News for 24 September 2013

All the news for Tuesday 24 September 2013

Legend Lucha to bow out after World Cup?

I am not immortal, says seven times World Player of the Year

Luciana Aymar. (Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Argentine hockey superstar Luciana Aymar has suggested that she is planning to retire from international hockey following next summer’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.

“I love hockey, but I’m not ‘Highlander’”, laughed Lucha in an interview with journalist Josefina Chavez Diaz at the Pan Am Cup in Mendoza, making reference to the 1980s fantasy movie about the immortal Connor MacLeod.  “I would love to play in the World Cup in The Netherlands, but it will be my last tournament.”

At the age of 36, it would come as no surprise if the seven times FIH Player of the Year did bring her staggering career to an end in The Hague. However, there are some who still believe that this remarkable athlete may have one more crack at adding an Olympic Gold medal to her amazing collection at the Rio 2016 Games. Only time will tell. 

FIH site

Argentina & USA march on at Pam Am Cup

Tournament favourites dominate proceedings in Mendoza

USA's Lauren Crandall finds the net in her team's 5-1 Pan American Cup victory against Chile. (Photo: PAHF / Paul Winstanley Photography)

Argentina and USA kept their 100% win records in tact on the second day of action at the Pan American Cup in Mendoza (ARG), ensuring that they went into Monday’s rest day with a clear advantage at the top of their respective pools.

Argentina claimed their second win of the tournament by scoring three goals in each half to secure a 6-0 win over Canada in Pool A. Luciana Aymar opened the scoring with a 16th minute field goal before Carla Rebecchi (2) Agustina Albertarrio and Noel Barrionuevo (2) added their contributions to see of the North Americans and seal a place in the Semi Finals for Las Leonas. Trinidad and Tobago’s 1-0 triumph against Guyana kept alive their hopes of a Semi Final spot and now face a winner-takes-all clash with Canada on Tuesday to determine who will finish second in the Pool behind Argentina.

IN Pool B, USA continued their great start to the tournament by defeating Chile 5-1 to seal their place in the Semi Finals. The Americans found themselves a goal behind early in the game when Manuela Urroz found the target, but strikes from Kathleen Sharkey, Michelle Kasold, Melissa Gonzalez, Lauren Crandall and Paige Selenski confirmed that this match would not end with shock result.

Like Argentina, USA are also confirmed Semi Finalists, although second placed Uruguay can still top Pool B if they defeat the Americans when they meet on Tuesday. Uruguay were 4-0 winners against Mexico on Sunday, following up Saturday’s scoreless draw with Chile. Brief highlights of the games from Day 2 can be found below.

Monday is a tournament rest day for the teams, with the action resuming on Tuesday. You can keep fully up to speed on all the action from the Asia Cup at the following locations:

Official website: click here.
Facebook: click here.

The winners of the Pan American Cup competition will seal direct qualification to the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. A number of the teams involved have already secured a spot at next year’s showpiece thanks to strong showings at the Hockey World League Semi Finals. If an already qualified nation becomes continental champion, this will open the door to the nations who finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi Finals.

FIH site

Canada vs. Argentina 0-6 (0-3)

In the final match on Day 2 of the Women’s Pan American Cup Canada took on Argentina. The match started with both teams fighting for possession and play mostly in the midfield. In the 10thminute, Argentina earned the first penalty corner of the match. Argentina’s penalty corner shot went wide to keeping the match scoreless.

Canada defended well a couple more Argentina penalty corners. In the 16th minute, Captain Luciana Aymar made it CAN 0-1 ARG. Then four minutes later, Carla Rebecchi gave Argentina a two goal lead over Canada. Canada continued to play strong defense keeping Argentina from scoring on a number of occassions. Argentina was awarded a penalty corner in the 32nd minute, but that was also well saved.. Yet, Argentina’s Agustina Albertarrio gathered the ball and put Argentina ahead 3-0 right before half time. The score remained Canada 0, Argentina 3 at halftime.

The second half also began with Argentina pressuring on attack. However, Canada continued playing strong defense to keep Argentina mostly outside their attacking circle. Argentina persisted and went ahead 4-0 over Canada off an another Rebecchi field goal in the 46th minute. Canada’s defense kept at Argentina and blocked a penalty corner shot in the 53rd minute.

Five minutes later Canada stopped another Argentina penalty corner. Argentina’s Noel Barrionuevo put in a penalty stroke in the 59th minute to give her team a five goal lead. Barely one minute later, Barrionuevo scored another penalty stroke to making it 6-0 against Canada. Canada’s defense continued to play well and prevented Argentina from scoring again in the match.The match ended with Canada down 0-6.

Canada regroups today before their final pool match vs. Trinidad and Tobago on September 24 at 2:30 PM PST.

