under the Indian goal to make the scoreline 3-2 in their favour.

The Indian thereafter pressed hard for the equalizer and seven minutes from the final whistle got a great chance but an unmarked Ramdeep Singh faltered as he hit the ball over with only the Korean goalkeeper Lee Myung Ho to beat.

But India did not lose hope and kept up the pressure. Their efforts bore fruit in the 64th minute when young striker Mandeep found himself at the right position at the right moment to send one inside the net from a Birendra Lakra cross.

But just two minutes from the hooter some sloppy defending from Dharamvir Singh and Rupinder resulted in Korea's third penalty corner and Kang Moon Kweon made no mistake with the chance shattering the hopes of handful of Indian supporters present at the stadium.

Apart from the runners-up trophy, India's P R Sreejesh was adjudged the best goalkeeper of the tournament, while VR Raghunath was selected as the most outstanding player.

The Times of India



India rues bad umpiring cost them Asia Cup final

IPOH (Malaysia): India fought valiantly before losing 3-4 to defending champions South Korea in the final of the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament on Sunday and the players feel that a bad umpiring decision at the fag end of the match cost them the title.

Australian umpire Murray Grime awarded Korea a penalty corner just two minutes from the hooter when Rupinderpal Singh tackled a Korean forward inside the circle, but the Indian players feel it was wrong judgement by the umpire and the tackle was a clean one.

"The last penalty corner which Korea got was wrongly given. By no chance it was a penalty corner. It was a clean tackle from Rupinder, but the umpire debated that he deliberately did it," an Indian player said on condition of anonymity.

The resultant penalty corner hurt India badly as Kang Moon Kweon made no mistake with the chance and converted it to shatter the hopes of handful of Indian supporters present at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium.

"The umpiring cost us the match. We came here with one purpose to win the tournament. But in the end we are happy with the way we played here," another player said.

Asked India's interim coach Roelant Oltmans about the decisive penalty corner, he simply said: "It's better not to say anything about it."

Disappointed to have faltered at the final hurdle, Oltmans nevertheless said the players should be proud of their performance in the ninth edition of the Asia Cup.

"Obviously, I am disappointed with the end result but we are proud of the way we came back into the game. In the first half we didn't play well but in the second half we really played outstanding hockey. We scored two fantastic goals," he said.

"This team has fought with its heart out. We became strong as a team with every game. The way we played in this tournament we should be proud of ourselves," Oltmans said.

"It will take a little bit time. We have to play this kind of finals more often. I remember when I started with Holland we lost first three finals before winning 10 in a row. So, hopefully this a good start," he added.

A win in the Asia Cup would have given India a direct entry into next year's World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands.

But nevertheless, the Indians are virtually assured of place in the showpiece event, the official confirmation of which will come only after the conclusion of the Oceania Cup in November, which either Australia or New Zealand is expected to win.

"We will have to wait for either New Zealand or Australia to win the Oceania Cup. Normally one of these two teams win the Oceania Cup. So we are quite certain that at least we will be in the World Cup. It is an important achievement but we came here to win the Asia Cup and we were close," Oltmans said.

Oltmans praised his young forwardline and said it was good to see competition for places in the team.

"Our young forwards did a very good job. They scored two good goals today. I am pleased to see that a number of good forwards are coming up in Indian hockey. There are few more players who are not here. So there will be a fight among them to make it to the team," the Dutchman said.

The Times of India



Pakistan beat Malaysia 3-1 to win bronze in Asia Cup

IPOH: Already out of next year's World Cup, Pakistan had something to cheer about as the three-time champions defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1 to win the bronze medal at the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament on Sunday.

Pakistan, who needed to win the Asia Cup to qualify for next year's World Cup at The Hague, Netherlands, dished out a spirited performance to prevail over the erring Malaysians.

Pakistan, who will miss the World Cup for the first time since the introduction of the event in 1971, scored through a brace from Abdul Haseem Khan (35th, 56th) and skipper Muhammad Imran (54th) to register the victory in the third-fourth place play-off match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium.

For Malaysia, Faizal Saari scored the lone goal in the 34th minute.

It was a chance for Malaysia to avenge their 1-4 defeat at the hands of the same opponents in the pool stages but they let the opportunity slip because of their own mistakes.

Played under heavy weather conditions, at least the first half, the bronze medal play-off match between Pakistan and hosts Malaysia was a keenly-contested battle.

Pakistan had a close shave in the opening minute of the match when Muhammad Razie Abd Rahim's high flick from Malaysia's first penalty corner hit the cross bar.

Minutes later veteran Shakeel Abbasi's weak shot from close range was easily blocked by Malaysia goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.

Thereafter, Pakistan earned three penalty corners but failed to convert a single one on a turf that had become heavy because of continuous downpour.

After failing to make use of their second penalty corner, Malaysia broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through Saari, who had to dive full length to connect to a Jivan Mohan's pass past Pakistani goalkeeper Salman Akbar.

Malaysia's joy was shortlived as Pakistan drew parity seven seconds from halftime.

A clever scoop from captain Muhammad Imran found Abdul Haseem Khan alone inside the hosts' circle and the striker beautifully controlled the ball to push it past Jamaluddin to go into the breather locked at one apiece.

As the rain subsided, Pakistan slowly started to get their act together after the change of ends and dominated the share of exchanges.

On the other hand, just like the semifinal against India, missed chances continued to haunt the Malaysians even today.

The hosts made some good moves but once inside the opposition circle, they seemed to run out of ideas and waste easy chances.

Pakistan dealt a second blow on the erring Malaysians when skipper Imran converted the team's fifth penalty corner in the 54th minute.

Two minutes later, Pakistan jolted the home team again when Abdul Haseem Khan scored his second goal of the day, deflecting in a pass from Muhammad Tousiq.

