News for 10 December 2013

All the news for Tuesday 10 December 2013

Maximum points for on-fire Malaysia in Pool D

Black Sticks jump over South Africa for 2nd place of the group

(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

England vs. Malaysia: 2-4 (half-time: 1-2)

England were in a must win situation (then hope that South Africa would not win the following match against New Zealand) but it was the Malaysians, already qualified for the quarter-finals, who were faster off the blocks, peppering Harry Gibson in the English goal and earning a couple of penalty-corners. They scored on their third attempt by Mohd Bin Hashim in the 15th minute and things were not looking good for the English team, unable to untangle themselves from the pressing Malaysian web.

David Goodfield had a good chance for England with a diving deflection but immediately needed to rush back to defend a penalty-corner earned by Malaysia on the counter-attack. The Asian Champions deepened the gap in the 26th minute by Firhan Ashari, but England immediately pulled one back by Luke Taylor with a well-executed penalty-corner.

England were only one goal down going into the break but were facing a steep road ahead to catch up and overtake the Malaysian side, on fire since the beginning of this competition.

England could not capitalize on a penalty-corner early in second period and were immediately punished when Muhammad Bin Baharom scored on the next action after Muhammad  Bin Saabah stole the ball from the stick of an English defender. England kept trying but were consistently denied by Hazrul Sobri, in dazzling form in the Malaysian goal.

Fitri Saari scored in 57th minute with a stunning backhand that left Harry Gibson stranded, and there was no coming back for the English side, despite a late goal by Phil Roper and replacing their goal-keeper with an additional field player for a desperate final rush. Malaysia finished comfortably on top of Pool D with maximum points while England had to wait to know if they would finish 3rd or 4th in the group, out of the quarter-finals anyway.

South Africa vs. New Zealand: 0-1 (half-time: 0-0)

South Africa was in the driving seat at the beginning of the last match of Pool D, needing only to avoid losing to advance to the quarter-finals. The Black Sticks were however decided to try and grab their slim chance but nearly suffered an early set-back when Damian Kimfley missed an incredible opportunity to give the lead to South Africa, receiving the ball in front of the open net and no defender in sight, but somehow missing his deflection.

Play was flowing fast from one end to the other, with New Zealand often creating deep breaches in the South African defense. The African Champions had their best chances on penalty-corners but were denied each time by Ben Smith in explosive form in the Black Sticks goal.

There was plenty of action in the period but neither team had anything to show on the scoreboard for their efforts and the break was reached on a scoreless tie.

Kane Russell gave the advantage to the Black Sticks in the 44th minute with a high drag flick on a penalty-corner and the onus was suddenly on South Africa to urgently score. They came agonizingly close on a penalty-corner that rolled in front of the line before going marginally wide but the New Zealanders were still in control entering the last ten minutes, with the quarter-final prospect looming bigger and bigger.

They could have strengthened their cause on yet another penalty-corner with four minutes to go but it was saved, and the end of match was torrid for both teams and their fans. New Zealand got a late yellow card but hanged on desperately to their one-goal lead to jump into second place of the group, leaving the South Africans rueing their missed opportunities earlier in the match.  

FIH site

Australia top Pool B after win over France

Argentina salvage some pride with win over Spain

(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Argentina vs. Spain: 1-0 (half-time: 0-0)

Both teams needed to redeem themselves after a disappointing starts in this competition. Pace was cautious for the first ten minutes of play, before the South Americans started to progressively take control of the proceedings. Actions in the circle were however scarce and both keepers saw little action worth fretting about.

Only real chance in the period was for Argentina in the 30th minute on a couple of penalty-corners, but ace-striker Gonzalo Peillat was off target on both and half-time was reached on a scoreless tie reflecting well the period.

Peillat had another penalty-corner chance early in the period, but his drag flick went way high in the stands. It is only in the 46th minute that Argentina finally went on the scoreboard when Manuel Nicolas Sacchetti intercepted in the circle a clearance from the defense and blasted it back in goal.    