Field Hockey Canada media release

Stickwomen face Canada in must-win match

T&T captain Alanna Lewis dribbles past Guyana’s Samantha Fernandes in their Fourth Women’s Pan American Cup Pool A match at the Mendocino Hockey Stadium, Los Platanos s/n, Parque General San Martin, Mendoza, Argentina on Sunday. T&T won 1-0. Photo: Courtesy Pan American Hockey

T&T’s country’s senior women’s hockey team, led by Paragon’s Alanna Lewis, will lock sticks with Canada in a must-win Pool A final round-robin match from 5.30 pm today at the Fourth Women’s Pan American Cup at the Mendocino Hockey Stadium, Los Platanos s/n, Parque General San Martin, Mendoza, Argentina.

This after the world 26th ranked “Calypso Stickwomen” rebounded from their 12-0 blowout at the hands of three-time defending champions and host Argentina on Saturday with a hard fought 1-0 win over Guyana courtesy a fourth-minute own goal on Sunday.

The Canadians, meanwhile followed up their 8-0 thrashing of Guyana in Saturday’s other Pool A contest with a 6-0 loss to the Argentines, but are still second in the four-team pool ahead of T&T based on a better goal-difference.

A win for the Glen “Fido” Francis-coached T&T women will secure a semifinal spot while anything less will see the Canadians advancing along with the host to Thursday’s semifinal.

In Pool B, USA has also secured a spot in the last four after beating Mexico 6-0 and Chile 5-1 in their first two matches, however the second qualification spot from that pool is also up for grabs with Uruguay (four points) and Chile (one point) still in the mix.

Today, USA will meet Uruguay, with the latter needing to win to be certain of qualification, while a draw or a loss by a small margin could also do the trick as Chile needs a big win over Mexico in the opener first up.

The winner of this tournament will qualify for next year’s FIH Hockey World Cup to be held in The Hague, Netherlands while the top six teams will qualify for the 2017 Women’s Pan American Cup. Teams placing seventh to eighth will be demoted to the 2015 Women’s Pan American Challenge.

This is the third time T&T women are competing in the Pan American Cup after missing out on the 2001 edition held in Kingston, Jamaica where Argentina defeated USA for the gold, the first of three such meetings between both countries in the competition’s history.

The “Calypso Stickwomen” have a best ever finish of fourth, in 2009 in Hamilton, Bermuda after a 2-1 loss to Chile in the bronze medal contest.

The local squad which has three surviving players from 2009 in Teresa Lezama, Blair Wynne and goalkeeper Anastasia Netto suffered a 7-0 loss to the Argentines back then, while they were eighth in 2004 in Bridgetown, Barbados with Lewis, Kristin Thompson and Wynne part of that team.

Having coached the senior men’s team to a historic Pan American Cup bronze medal in Brampton, Canada, last month with a 3-1 defeat of USA, all eyes will be Francis and his team as they look to create some history of their own by finishing among the medals.


Pool B:

USA 6 bt Mexico 0
Chile 0 vs Uruguay 0
Pool A:
Canada 8 vs Guyana 0
Argentina 12 vs T&T 0

Pool B:

USA 5 vs Chile 1
Uruguay 4 vs Mexico 0
Pool A:
T&T 1 vs Guyana 0
Argentina 6 vs Canada 0

Current standings
Pool A:

Teams P W D L F A Pts
Argentina 2 2 0 0 18 0 6
Canada 2 1 0 1 8 6 3
T&T 2 1 0 1 1 12 3
Guyana 2 0 0 2 0 9 0

Pool B:
USA 2 2 0 0 11 1 6
Uruguay 2 1 1 0 4 0 4
Chile 2 0 1 1 1 5 1
Mexico 2 0 0 2 0 10 0

Remaining fixtures
Today (Tuesday September 24):

Mexico vs Chile, 12.30pm
USA vs Uruguay, 3pm
T&T vs Canada, 5.30pm
Argentina vs Guyana, 8pm

Thursday September 26:
Third Pool B vs Fourth Pool A, 11.30am
Third Pool A vs Fourth Pool B, 2pm

First Pool B vs Second Pool A, 6.30pm
First Pool A vs Second Pool B, 9pm

Saturday September 28:
Seventh - Eighth, 11.30am
Fifth - Sixth, 2pm
Bronze medal match, 6.30pm
Final, 9pm.

The Trinidad Guardian

An Inside look at the Pan American Cup

Written by U.S. Women’s National team athlete, Stefanie Fee

MENDOZA, Argentina - Traveling to Mendoza, Argentina adds another stamp to my scarce passport and marks my fifth time outside the United States. My book looks minuscule compared to my teammates who have had to sew in additional pages to their already bursting booklets. All my excursions outside the country have been done so proudly wearing the red white and blue. It was an honor to be selected to compete in the Pan American Cup and I will achieve my 30th cap of international play later in the week.

Despite my inability to remember any high school Spanish, I have had a wonderful experience thus far in Mendoza. My favorite part to date has been the incredible view from the pitch. The snow-capped mountains really pose as a luxurious background for any playing conditions. Mendoza really is a beautiful place.

Our first match against Mexico was a sight to see. As the national anthem sounded from the speakers and each team member linked in formation, with our right hands proudly against our hearts, the snow seemed to fall with a heightened intensity. The cold wind cut right through our uniforms and the snow fell at just the right angle to leave our eyes in a constant blinking battle with the snow flakes. It was a peaceful moment and an image I will never forget.