Pakistan too has to thank their experienced goalkeeper Salman who made a couple of brilliant saves in the last 10 minutes of the game to deny any further inroads to the Malaysians.

An agile Salman made a fine double save in the 61st minute to deny Mohd Fitri Saari and Jivan Mohan.

In search of goals, Malaysia put the Pakistan defence under constant pressure and earned three more penalty corners in the last seven minutes of the game but their drag flick specialist Muhammad Razie lacked precision.

The Times of India



National coach Zaman refutes resignation claims

By Fawad Hussain



Pakistan overcame Malaysia 3-2 to claim the Asia Cup bronze medal. PHOTO: FILE AFP

KARACHI: As Pakistan overcame Malaysia 3-1 to win the bronze medal at the Asia Cup, national coach Tahir Zaman said he will not resign in wake of the hockey team’s failure to qualify for next year’s World Cup.

Reports following Pakistan’s loss to South Korea in the semi-final on Friday suggested that the coach had decided to part ways and the third-place contest against Malaysia would be his last.

“I haven’t resigned,” Tahir told The Express Tribune after the team’s win over Malaysia.

“My statement was misinterpreted; I didn’t announce any such thing. I’ll continue to serve hockey wherever I am needed.”

Tahir, regarded as the best qualified coach in Pakistan, replaced Hanif Khan for the must-win tournament.

However, the loss to South Korea meant the four-time champions failed to book their berth for the first time in the history of the World Cup.

The fiasco followed calls for a complete overhaul of the Pakistan Hockey Federation set-up and that of the team management, as former Olympians rued the lost status.

But, the coach declined to take full responsibility.

“Those who are criticising must speak logically. The hockey downfall is not sudden.

“As far as the Asia Cup is concerned, we showed improvement in all departments. It was just a bad day against South Korea.

“All stakeholders must collectively come out with a suggestion to help our hockey rise again.  Playing the blame game will only result in the further decline of our hockey.”

South Korea win Asia Cup title

South Korea retained the Asia Cup title after beating India 4-3 in an epic battle, thanks to a goal by Kang Moon Kweon two minutes before the final whistle.

Korea dominated the opening session to lead 2-0, but India bounced back in the middle of the final session to equalise 2-2. Korea regained the lead but India leveled again, making the final moments nail-biting.

Earlier, Pakistan overcame Malaysia 3-2 to claim the bronze medal, following goals from Mohammad Imran and Haseem Khan, while the third one came from Mohammad Irfan.

The Express Tribune



Pakistan down Malaysia for third place

South Korea win Asia Cup Hockey Tournament


IPOH: South Korea won the Asia Cup Hockey Tournament beating India by 4-3 at Ipoh on Sunday. Earlier, Pakistan secured third position beating Malaysia 3-1. India made a spirited fightback in the second half but failed to earn a direct berth in next year’s hockey World Cup as they lost the high-scoring summit clash to defending champions South Korea. The Indians, who are virtually assured of a place in the game’s showpiece event to be held at The Hague, Netherlands, needed to win the eight-nation tournament to secure a direct entry in the World Cup. Korea’s fourth title win means Malaysia are certain to return to the World Cup after a gap of 12 years. The Indians will now have to wait till the conclusion of the Oceania Cup in November, which either Australia and New Zealand is expected to win, for the official confirmation of their participation from the FIH.

Both Australia and New Zealand have already made it to the World Cup through FIH World League. The Koreans scored through Jang Jong Hyun (28th minute), You Hyo Sik (29th), Nam Hyun Woo (57th) and Kang Moon Kweon (68th). For India, Rupinderpal Singh (48th), Nikkin Thimmaiah (57th) and Mandeep Singh (64th) were the goal-getters. It was a case of near yet so far for the Indians who did a tremendous job in the second half, after going into the breather trailing by two goals. But the Indians eventually fell short as Korea eked out a hard-fought win and also got their revenge over the Sardar Singh-led side against whom they lost 0-2 in the pool stage. However, it was a great show by a young and inexperienced Indian team considering the fact that the country finished a lowly seventh in the last edition of the event in 2009. It was a fitting contest between the two top teams of the Asia as both India and Korea matched each other stick to stick. The Indians started the match on a bright note and dominated the early share of exchanges, India made some good moves from the right flank but the forwards fizzled after entering the opposition circle. Korea’s game was all about putting the Indian defence under pressure through counter-attacks. The Indian defence was tested to the core by the quick, nimble-footed Koreans today from the beginning as goalkeeper P R Sreejesh made a valiant double save in the 21st minute to keep a clean slate. Soon India had their first scoring opportunity through their first penalty corner but VR Raghunath’s flick was blocked by a Korean defender. In the 26th minute Nithi Thimmaiah had a good chance of giving India the lead but his reverse hit from close range went wide. Korea soon earned their first penalty corner and tournament’s top-scorer Jang Jong Hyun made no mistake, converting the set piece with a variation. A minute later Korea stunned India again when You Hyo Sik tapped home from Nam Hyun Woo’s cross from the left flank to go into the breather with a morale-boosting 2-0 lead.The Indians, however, made a strong comeback after the lemon break and put the Korean defence under continuous pressure with repeated raids.

But goals eluded India till the 47th minute as Korea defended in numbers.India pulled one back in the 48th minute from their second penalty corner which was perfectly converted by Rupinder to bring smiles back on the faces of the Indian crowd present at the stadium. The goal lifted India’s spirit as they went for relentless attacks and finally managed to reduce parity through young Nikkin Thimmaiah. Nikkin scored in the 54h minute with a fierce reverse hit from top of the circle after receiving a pass from Manpreet Singh. But India’s joy was short-lived as Korea regained their lead three minutes later. The Koreans were awarded a penalty stroke after an Indian defender blocked Nam Hyun Woo’s dragflcik with the body from their third short corner.