Between our demanding schedule, travel and games there is one component stressed on a daily basis. Hydration. Staying hydrated is a necessity for athletes to compete at the highest level for optimal performance. Each morning we are tested for our hydration levels and the team is expected to fall below a certain score. It has been a personal challenge for my roommate, Katie Reinprecht and I. We decided to express our creativity by decorating our hotel room with the empty bottles of water as a reminder of our success.

I am excited to continue our journey here in Mendoza with my field hockey family. We are so thankful for all the support that we have been receiving from home and we are excited for the upcoming matches. Go USA!

Team USA will finish pool play against Uruguay tomorrow, September 24, 3 p.m. ET. The semi-finals are scheduled for Thursday, September 26 and the gold and bronze matches on Saturday, September 28.

USFHA media release

China & Korea continue to impress

Both sides maintain 100% winning streak on Day 2 of the 8th Women’s Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur

China (red) were 1-0 winners against India on Day 2 of the 8th Women's Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo: Sports Analysis Services)

Powerhouse hockey nations China and Korea have stormed to the top of the Pools at the 8th Women’s Asia Cup thanks to solid performances on Day 2 of the tournament.

China made it two wins out of two by defeating India 1-0, with Wang Mengyu’s 51st minute penalty corner being enough to put the Beijing 2008 Olympic Silver medallists at the top of Pool A. The result was enough to ensure China’s safe passage through to the Semi Finals. It was a good day for the host nation too, as Malaysia stormed to a 6-0 win against Hong Kong China to claim their first Pool A points. Malaysia netted once in the first half before adding a further five goals in the second period, with Rabiatul Adawiyah Mohamed proving to be the star of the show thanks to a hat-trick of penalty corners.

In Pool B, goals from Kim Jong Eun, Cheon Seul Ki and Kim Da Rae gave Korea a 3-0 success over Japan, a result that also proved to be enough to guarantee a Semi Final berth. Also in Pool B, Kazakhstan claimed their first win of the tournament thanks to a 3-0 victory over Chinese Taipei, with Aigerim Makhanova, Vera Domashneva, Alissa Chepkassova getting the goals.

Monday is a tournament rest day for the teams, with the action resuming on Tuesday. You can keep fully up to speed on all the action from the Asia Cup at the following locations:

Official website:

The winners of the Asia Cup competition will seal direct qualification to the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands. A number of the teams involved have already secured a spot at next year’s showpiece thanks to strong showings at the Hockey World League Semi Finals. If an already qualified nation becomes continental champion, this will open the door to the nations who finished outside the top three at the Hockey World League Semi Finals.

FIH site

Malaysia sizzle against Koreans

by Satwant Dhaliwal

Malaysia scored a convincing 5-1 win over South Korea to maintain their good start in the 3rd edition of the Sultan of Johor Cup.

It was a bruising encounter with several stoppages for robust play, but Malaysia managed to score two goals from the eight penalty corners to etch out the win.

"We really should have scored more as penalty corners decide matches. Hence this is one area we need to work on, Said Malaysian team manager Mirnawan Nawawi.

"On the overall performance, we really should have buried Korea in the second half as we dominted the match and could have scored at least two more goals.

"Still I am happy with the overall performance as the players from the senior side are fitting in well and the younger ones are responding well as well.

"This augurs well for the team as we have a crucial match against england on Wednesday. Matches against England have been close and I expect them to plan well for the match as they have lost their opening two matches."

Korea forced a penalty corner as early as the 3rd minute but the Malaysian defence held firm. And the Koreans continued to apply pressure, pressing high upfield.

But it was Malaysia who opened scoring as skipper Mohd Fitri Saari jixed past several defenders before taking a shot which was deflected past the Korean keeper by defender Nam Yun Seon in the 13th minute.

And the fans erupted int joy and started getting behind the team, urging them on. And Korea responded by retaining possession, frustrating the Malaysian players.

The Malaysians were on fire in the opening minutes of the second half, scoring twice from penalty corners.

In the 39th minute, Shahril Saabah took his tally in the tournament to four goals by sending his drag flick past Lee Se Young in the Korean goal.

And from the next penalty corner in the 48th minute, it was the turn of Mohd Zulhairi Hashim to score as his flick hit Se Young, bounced off the upright and went over the line, giving Malaysia a 3-0 lead.

Mohd Syamim Yusof scored the fourth in the 64th minute but Korea reduced the deficit three minutes later via You Seung Ju.

But Rashid Baharom scored a minute from time for the 5-1 scoreline

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

India struggle for a win

by Satwant Dhaliwal

India trailed for a large part of the match but found their scoring touch when it mattered to edge Argentina 3-2 in the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup.

It was a poor performance by India who seemed lost in midfield and lacked the sting upfront. But they still managed to collect all three points from the South Americans who really deseved at least a point for their tireless style of hockey.

Argentina had lost their opening match 4-2 against Malaysia while India were 2-1 winners over England on Sunday.

It was Argentina that drew first blood when Carlos Ibarra converted a penalty corner that Indian custodian Harjot singh failed to cover his angle in the 16th minute.

India awoke from their slumber and were on level terms in the 23rd minute when Affan Yusof showed slick stickwork in the semi circle before a reverse stick hit that sailed past Tomas Matias in the Argentina goal.

Off their second penalty corner in the 42nd minute, Argentina were awarded a penalty stroke after the attept by Ibarra hit Indian skipper Manpreet Singh on the foot.

Ibarra made no mistake from the spot to give Argentina a 2-1 lead.

India were fortunate in their equalisewr as Manpreet played a ball into the crowded semi circle and although Ramandeep Singh claimed credit for the goal, it bounced off the Argentina keeper pads into goal to make it 2-2 in the 60th minute.

And two minutes later it was Ramandeep who put India ahead as he cleverly deflected in at the far post to give India the 3-2 lead.

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

Pakistan outclass England

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

Pakistan won their second successive match at the 3rd Sultan of Johor Cup when they came from a goal down to defeat England 6-2 at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Baru.

It was a comprehensive display of both attacking hockey and a disciplined defence that netted all three points for Pakistan.

They had defeated Korea 3-0 in the first match and are sitting pretty on top before the remaining matches later in the day.

"We are naturally happy with the win and even though we were behind after a few minutes, i knew my players will not let that affect their game," said Manzoor Hassan.

"Our defence was under pressure in the closing minutes but withstood the test and that is heartening. We made use of the chances we created anbd our penalty corners proved effective."

It was the second successive defeat for England who were beaten 2-1 by India on Sunday and they squandered nine penalty corners as they only scored from one, while Pakistan netted two from the four they were awarded.

"Although we had nine penalty cornerrs but scored one, we are thankful that we created the nine and that augurs well from our attacking satistics, "said England coach Jonathan Bleby.

"I am not perturbed by the defeat as it is a learning mission and I believe we will gain a lot from here."

England took the lead in the 5th minute as Richard Gail broke on the left and evaded the attention of Muhammad Khalid to send a piledriver crashing into the boards, catching keeper Mazhar Abbas off guard.

Pakistan were stunned and they had most of the possession but England held the lead. And the Green Shirts then got their act together, attacking through the flanks, stretching the English defence.

And they were duly rewarded as Mohammad Tousiq converted their first penalty corner in the 10th minute to make it all square.

England showed that they too were deadly in the penalty corner department as Luke Taylor scored in the 15th minute to give England a 2-1 lead.

However Pakistan were undeterred and once again it was a penalty corner that got them an equaliser as Tousiq sent a low flick crashing into the boards with keeper Jay Gibson beaten all the way.

Just as the match appeared to end in a draw for the fisrt half, Pakistan scored their third. A reverse stick hit by Mohammad Khasif Javed was deflected into goal by Muhammad Dilber just as the halftime hooter went.

The umpire Kim Jeong Yong awarded the goal as the final whistle was not blown, despite strong protests from the English players.

England almost drew level but the upright denied Phillip Roper in the 49th minute.

Pakistan were fortunate to be awarded the fourth goal as umpire gave Ayub Ali the advantage after the ball had been played into his body by England keeper Jay Gibson in the 54th minute. Ayub duly scored from close range.

Muhammad Suleman scored a stunning goal in the 62nd minute to make it 5-2 with Dilber scoring a minute from time to complete the rout.

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

Malaysia flying high

By Jugjet Singh

Malaysian players celebrate their first goal against South Korea at the Taman Daya Stadium yesterday. Pic by Zulkarnain Ahmad Tajuddin

MALAYSIA continued their superb run in the Sultan of Johor Cup with a 5-1 win over South Korea at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru yesterday.

The win came after an impressive 4-2 start against Argentina, and Malaysia now have full points after two matches going onto the rest day of the tournament.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah walked onto the pitch after the win and gave a pep talk to the players.

"I am impressed with your performance today, and there are only minor adjustments that need to be made like more swifter counter attacks, and also don't waste too many opportunities in the semi-circle.

"You guys are the Asian champions (Junior Asia Cup title holders) and now we must win this tournament to show our strength going into the Junior World Cup."

Skipper Fitri Saari led by example when he opened accounts with a deft hit in the 13th minute to give Malaysia the lead.

And cheered on by fans with drums and constant singing, Malaysia mounted a series of attacks to increase their lead.

But the second goal never came, as Malaysia kept missing in the semi-circle, and even bungled their only penalty corner in the 25th minute.

The one-goal lead did not look impressive, as the players trooped into the dressing room to receive instructions from their coach K. Dharmaraj.

And it was a dream re-start as Malaysian won their second penalty corner a minute into the match, and Shahril Saabah made it 2-0 by scoring his fourth goal of the tournament in the 37th minute.

Malaysia mounted a series of attacks after that goal, and increased the lead off their seventh penalty corner in the 48th minute.

This time, it was the turn of Zulhairi Hashim to flick in the third goal, and the Koreans looked like they were heading for a drubbing.