Nam Hyn Woo stepped up to take the penalty and calmly foxed Sreejesh under the Indian goal to make the scoreline 3-2 in their favour. The Indian thereafter pressed hard for the equalizer

But India did not lose hope and kept up the pressure. Their efforts bore fruit in the 64th minute when young striker Mandeep found himself at the right position at the right moment to send one inside the net from a Birendra Lakra cross. But just two minutes from the hooter some sloppy defending from Dharamvir Singh and Rupinder resulted in Korea’s third penalty corner and Kang Moon Kweon made no mistake with the chance shattering the hopes of handful of Indian supporters present at the stadium.

The Daily Times



Not good enough

By JUGJET SINGH



Pakistan’s Fareed Ahmed (left) and Malaysia’s Fitri Saari battle for the ball at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday. Pakistan won 3-1. AP pic

MALAYSIA'S quest for an Asia Cup bronze medal fell flat as Pakistan played with more zest to take the honours with a 3-1 win at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh yesterday.

The hosts, who have already qualified for the World Cup, were outplayed in all departments by Pakistan who will miss their first World Cup since its inception in 1971.

"I am disappointed with the way we finished in this tournament as there was something lacking in attack. Also, our penalty corner conversion rate was at its worst.

"Something needs to be done in these two areas (finishing and penalty corners) if we want to achieve results in future," said Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

Coach Paul Revington echoed Tengku Abdullah's sentiments: "Yes, the penalty corner conversion rate was not as expected but Razie's (Rahim) and Faizal's (Saari) shoulders are sore from flicking in this tournament.

"Once they recover, we will work on them further to improve their flicks," said Revington.

The first overhead flick won Malaysia a penalty corner in the first minute but Razie's attempt was deflected by goalkeeper Salman Akbar and the ball hit the top bar and sailed out.

In the second minute, the sky opened up and the heavy rain made play much more difficult.

Malaysia had lost 4-1 to Pakistan in the group stage but looked much more dangerous in yesterday's battle for bronze, but the downpour made it difficult for both sides to score.

For the record, Malaysia lost the Asia Cup bronze medal to China in the last edition in Kuantan, 7-6 on penalty strokes after being held 3-3 in regulation time.

The heavy rain never let up in the first half, making hitting and pushing almost impossible as Malaysia kept defending penalty corners, and were reduced to counter-attacks in the final five minutes.

Faizal finally gave Malaysia the lead in the 34th minute with a diving attempt, but right after the restart, Pakistan's Haseem Khan equalised with a field goal seven seconds to half-time.

After the breather, the rain finally stopped and Pakistan moved up a gear and their hard work was rewarded with a goal in the 54th minute off their fifth penalty corner when Muhammed Imran sent in a powerful drive.

There was more misery for the hosts immediately after the restart, a Malaysian goal was disallowed and in the 56th minute, Razie scored an own goal to make it 3-1 for Pakistan.

And in the following minutes, Pakistan goalkeeper Salman Akbar made five incredible saves to deny Malaysia.

Meanwhile, South Korea won their fourth Asia Cup title when they beat India 4-3 and also gave the World Cup berth to Malaysia.

Now, India will have to wait for the Oceania Cup battle between Australia and New Zealand to claim their ticket, which is virtually theirs, as both the Aussies and Kiwis have also qualified and it does not matter which team wins.

New Straits Times



Misfiring forwards Malaysia’s big concern after finishing fourth

By AFTAR SINGH


IPOH: Malaysia again finished fourth in the Asia Cup hockey tournament, no thanks to the misfiring forwards in the third placing playoff match against Pakistan.

Despite being disappointed for failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup Finals in Holland, Pakistan summoned enough energy to down the homesters 3-1 at the Azlan Shah Stadium here yesterday. Malaysia had five penalty corners and failed to convert them.

In Kuantan four years ago, Malaysia finished fourth after losing 7-6 to China on penalty flicks after both teams failed to break the 3-3 deadlock in regulation time. Malaysia’s best achievement was a third placing in Chennai in 2007.

It was Pakistan’s second win over Malaysia, having won 4-1 in a group match on Aug 25.

Yesterday, Faizal Saari gave Malaysia the lead in the 34th minute. Pakistan then fought back to score through Abdul Haseem Khan (35th), Muhammad Imran (54th) and an own goal by Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim (56th).

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was disappointed with the national team’s performance.

“Something needs to be done as the forwards are just not sharp in the front of the goalmouth.

“We failed to do better than the fourth place we achieved in Kuantan four years ago,” lamented Tengku Abdullah.

National coach Paul Revington admitted that the forwards were a letdown in the tournament.

“I am disappointed with the forwards. We also failed to score from the penalty corners we earned in the match,” said the South African coach.

The Star of Malaysia



2014 World Cup hockey: Will Samoa or Papua New Guinea spoil India's qualification?

Korean success at Asia Cup guarantees Malaysia a ticket to The Hague. Runners-up at Asia Cup, India now await result of Oceania Cup.




Only a massive upheaval in the Oceania Cup championship can deny India a ticket in the 2014 FIH World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. After finishing No. 2 to Korea in the Asia Cup final at Ipoh on Sunday, India hurt their chances of a direct qualification. Now the former World Cup champions have to qualify as a 'reserve'.

Malaysian men have become the latest team to qualify for the World Cup. The international hockey federation's showpiece event will take place in The Hague from May 31-June 14, 2014 at the 15,000-seater Kyocera Stadium. (India settle for silver in Asia Cup Hockey)

Malaysia's berth at the summer spectacular was guaranteed following Korea's dramatic 4-3 triumph over India in the final of the Asia Cup. Like all continental championships, the big prize on offer at the Asia Cup was direct World Cup qualification to the event winner.