And the fourth goal came off a lovely combination when Shahril beat two Koreans and made a pass to Syamim Yusof to slam home in the 64th minute.

The Koreans' consolation goal was scored in the 67th minute off a field attempt by Seo in Woo.

But Rashid Baharom struck in the 69th minute with an attempt from an acute angle and Malaysia triumphed 5-1.

Pakistan came back from a goal down to hammer England 6-2 to strengthen their quest of playing in the final. The thumping win came at the back of a 3-0 drubbing of South Korea on Sunday.

The Pakistani goals were scored by Muhammad Tousiq (11th, 20th), Muhammad Umair (35th, 69th), Ayub Ali (54th) and Muhammad Suleman (62nd).

Richard Gall (fifth minute) and Luke Taylor (15th) scored for England.

In another match, India came back from the dead to edge Argentina 3-2. The match belonged to Argentina until the 60th minute when they were leading 2-1, but team manager Orozco German then started abusing the umpires and was removed from the bench.

The Argentine players looked rattled by the incident, letting in two goals in two minutes to hand the three points to India.

India's goals were scored by Affan Yousuf (23rd) and Ramandeep Singh (60th, 62nd). Both the Argentina goals were scored by Carlos Ibarra in the 16th and 42nd minutes.

FIXTURES --Today: Rest Day.

Sept 26: England v Argentina (4pm), South Korea v India (6pm), Malaysia v Pakistan (8pm).

Sept 28: Argentina v Pakistan (4pm), India v Malaysia (6pm), South Korea v England (8pm).

Sept 30: Final and placing matches.

New Straits Times

That nagging feeling

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIAN juniors are on a roll in the Sultan of Johor Cup, but coach K. Dharmaraj has a nagging feeling that bothers his mind.

His charges beat Argentina 4-2 and South Korea 5-1, which would have made any other coach satisfied, but not Dharmaraj.

"I am proud of their achievements, but I have a nagging feeling that is disturbing my mind. I can't say what it is now, but will use the rest day today (yesterday) to sort it out," said Dharmaraj.

When asked if his charges display was identical to the Junior Asia Cup squad which won gold: "Not there yet, that was a magical moment created by magical players. This batch of players are slowly getting to that level of display, and before the end of the Sultan of Johor Cup, I will know for sure."

Malaysia play England today, and coach Jonathan Bleby is confident his side will rise from the 6-2 drubbing their received from Pakistan. The English also lost their first match against India 2-1.

"Even in the huge defeat against Pakistan, the positive side is that we created nine penalty corners and there were many circle penetrations. This indicates that our attacking statistics are healthy.

"Every team is using this tournament as a learning curve for the World Cup, and we will take home valuable lessons to prepare for New Delhi.

"As for Malaysia, we played them recently when they came to England for a playing tour, and I must say that there are some very good players in the team.

"However, we hope to rise from the two defeats starting with the Malaysian game," said Bleby.

One Malaysian player, 20, and with 38 senior caps has not been impressive in the last two matches but he has his reasons.

Firhan Ashaari, who had a fantastic Asia Cup in Ipoh recently, has been in the shadows: "When we played Argentina, it was my first match after a long time with the juniors, as I was training and playing with the senior side.

"I was a little lost, and also very tightly marked in the second match against Korea. But after two matches, my game is opening up and there is more understanding with my team-mates.

"I believe I will get back my striking form against England tomorrow (today)," said Firhan.

Malaysia must beat England to make sure they avoid playing in the fifth-sixth bracket, as their next matches are uphill battles against tournament favourites Pakistan and India.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Ramandeep stars as India register second win in Johor Cup

JOHOR BAHUR: A fighting India rode on Ramandeep Singh's brace to eke out a come-from-behind 3-2 triumph over Argentina and register their second consecutive win in the Sultan of Johor Cup Under-21 hockey tournament, on Monday.

India trailed for a large part of the match but Ramandeep (60th, 62nd) found his scoring touch when it mattered the most and netted two field goals in final 10 minutes to turn the game in his side's favour.

Vice-captain Affan Yousuf (23rd) was the other goal-getter for India, while Isidoro Carlos Ibarra (16th, 42nd) scored both the goals for the mighty Argentines.

With two wins from as many games, India have consolidated their position in the league standings alongside arch-rivals Pakistan on six points apiece.

India had defeated England 2-1 in their tournament-opener yesterday.

Argentina, on the other hand, slumped to their second straight defeat after having lost 2-4 to hosts Malaysia yesterday.

Despite the win, it was a poor performance from the Indians who seemed lost in the midfield and lacked firepower and sting upfront.

Argentina drew the first blood in the 16th minute when Ibarra converted a penalty corner with precision that beat Indian custodian Harlot Singh all ends up.

The Times of India

Pakistan junior side outplays England 6-2

KARACHI: Mohammad Tousiq and Mohammad Dilber scored a brace each as Pakistan outclassed England 6-2 to register their second consecutive win in the Sultan of Johor Cup junior hockey tournament in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

It was not easy for Pakistan in the beginning, as they had to face a deficit twice in the first half before proving their mettle over their English counterparts.

England got the lead in the fifth minute through Richard Gail, who stunned Pakistan’s defense with a move from the left. However, the greenshirts replied quickly and equalised with Mohammad Tousiq converting a tenth minute penalty-corner.

Pakistan then conceded another goal with Luke Taylor regaining the lead for England five minutes later. However, the team remained unperturbed and struck again on a penalty corner with Tousiq doing the job for the second time.

Dilber secured the lead for Pakistan in the dying moments of the first half, after deflecting the ball with accuracy on a reverse hit by Kashif Javed.

Pakistan went into full gear in the final session breaking England’s defense at regular intervals. Ayub Ali made it 4-2 scoring from close range while Mohammad Suleman extended the lead in the 62nd minute. Dilber completed the rout by scoring a minute before the final whistle as Pakistan walked away with three more points.

Manzoorul Hassan was ecstatic over the team’s fighting spirit.

“We are naturally happy with the win,” said the junior team’s head coach and manager. “It was a good show from the team despite conceding the lead twice. I was confident they would not come under pressure.”

Meanwhile, India edged out Argentina 3-2 after a hard-fought contest to claim their second successive win in the tournament.

The Express Tribune

England's U21 Men at the Sultan of Johor Cup, Malaysia

Sam French challenges for the ball

A World Cup warm-up event, The Sultan of Johor Cup is a tournament between six U21 men's teams, taking place over one week between 22 and 28 September.

England are up against India, Pakistan, Argentina, South Korea and Malaysia -who they recently faced in the NOW: Pensions Nations Cup in Wakefield. All are vying for the top spot and the cup at the end of the tournament, and we'll be putting up a match report here after each of England's games. For a quick visit you can see all of the week's results at a glance here.

22 September 2013, Match 1 - England v India - 1-2

England's first match was closely fought against India, holding out for a win but unfortunately going down 1-2 by the time the match was over. A late-minute goal scored in the 66th minute by Samuel French looked to be getting England back on track, but they were unable to keep that momentum to score again in the last four minutes.

Full match report

23 September 2013, Match 2 - England v Pakistan - 2-6

Luke Taylor celebrates scoring

Although England started well, taking the lead in the first five minutes with a superb run and strike from James Gall and following it up ten minutes later with a penalty corner from Luke Taylor. Pakistan weren't to be kept down though, scoring three before the second half and following up with another three after the break, finishing the match 6-2 to Pakistan.

Speaking after the match, England coach Jon Bleby said, "Although we had nine penalty corners but scored one, we are thankful that we created the nine and that augurs well from our attacking satistics."

"I am not perturbed by the defeat, as it is a learning mission and I believe we will gain a lot from here."

Full match report

England Hockey Board Media release

Tengku Abdullah Commends JHA

by  Satwant Dhaliwal

The Sultan of Johor Cup continues to gow in strength and the efforts of the Johor Hockey Association were commended by the President of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.

In describing the SOJC as a tournament that had gained international acclaim despite only being the 3rd edition, Tengku Abdullah paid ribute to HRH Sultan of Johor, the JHA as well as the various sponsors that make this annual event a great success.

"I am very impressed with the recognition the SOJC has received as manu countries are lining up to participate and seek invites. This augurs well for the tournament which has grown in stature over the past three years," said Tengku Abdullah after a sponsorship ceremony at Istana Pelangi in Johor Baru.

"I must thank HRH Sultan of Johor for his support and give credit to the Johor Hockey Association for their hard work. We need to be selective on the teams to ensure high class matches are in store for the fans."

A total of RM300,000 was presented by sponsors to Sultan Ibrahim Ismail at a brief but meaningful ceremony. Umland was represented by Charlie Chi, its Chief Executive, Tenaga Nasional Berhad by Mohd Yusof Ibrahim who is the General Manager of TNB Johor while Khazanak Nasional was represented by Rusli Zainal Abidin, the General Manager of Town Planning and Infrastructure. All three companies sponsored RM100,000 weach.

The tournament had earlier been bosted by a sponsorship of RM1.3 million and it received a further injection of RM200,000 for Sultan Ibrahim Ismail

Johor State Government contributed RM500,000 with the other sponsors being JCorp, which is the state government’s investment arm, National Sports Council, The Zon, TNB, Khazanah Malaysia Berhad and UM Land.

Official Sultan of Johor Cup site

Alex Danson hits six pack

By Graham Wilson

Alex Danson scored six goals in Reading's 12-0 thrashing of Olton [GETTY]

LONDON Olympians Alex Danson and Ashley Jackson proved unstoppable in the second week of the season.

Danson hit six goals for champions Reading in their 12-0 thumping of Olton in the Investec League and Jackson, finding his range after injury, hit two goals in East Grinstead's 9-1 crushing of Canterbury.

But Sam Ward showed the way for Now: Pensions champions Beeston as they edged out rivals Reading 4-3. Ward scored twice as the Bess went 4-1 up before holding off a late fightback. "This was a huge win," said midfielder David Ames.

"We are really up for the visit to East Grinstead on Saturday."