However, with Korea having recently been promoted from first reserves to confirmed World Cup qualifiers thanks to Argentina's victory in the Pan American Cup, the door was opened to the other reserves for the tournament. (Bad umpiring cost us Asia Cup title, say Indian players after loss to Korea)

Last weekend, second reserves Spain were confirmed for the event courtesy Germany's success in European championships, meaning that third reserves Malaysia became the team to benefit from Korea's Asia Cup victory.

Malaysia are the 10th men's team to qualify for the World Cup. Two more places are up for grabs at the upcoming continental championships in Oceania and Africa. India will watch the Oceania Cup to be held in Taranaki, New Zealand from October 30 to November 3 with great interest.

The Oceania Cup, according to the latest fixtures, will be played among Australia, New Zealand, Samoa (world ranking 72) and Papua New Guinea (world ranking 69). The tournament has always been a two-horse race between the Kookaburras and the Black Sticks.

Since Australia (world No. 2) and New Zealand (world No. 3) have already qualified for the World Cup, only in the improbable event of Samoa or Papua New Guinea winning the Oceania Cup will shatter India's dreams. India, ranked 11 in the world, won the World Cup in 1975.

A rather complex process is adopted by the international hockey federation to select the 12 teams for the World Cup. Prior to Sunday's Asia Cup final, 10 teams were already identified. The first seven qualifiers were selected from the top three of the two World League semifinals held in Rotterdam and Johor Bahru (Malaysia).

Germany, Argentina and England qualified from the Johor Bahru leg while Belgium, Australia and Netherlands made it from the Rotterdam leg. But since the Dutch qualify as hosts, New Zealand, the highest (FIH) ranked fourth finisher in the World League semis, became the seventh team to qualify.

That left five more slots to fill. Korea (fourth in Johor Bahru) qualified as first reserve courtesy Argentina's victory in the Pan-American Cup, Spain (fifth in Rotterdam) qualified as second reserve thanks to Germany's win in the European championship. Malaysia, fifth in World League and a third reserve for the World Cup, made the cut after Korea beat India in the Asia Cup final.

NDTV Sports



China unveils plans to catch up with Asian hockey giants

In its bid to catch up with multiple Olympic hockey champions India and Pakistan, global superpower China has built 41 hockey training centres to raise the standard of the game in the country.

Despite the fact that the Chinese women's team won the silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Games, the men's team is struggling to catch up with the top international teams and are ranked 18th in the international rankings, reports Xinhua. The women's team is ranked seventh.

Lei Jun, president of the Chinese Hockey Association, admitted on the sidelines of the Chinese National Games' hockey tournament that China has yet to join the world's top teams.

"Hockey was introduced to China in the mid-1970s and the sport didn't make much progress until 2007 when the country decided to raise the game to a higher level," said Lei, also director of the Chinese Handball, Hockey, Baseball and Softball Administrative Centre.

Lei said China has created a 5,000-member pool of hockey talent -- among them 2,000 are the "first and second-string players".

The hockey boss added that the Chinese women's team is seeking an Olympic berth through the 2014 Asian Games.

The Deccan Herald



Fitri to captain juniors in Sultan of Johor Cup

By AFTAR SINGH



Mohd Fitri Saari (right) has so far represented Malaysia 58 times at senior level. He played well in the just-concluded Asia Cup in Ipoh.

IPOH: Midfielder Mohd Fitri Saari has been named skipper of the National Juniors for the six-nation Sultan of Johor Cup at the Taman Daya Stadium from Sept 22-29.

National Juniors coach K. Dharmaraj, who led the hockey team to the Junior Asia Cup title in Malacca last year, named the hardworking Fitri as the captain because he is the most experienced player among the juniors.

The 20-year-old Fitri, who has represented Malaysia 58 times at senior level, also played well in the just-concluded Asia Cup in Ipoh.

Four other senior national team players are also in the 18-member team. They are defenders Faiz Jali Helmi and Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, midfielder Meor Mohd Azuan Hassan and forward Mohd Firhan Ashaari.

Except for Meor, the others featured in the Asia Cup.

Besides Malaysia, the other teams competing in the Sultan of Johor Cup are Argentina, England, Pakistan, India and South Korea.

The Malaysians will resume training Tuesday. They will leave for Johor Baru next week to continue their training.

The squad

Goalkeepers: Mohd Hazrul Faiz Ahmad Sobri, Mohd Hafizuddin Othman.

Defenders: Faiz Helmi Jali, Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin, G. Kavin Kartik, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim, Mohd Nor Aqmal Abdul Ghaffar.

Midfielders: Mohd Fitri Saari (captain), Mohd Azri Hassan, Meor Mohd Azuan Hassan, Shazril Irwan Nazli, Mohd Haziq Samsul.

Forwards: Mohd Firhan Ashaari, Mohd Syamim Yusof, Mohd Rashid Baharom, Mohd Shahril Saabah, Mohd Azwar Abdul Rahman, Mohd Hafiz Zainol.

Reserves: Joel Samuel van Huizen, Shazrul Imran Nazli.

The Star of Malaysia



2012 SA Hockey Players of the Year named


SA captain Austin Smith against Malaysia in Potchefstroom. Photo: MARIO VAN DE WALL

The South African Hockey Association released the names of players Monday morning who won national awards for the 2012 year.

The 2012 SA Senior Men’s Player of the Year is Austin Smith, the national team captain who led the side to gold at the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Japan in May last year, and led the side with distinction to 11th place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The 2012 SA Senior Women’s Player of the Year is Marsha Cox (née Marescia), the national team captain who led the side to gold at the Olympic Qualifier Tournament in India in February last year, and led the side with distinction to 10th place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

2012 SA HOCKEY PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

U18 Girls:
Kirsty Gibbings - KZN Coastal

U18 Boys: Kerwin Christoffels - Border

U21 Women: Izelle Lategan - Free State

U21 Men: Clinton Panther - Southern Gauteng

Senior Women: Marsha Cox (née Marescia) - Southern Gauteng

Senior Men: Austin Smith - Western Province

SA Hockey Association media release



Pakistan unlikely to send players for 2014 HIL

IPOH: Pakistan did not play in the inaugural Hockey India League and it is extremely unlikely that they will also feature in the next year's event as Pakistan Hockey Federation is reluctant to send its players to India because of the current tension prevailing between the two nations.

PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said the way present situation stands the Federation was not keen on sending the players for the second edition of the event to be held across different cities in India from January 23 to February 23 next year.

"We have received a communication from Hockey India to give 'No Objection Certificates' to Pakistani players for next year's hockey league but it is unlikely that we will send our players until and unless the situation between the two countries improves. As of now we will not send our players for next year's league," Bajwa said on the sidelines of the ninth Asia Cup hockey tournament.

"Last time we saw what happened. We were really worried for our players. The way the current situation is what is the guarantee this sort of thing will not happen again?

"We need to give confidence to our players that they will be safe in India," he added.

The simmering tension on the Indo-Pak border earlier this year spilled over to the sporting arena when Hockey India decided to send back all the nine Pakistani players taking part in the HIL following protests over the killing of Indian soldiers.

After protests by Shiv Sena and other right-wing organisations disrupted the training and the first match of the league, Hockey India took the decision to send back the Pakistani players considering the "extra-ordinary circumstances".

The nine players who were sent back were Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Tousiq, Imran Butt (Mumbai Magicians), Mohammed Rizwan Sr. and Mohammad Rizwan Jr. (Delhi Waveriders), Kashif Shah (Jaypee Punjab Warriors) and Muhammed Irfan and Shafqat Rasool (Ranchi Rhinos).

The PHF secretary said the need of the hour for both the countries is resumption of bilateral hockey ties. India and Pakistan last played way back in 2006 -- three matches each in both the countries.

India and Pakistan were scheduled to resume hockey ties earlier this year but the proposed home-and-away bilateral series was called off after the Indian government had refused permission on security grounds.

"We tried hard to resume bilateral hockey ties. Even Hockey India had also put in great efforts and signed an MoU with us, but unfortunately it could not be resumed because of things which are beyond our control," Bajwa said.

"India and Pakistan need to play more against each other on a consistent basis. Then only we will be able to match the European teams," he added.

The Pakistan hockey team was expected to play matches in Ranchi, Lucknow, Delhi, Mohali and Jalandhar between April 5-15.

After Pakistan's visit, the Indian team was scheduled to pay a return visit and play five matches in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and Sialkot from April 23.

Pakistan will miss next year's World Cup for the first time since the introduction of the tournament in 1971 after having failed to win the Asia Cup, their only passage to the showpiece event to be held at The Hague, Netherlands.

Pakistan, who lost 1-2 to Korea in the semifinals, however had something to cheer for as they defeated hosts Malaysia 3-1 to at least return with the bronze from the eight-nation tournament.

"It is a big disappointment that we didn't qualify for the World Cup. It is very sad for Asian hockey. We will have to introspect what went wrong after going back and correct those things," Bajwa said.

The Times of India



Johnstone makes 13 saves to improve Virginia to 2-0


Jenny Johnstone made 13 saves to help Virginia defeat No. 6 Penn State. Virginia Athletics

Sunday: No. 1 North Carolina 10, Villanova 0

North Carolina (2-0) scored eight goals in the first half and coasted to a 10-0 win against Villanova (0-2) in a neutral-site game played at Delaware’s Rullo Field. Senior Janne Grove and sophomores Casey Di Nardo and Nina Notman scored two goals each, and Loren Shealy, Emily Wold, Sinead Loughran and Emma Bozek added a goal apiece to the total.

Di Nardo opened the scoring just 3:45 into the game on an assist from Bozek. Grove, a graduate student who is in her first year in the program, had her first goal as a Tar Heel in the seventh minute, then added another in the 14th, assisted by Wold.

In the 20th minute, Bozek had her first goal of the season. Less than four minutes later Loughran added her first of the year to make the score 6-0.

Notman then scored the first goal of her career in the 25th minute and added another about three minutes later. The second came on a penalty corner, assisted by Grove and Wold.

Wold had the next goal, in the 31st minute, to make the score 8-0 at halftime. Shealy led off the second half with a goal, her first of the year, assisted by Wold. The final goal came on a penalty corner in the 62nd minute. Di Nado deflected a shot by Notman into the goal to put the score at 10-0, which would stand as the final.

The Tar Heels finished with 33 shots, 22 in the first half, to Villanova’s one. UNC had 14 penalty corners to one by Villanova.

Friday: North Carolina 2, Lock Haven 1

Behind goals from junior Samantha Travers and sophomore Casey Di Nardo, North Carolina opened its 2013 season with a 2-1 win at Lock Haven. Playing at the Lady Eagles’ Charlotte E. Smith Field, the No. 1 Tar Heels trailed 1-0 early but fought back to start the season off with a win.

Lock Haven’s goal came in the eighth minute of play, on the team’s only penalty corner of the day. After UNC goalkeeper Sassi Ammer saved the initial shot on the play, senior Kelly Harsch knocked in a rebound to put her team up 1-0. Those two shots were the Lady Eagles’ only shots in the game.

The Tar Heels scored with no time remaining on the first-half clock after drawing a penalty corner as the period wound down. Travers powered in a direct shot for the goal, assisted by junior Loren Shealy on the push-in and sophomore Emily Wold on the stick stop.

Sunday: No. 2 Maryland 5, Temple 1

Maryland field hockey won at Temple 5-1 in the Conference Cup championship match in Philadelphia. Five scored as the Terrapins’ defensive unit stepped up to hold the Owls to just three shots and two penalty corners.

The Terrapins (2-0) outshot the Owls (1-1), 32-3, and had 10 penalty corners to their two.