Australia coach Ric Charlesworth and Germany's world player of the year Moritz Furste are giving a masterclass organised by Beeston coach Matt Taylor on October 7.

Daily Express

Grove Menzieshill maintain 100% record

Scottish Weekend Round-Up - Women

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 1

The goals were flooding in this weekend in Aberdeen Asset Management National League Division 1 with Grove Menzieshill consolidating their top of the table position with an 8-0 win at home against bottom of the table Western Wildcats, who are still yet to get a point on the table.

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western secured two wins out of two with a 7-0 win away from home against struggling Watsonians featuring a Holly Cram hat-trick.

Kelburne move up to fifth spot in the table with a 2-0 win against the Grange EL with goals from Stevie McInally and Emma Barlow.

Dundee Wanderers are lying joint first in the league with Grove Menzieshill after their 4-1 home win against CALA Edinburgh. Edinburgh University recorded a 5-0 win away from home against GHK Ladies.

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 2

Leaders Hillhead maintained their position at the top of the league with a 6-1 away win against University of Dundee.

Inverleith Ladies moved up to fourth in the table with a 5-1 home win against Granite City Wanderers; goalscorers for the ‘Purple Robes’ were Jenny Law (2), Emma Helm (2) and Sarah McKay (1)

It was a tense game for Borders Fjordhus Reivers after being down 1-0 away to Erskine Stewart’s Melville but they found form and fought back to win 2-1..

Aberdeen Asset Management Women’s National League Division 3

University St Andrews move to top of the table after a 2-1 win against Waverley Inveresk Trinity Ladies at home. At the other end of the table Bon Accord MBC drop to last place after a 1-0 loss to Stirling University.

Championship League

In the women’s Championship West Division Milne Craig Clydesdale Western II won 3-0 away from home against Kelburne, Stirling Wanderers beat Giffnock 5-0 and Milne Craig Clydesdale Western III drew against pace-setters Glasgow Accies.

In the Championship East Division, Edinburgh University II had a busy weekend playing two matches but they stay in top spot with a 5-0 win against Edinburgh University III, followed by a 2-0 win against Grange EL II.

CALA Edinburgh II lost at home to Watsonians A 3-1.

Please visit the competitions section for all results and league tables.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

FIH CEO Fairweather inspects JB for 2018 bid

BY Jugjet Singh

INTERNATIONAL Hockey Federation (FIH) CEO Kelly Fairweather visited the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru on Monday as a prerequisite to Malaysia's bid to host the 2018 senior World Cup.

Four countries have placed their bids for the men's tournament, and Malaysia are one of the stronger contenders going by past hosting records.

And if the FIH choose Malaysia, it would be the third time the country will host the World Cup with the first being in 1975 and the second was in 2002 where 16 teams competed.

"I am in Johor to look at the bid venue, after which I will head for the other countries that have placed bids to host the men's and also the women's world cups," said Fairweather.

For the men's World Cup the four countries that have placed bids are Malaysia, previous hosts India, Australia and New Zealand.

And for the women's tournament England, Australia and New Zealand have been shortlisted.

And there was more good news for Malaysia's bid as Fairwether said: "Since the 2018 World Cups will be 16-team events, the FIH would be looking at different hosts for the men's and women's tornamants as we want to package them separately and not cramp up the hosts venue."

Malaysia have only placed the bid to host the men's event, which will be jointly held in Johor Baru and Malacca.

Plans are also afoot to enhance the Taman Daya and Malacca stadium's seating capacity, pending the final decision by the FIH Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Nov 7.

Jugjet's World of Field Hockey

Indian Navy's mantra: Catch them young and watch them grow

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: When the average age of a team is 23 or 24, the coach of that outfit has the freedom to go all out and experiment. Indian Navy coach PL Murugappan enjoys that luxury. Whenever his boys take the field in the ongoing Mumbai Magicians-Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd-conducted Super League, they exude positivity.

Indian Navy believe in playing total hockey. None of the players are bound by positions. When they attack, they do so as a pack and all of them are back defending when rivals raid their territory. Either way, the sailors are never short in numbers. The fact that they have already made it to the final with a game in hand (which they played and lost 1-2 against Western Railways yesterday) is an extension of their hard work off the field on to the playing pitch.

"We have raw talent. Fitness-wise the bunch is supreme. What they lack is maturity," explained Murugappan. "Because they are supremely fit, I have the leverage to play them up and down for the entire duration. That makes a whole lot of difference. We have troubled rival forwards throughout the tournament," Murugappan added.

But he felt that if the players get to play big-ticket tournaments such as the Surjit and Murugappa Gold Cup, the boys will mature quickly and will be the team to beat soon. "If my boys play in big tournaments, particularly in the north, they will improve tremendously. Hockey in the northern part of India is very hard. The players there are strong and play tough hockey. Playing against them will be a huge learning experience," Murugappan observed.

"Many of them are playing in the Super League probably for the first time. But next year, they will be better prepared," Murgappan assured.