Senior preseason All-ACC selection Ali McEvoy opened the scoring a little more than eight minutes in. She slung in junior Katie Gerzabek’s rebounded shot from the left side off a penalty corner to put the Terps on the board.

Late in the first half, the Terrapins earned three consecutive penalty corners, with Temple’s goalie Lizzy Millen notched saves on all three. After the last corner, the Owls took it the length of the field and Lauren Hunt tucked it in the cage to tie the game with 1:26 left in the half.

Maryland answered right back, drawing a corner with 10 seconds to play. Sophomore Alyssa Parker tipped in fellow sophomore Sarah Sprink’s rebounded shot off the play to give the Terps the lead back before the half.

The two teams battled through the first 14 minutes of the second half. Parker sent a long pass from the left side in to sophomore Anna Dessoye, who redirected it in for a 3-1 Maryland lead in the 49th minute.

Junior Maxine Fluharty extended the Terps’ lead in the 54th minute before Sprink scored off a penalty corner set up by senior Jill Witmer and Dessoye to make it 5-1.

Saturday: Maryland 8, New Hampshire 4

Maryland used balanced scoring and numerous offensive threats as it cruised past No. 20 New Hampshire 8-4 in its season opener in Temple’s Conference Cup in Philadelphia.

Seven Terrapins scored in the match, with senior Jill Witmer scoring twice. Freshman Mieke Hayn and sophomore Anna Dessove each added a goal and two assists. As a team, Maryland dominated offensively, outshooting the Wildcats 29-11.

Junior preseason All-ACC selection Maxine Fluharty scored the Terrapins’ first goal of the season about six minutes in when she put back Witmer’s shot that was saved. Hayn notched her first career goal and made it 2-0 six minutes later when she took it all the way in from the right side and scored.

New Hampshire got on the board in the 24th minute when Megan Bozek made a penalty shot.

The Terrapins answered back with three goals in the next three minutes to make it 5-1. Witmer, also a preseason All-ACC honoree, started the flurry when she deflected in a pass from the left side to make it 3-1. Junior Katie Gerzabek added the fourth Terps’ goal about a minute later. Witmer struck again 70 seconds later off another feed from Hayn on the left side to make it 5-1.

Sunday: No. 4 Connecticut 2, California 0

The All-American combo of senior forward Marie Elena Bolles and junior forward Chloe Hunnable each scored their first goals of 2013 to lead Connecticut to a 2-1 victory against California on in Palo Alto, Calif.  With the win the Huskies improve to 2-0 on the season while Cal, which defeated Michigan State yesterday, slips to 1-1.

UConn has now started at least 2-0 in each of the previous 11 seasons.

Bolles got the Huskies on the board just 16 minutes into the contest after she dribbled by the Golden Bears defense and hit a shot from the right side, which zipped by Courtney Hendrickson, giving UConn an early 1-0 edge.

Cal was able to knot the score up at one 15 minutes later after Jordan O’Reilly took a cross from Shannon Elmitt and was able to beat Sarah Mansfield.

That was the only goal Mansfield would allow though, as she stopped Cal’s five other shots on goal to preserve the Husky victory.

She is now two wins shy of tying Danielle Vile’s school record for career victories.  Mansfield’s record now stands at 56-12 in her fourth year between the posts for Connecticut.  Hendrickson made seven saves for Cal.

Hunnable’s game-winner, which was the sixth of her career, came with 10:41 remaining in regulation.  Freshman midfielder Olivia Bolles hit a cross to Hunnable, who established position deep in the circle.  She was able to redirect the cross past a diving Hendrickson and in to lift UConn to the 2-1 triumph.

Saturday: No. 4 Connecticut 2, Stanford 1 (2OT)

Sophomore Sophie Bowden scored the second goal of her career to lead  Connecticut  to a 2-1 double-overtime victory against No. 12 Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif.  The contest was the season opener for both teams.

Bowden has come up big against Stanford as both of her two career goals have come against Stanford and both were scored in game-winning fashion.

Junior forward Anne Jeute, who was forced to sit out the entire 2012 season due to injury after being honored as a second-team All-American in 2011, scored UConn’s first goal after she tipped in a shot attempt from sophomore Roisin Upton.

The two teams remained scoreless for the next 61 minutes until the Cardinal was finally able to get on the board.  Jessica Chisholm took a feed from Kelsey Harbin and knotted the score up at the 66:26 mark.

The two teams went back-and-forth for the next 23 minutes until Bowden’s strike from the left wing clinched UConn’s 11th consecutive win in a season opener.

All-American goaltender Sarah Mansfield made seven saves to help secure the victory, running her career record to 55-12.

Sunday: No. 5 Syracuse 4, Hofstra 1

Syracuse won the championship game at the Asics Invitational, defeating Hofstra 4-1 on Sunday. The Orange jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first half and maintained its advantage against the Pride (1-1) to improve to a 2-0 record on the season.

Leonie Geyer, who finished the weekend with one goal and three assists, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. Alyssa Manley (four goals, one assist), Laura Hahnefeldt (one assist) and Jordan Page (two assists) were all named to the all-tournament team.

Sophomore midfielder Alyssa Manley scored two goals in the contest, which she also did in the season opener on Friday afternoon.

The Orange recorded 21 shots including 16 shots on goal in the win against Hofstra. The Pride were held to four total shots and two on target by the Syracuse defense.

After 12:48 minutes of play, Emma Russell scored her first goal of the season, assisted by Jordan Page, to put the Orange ahead by one score. Five minutes later, Alyssa Manley would give the Orange a 2-0 advantage on a shot set up by Leone Geyer. The Orange scored again with 12:48 left in the half when Manley rebounded a shot from Sierra Degnan and sent it past Hofstra goalkeeper Kaitlyn De Furo. Manley has three unassisted goals on the season.