Speaking about the match against Western Railway, played at Churchgate's Mahindra Stadium, Murugappan said: "The boys knew they had made it to the final so they let their guard drop. I tried to tell them not to get complacent, but it's the mindset which cannot be changed.

It is difficult to motivate a team in such a scenario. In the final, we will be completely different. Today we allowed their forwards to make their runs and create inroads. That is because of complacency. Throughout the tournament, we have not allowed rival forwards to make easy runs. The final will be no different," Murugappan assured.

In today's clashes, Union Bank of India will take on Sports Authority of India, while, MS Police will lock horns with Sea View SC.

The Times of India

Field hockey sweeps Radford 6-0

By Madeline Carrington

Cherry Seaborn was one of six Blue Devils to score Sunday against Radford. Khloe Kim / The Chronicle

The Blue Devils decimated Radford in a lopsided victory in which their dynamic offense dominated the Highlanders, leaving Duke's defense with little to do.

No. 9 Duke beat unranked Radford 6-0 Sunday at Jack Katz Stadium. Duke fired off 37 shots on goal to the Highlanders' two.

The team’s performance was an improvement after its 3-2 loss to Northwestern Friday, head coach Pam Bustin said.

“Today we came out taking much better care of the ball,” she said. “One of the things we wanted to improve on from Friday were our basic skills. I thought we were a little more deliberate and a lot more disciplined in how we took care of the ball on both sides of the stick and the passing game.”

The Blue Devils (6-2) overwhelmed Radford’s defense from the beginning of the game and netted three of their goals in the first 20 minutes of the game. Though Highlander goalkeeper Sidney Encarnacion made 13 saves, Radford (2-6) struggled to maintain possession and was never able to stop the Blue Devils from setting the pace of the game.

The Blue Devils received a balanced scoring effort from Cherry Seaborn, Brenna Rescigno, Jessica Buttinger, Hannah Barreca, Devon Gagliardi and Heather Morris, who each added a tally on the afternoon.

“Coming from a disappointing game on Friday, I think it was good we didn’t let it phase us,” Seaborn said. “The stats show we’re really getting up and getting our shots off.”

Although Duke's defense had few chances for action during the game, it was effective at keeping Radford out of the circle and away from scoring opportunities. Senior forward Emmie Le Marchand said that was something the team has been working on following its loss to the Widlcats.

The Blue Devils allowed no shots on goal from Radford in the second half of the game.

“Friday we were really frustrated by the number of penalty corners we gave up defensively,” Le Marchand said. “At this level, you just can’t afford to do that. Our goal and shot stats were fantastic today, but you also have to look at the fact that we didn’t give up a single penalty corner.”

The first half was marked by flurries of activity from the Blue Devil forwards, but although the dynamic of the game put the most pressure on Duke’s offense, Le Marchand said that the amount of action was a welcome change from most games.

“I think it’s exciting,” she said. “The forwards get on the ball the least time of every one on the field, so when we get a game like this it's exciting because we’re getting more touches than we ever do. Who doesn’t like a game where you get to score a bunch of goals?”

Duke Chronicle

Malcolm Harris appointed top job at Hockey NZ

The Hockey New Zealand Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Malcolm Harris as the organisation's new chief executive.

Hockey New Zealand Chairman Dean Ellwood said that it had been rewarding to see how hockey’s profile had created such a significant interest in the role following Hilary Poole’s resignation to join Netball New Zealand.

Ellwood said he is absolutely delighted with the appointment of Malcolm to lead the organisation and continue to implement the Whole of Hockey Plan.

"The quality of applicants was such that it was a difficult decision but Malcolm’s authentic leadership style and his strategic leadership experience meant he was the best person for the job,” said Ellwood.

“Malcolm has a sound knowledge of sports management gained through many years of involvement in sports sponsorship and this will be extremely helpful.

“His governance role for three years with the Trans-Tasman Netball Board and more recently his acting chief executive role for Netball New Zealand, both provide an excellent insight into the demands and opportunities of a national sport organisation.”

A qualified engineer, his career at Fisher and Paykel Appliances Ltd included positions as General Manager – Global Sales and Marketing and also Chief Operating Officer.

More recently, Malcolm was the chief executive of the Auckland-based law firm Meredith Connell.

“He is a natural leader with a collaborative leadership style and has a strong commercial background across numerous disciplines in a world class environment.

“It is with these attributes and experience when coupled with those of our talented team at Hockey New Zealand that we will ensure our continued high performance both on and off the field.

“I also want to thank Hilary, who has done an outstanding job of leading the sport over the last four years and we wish her all the best in her new role at Netball New Zealand,” said Ellwood.

Malcolm said he is looking forward to leading a key national sport organisation and continuing to work within sport.

“It is a very exciting opportunity to lead the team at Hockey New Zealand. There is a very professional strategic plan already in place – from grass roots through to high performance - and I look forward to working with the greater hockey community to continue to implement it,” said Malcolm.

Malcolm will start at Hockey New Zealand on the 24 October. Poole starts as chief executive of Netball New Zealand on the 14 October, allowing for a smooth transition for both organisations as they take up their new positions.

Hockey New Zealand Media release