Friday: Syracuse 5, Quinnipiac 1

Syracuse claimed victory in its first game of the season, defeating Quinnipiac 5-1 at the Asics Invitational. The Orange had a near shutout, holding the Bobcats off for 70 minutes before allowing a score off of a penalty corner with zero minutes on the clock.

Quinnipiac recorded the first shot of the game but Syracuse fired back within one minute of play when Emma Russell netted the first Orange goal of the season. Leonie Geyer, who is credited with an assist on the play, took the shot and Russell was able to deflect it in to take an early 1-0 lead after 3:11 minutes of play.

A penalty corner in the middle of the first half set the offense up to gain a 2-0 advantage against the Bobcats. Jordan Page inserted the penalty corner and Geyer got a shot off, which went wide, but was able to track down her own shot and pass to Lauren Brooks, who scored with 17:52 left in the first half.

Friday: No. 6 Penn State 3, No. 8 Old Dominion 1

Penn State began its season with a tough road match against No. 8 Old Dominion. The Lions staged a three-goal second-half comeback after trailing 1-0 at the break to grab the win in the season opener.

After many threats, the Nittany Lions evened the score at 1-1 in the 56th minute off a run from Taylor Herold. Herold, a junior, cut in from the left side of the box and wove her way through to the front of the goal and calmly finished past the keeper to level the game.

Herold’s goal sparked the Nittany Lion attack, as Penn State scored the go-ahead goal just minutes later off a penalty corner. Senior Whitney Reddig sent the ball into Laura Gebhart, who set up Brittany Grzywacz’s strike that found the back of the net to put Penn State on top at 2-1 with about 12 minutes remaining.

Six minutes later the Lions struck again. Gebhart sent a pass into the middle of the circle from the right side and found Ashtin Klingler, who poked the ball past the keeper to cement the Penn State victory. Old Dominion was the first to get on the score sheet, as Kelsey Smither scored the game’s opening goal in the 15th minute to give the hosts the early lead.

Sunday: No. 7 Virginia 4, No. 6 Penn State 2

Virginia defeated Penn State 4-2 on Sunday in Charlottesville.

Junior goalkeeper Jenny Johnstone made 13 saves to improve her record and the team’s to 2-0.

Virginia faced six second-half penalty corners, with Penn State (1-1) capitalizing on just one of those opportunities. The Nittany Lions fired off 21 shots to Virginia’s 19, outshooting the Cavaliers 13-8 in the second period. Johnstone made eight of her 13 saves in the second half.

Senior Elly Buckley added her second and third goals of the season. Buckley smashed in a shot off a penalty corner 2:12 into the game, the only goal either team would score in the first half. After Penn State tied the game 1-1 on a penalty corner 14 minutes into the second half, Buckley put Virginia up 2-1 four minutes later. Buckley started dribbling at mid-field, making it all the way down into the circle where she fired off a shot to give her squad the advantage.

Senior Hadley Bell smashed in a shot from the right side of the goals three minutes after Buckley’s second goal with an assist from freshman Macy Peebles. Penn State pulled to within one at 3-2 with 14 minutes remaining in the game. Freshman Riley Tata tapped in a pass from fellow freshman Lucy Hyams with six minutes remaining to give Virginia an insurance goal.

Friday: Virginia 3, Louisville 2

Virginia opened the 2013 season with a 3-2 victory against Louisville in Charlottesville.

A pair of freshmen making their collegiate debuts accounted for two of the Cavalier goals. Riley Tata scored the first goal of the season for Virginia, tapping in a long pass from senior Elly Buckley just under two minutes into the game on her first touch of the game. Caligh Foust scored Virginia’s third goal a little more than 10 minutes into the second period, dribbling to the right side of the goal and knocking the shot past the Cardinal keeper.

A pair of seniors, Buckley and Carissa Vittese, scored the Cavaliers second goal with a little more than five minutes into the second half, which broke up a 1-1 tie. Vittese was at the top of the circle to take a shot off a penalty corner insertion. Instead of shooting, she passed to Buckley in front of the net.

Buckley finished the game with a goal, an assist and also notched a defensive save in the first half. Senior Katie Robinson also made a defensive save in the frantic first period.

Sunday: No. 8 Old Dominion 2, American 1 (OT)

Old Dominion junior forward Rosario Villagra’s goal with 4:28 left in the first overtime lifted the eighth-ranked Lady Monarchs (1-1) to a 2-1 victory against American (1-1) at the L.R. Hill Sports Complex.

After a scoreless first half, American scored first, six minutes into the second half on a goal by Shelly Montgomery. Seven minutes later, the Lady Monarchs got the equalizer off a corner by Christy Longacre with assists from Kelsey Smither and Villagra.

In the overtime, Villagra got the ball about 30 yards out and drove to the box and fired the shot pass the keeper to win the match.

Ashley Dalisera had 10 saves for American, while Megan Hept made five for Old Dominion.

Sunday: No. 9 Michigan 4, Maine 2

Michigan used a strong second half to surge past Maine 4-2 for its first win of the season at the Maine Field Hockey Complex. The victory is the 200th for head coach Marcia Pankratz in her 14th year at the helm of the Wolverine program.

Senior captain Rachael Mack scored two goals against the Black Bears, both in the first half, to up her weekend total to three tallies. She gave Michigan a quick lead, scoring on the game’s first shot on a steal at the 1:16 mark. Michigan batted the ball into the circle from the right side, and a Maine defender stopped it front of the cage and attempted a pass at the one-yard line. Mack swiped at the ball and got her stick on it, knocking it into the cage.

The Black Bears responded quickly and held the advantage until the waning moments of the half when Mack evened the score on the direct shot of a late Wolverine penalty corner, carrying the ball to the right before blasting a hard, low shot to the board at 31:12. Ainsley McCallister and Leslie Smith earned assists for the stop and the insert, respectively.The Wolverines then broke through on a penalty corner opportunity at the 55:58 mark. Sophomore Lauren Thomas scored on the direct shot, taking the insert from Smith and sweeping it into the lower left corner of the cage for the game-winner.

Michigan added an insurance goal less than five minutes later, at 60:32, on a redirection from senior Michelle Roberts. Sammy Gray drove the ball into the circle from the right 25, and Roberts got her stick on it to tip it in.

Saturday: No. 14 Massachusetts 3, No. 9 Michigan 2

Michigan dropped its 2013 season opener, falling to No. 14 Massachusetts 3-2 at the Maine Field Hockey Complex. The Wolverines led at the halftime break, before UMass surged ahead with two goals in the opening five minutes of the second half.

Massachusetts surged ahead early in the second half with two goals in the first five minutes of play. Brooke Sabia netted both goals for the Minutewomen, coming at the 35:53 mark and again at 39:28, to steal away the lead.

The Minutewomen struck first, scoring on their first corner opportunity at the 9:27 mark, but Michigan responded with goals from senior captain Rachael Mack and senior Michelle Roberts to carry a narrow 2-1 advantage at halftime.

Mack scored on the direct shot off Michigan’s second corner of the contest, at 13:27, blasting a hard shot past the feet of UMass goalkeeper Sam Carlino. Ainsley McCallister and Leslie Smith  earned assists on the stop and the push, respectively.

Roberts gave Michigan the lead late in the half, at 26:51, after a strong transfer play through midfield. Smith crossed a hard ball into the circle, where Roberts redirected it into the left corner of the cage. It was the 10th goal of Roberts’ career.

Sunday: No. 10 Duke 4, Drexel 1

Freshman forward Heather Morris recorded the first points of her collegiate career, posting a hat trick in her second collegiate game, to lead the 10th-ranked Blue Devils past No. 17 Drexel, 4-1. The win capped a 2-0 weekend by Duke in its opening weekend of its season.

The Blue Devils outshot the visiting Dragons 12-7 in the win and led in penalty corners by a 5-1 margin. Head coach Pam Bustin’s squad also placed nine of its 12 shots on goal while limiting Drexel (1-1) to just one shot on goal.

The opening half saw Duke capitalize on its first penalty corner opportunity, with junior Abby Beltrani finding Morris inside on the ensuing play. The strike in the 16th minute marked the first of Morris’ collegiate career and moved Beltrani’s season assist total to three after just two games.

Graduate student Cherry Seaborn tallied her second goal in a Duke uniform a short while later, touching in a pass from senior Emmie Le Marchand at the front post to double the Blue Devils’ lead. Morris added an unassisted score less than a minute later, lifting her team to a 3-0 advantage at the break.

A strong effort from Duke’s back line and redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Lauren Blazing kept Drexel off the board for more than 56 minutes before the Dragons’ Idrienne Walker broke through late in the second half. The Blue Devils went on to score once more before the end of regulation, however, answering on Morris’ third goal of the day to wrap up the 4-1 victory.

Friday: Duke 4, Indiana 0

Senior Emmie Le Marchand tallied two goals and graduate student Cherry Seaborn and junior Jessica Buttinger added one each to highlight 10th-ranked Duke’s season-opening victory against Indiana at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Blue Devils downed the Hoosiers by a 4-0 score after outshooting the visiting squad 17-12 for the match.

Duke’s four goals were the most in a season opener since 2005, when the program opened the fall with a 7-0 win against Louisville Aug. 27 on the road. Friday’s win also marked the Blue Devils’ first shutout in a season opener since 2009.

Le Marchand started the scoring for Duke two minutes into the game, finding the back of the cage from close range to give the Blue Devils the early advantage. The squad added to its lead toward the end of the half, as Seaborn dove to touch in a ball in at the post on a feed from junior midfielder Abby Beltrani.

NCAA



Kenya schools' Sinyolo, Kamusinga clinch hockey honours

By OSCAR PILIPILI


Lira, Uganda: Kenya champions Friends School Kamusinga and Sinyolo extended their supremacy beyond borders by clinching the hockey boys and girls title in Brookside East African Secondary Schools Championships.

Sinyolo dethroned four-time winners Kerugoya following a 1-0 victory in their final match. Gill Okumu scored the winner during the match at Lango College in Lira yesterday.

Kamusinga defeated Maseno 3-1 in a hotly contested boys’ final to bag gold.

In girls play off, St Cecilia Misikhu beat City High of Uganda 2-0 while St Mary’s Kisubi of Uganda beat Kenya’s St Charles Lwanga 1-0 in boys’ category to bag bronze.

In volleyball girls, Kwanthanze are bound to clash with Groupe Scolari Indangaburezi (GSI) of Rwanda in the final.

Kwanthanze who are national queens beat Lugulu 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 23-25, 25-23) in a five setter in semis.

Kwanthanze utilised well their height advantage to block Lugulu during the match

By playing in the final, Kwanthanze has made tremendous achievement since they finished fifth overall last year.

Kenyans’ hopes of entering two teams in the final suffered a blow after AIC Kosirai lost 1-3, 16-25, 19-25, 25-20, 14-25) against a refined GSI.

The victory was a clear proof that GSI 3-0 sets win against Lugulu in their last group match the previous day was no fluke.

The Rwandese displayed highly skillful game and Kwanthanze’s technical bench need to work hard to contain them.

GSI is the only team outside Kenya to have lifted the trophy after they won the 2007 edition in Nakuru.

In boys’ category, Malava had little difficult in beating compatriots Hospital Hill 3-0 (25-16, 25-13, 25-14) in their semi-final match.

Malava coach Shadrack Tovoko is optimistic that his team would emerge victorious as he said: “We expected a very tough match but surprisingly Hospital Hill did not offer any resistance,”  he said.

“I’m happy the team has grown to be the eliminator and I’m sure of gold.”

Malava play winner of the semi-finals match between St Mary’s Kitende and St Joseph’s of Rwanda in the final.

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