Play suddenly became more animated and Spain was all over the Argentinean circle for a while. They had their first penalty-corner in the 56th minute but their double-fake did not fool the Argentinean defense. Things started to heat off in the final ten minutes and a few yellow cards were handed out to cool the tempters.

Argentina survived another penalty-corner scare and, despite been short two players for a while, managed to keep their meagre on-goal lead to the end, salvaging some pride with the 3 points of the win. They finish 3rd in Pool B and are out of the quarter-finals for the first time in nine Junior World Cup appearances.

Australia vs. France: 2-0 (half-time: 0-0)

Both teams were already through to the quarter-finals after winning their initial two matches and were playing for top of the pool and a better draw later in the competition. The mood was light and action was flowing back and forth pleasantly in the initial minutes of play. Teams traded early penalty-corners but with no real danger for the keepers.

William Gilmour had a chance for Australia alone in front of Edgar Reynaud in the French goal but blasted his shot wide. Simon Martin Brisac created a good chance with a quick free-hit and a 40m run through the Australian defense but his last pass in front of the empty net was misunderstood by his teammate. Despite missing key midfielder Hugo Genestet, France were holding their ground handsomely in front of the Oceania Champions. 

Goal-keeper Edgar Reynaud was again in fine form and thwarted some hot Australian attempts. The Kookaburras put some of their best chances high and wide and the two teams were still on par 0-0 going into the break.

Australia did not waste time in second period and jumped into the lead by Frank Main in the 37th minute. France had a good reaction but could not penetrate the dense Australian defense. Play was entertaining, very intense and physical at times. Australia took advantage of a numerical advantage to force a corner and Cameron Joyce capitalized with a straight forward low shot, giving his team a small 2-goal cushion.

With time passing and little chance of altering the final result, both teams gave field time to their alternate goal-keepers and Australia walked off with the win and top of Pool B, while France were satisfied with their performance against a higher ranked team and their qualification for the quarter-final for the first time since 1985.

FIH site

Australia beat France 2-0 to finish on top in Pool B

NEW DELHI: Australia scored two second half goals to beat France 2-0 and end their pool engagements on an unbeaten note in the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, on Monday.

By virtue of three wins from as many games, Australia finished on top of Pool B with nine points ahead of second placed France, who have six points in their kitty.

Australia will now take on the second placed team in Pool B in the quarterfinals on Thursday, while France, who have qualified for the quarterfinals for the first time since 1985, will be up against Pool A toppers.

Except for Pool standings, the match between Australia and France hardly had any significance as both the teams had already qualified for the knock-out phase ahead of today's encounter.

The action was flowing back and forth pleasantly in the initial minutes of play as both the teams traded early penalty-corners but with no real danger for the goal-keepers.

William Gilmour had a chance for Australia alone in front of Edgar Reynaud in the French goal but blasted his shot wide.

French goal-keeper was again in fine form as he thwarted a number of Australian attempts to help his team keep a clean slate at the halfway mark.

But Australia came out all guns blazing after the change of ends and took the lead just two minutes into the second period through a field goal from Frank Main.

Australia doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Cameron Joyce converted a penalty corner with a straight forward low shot.

Meanwhile in another inconsequential Pool B match earlier in the day, Argentina scrapped past Spain 1-0 to register their first win in the tournament.

Argentina's lone goal came in the second half from the sticks of Manuel Nicolas Sacchetti (46th).

While Argentina will now play in the 9-12 classification match on Thursday, Spain will feature in the 13-16th play-off games.

The Times of India

France earns its first-ever quarterfinal berth

Y. B. Sarangi

The France Team celebrate after beating Argentina and earning a quarterfinal berth in the junior hockey World Cup. Photo : R.V. Moorthy

France may emerge as the dark horse in this edition of the junior World Cup hockey tournament. Relying on its fine coordination, France, which had finished 10th in its last junior worlds appearance in 2001, pipped Argentina 3-2 in a Pool B match at the National Stadium here on Sunday to earn its first ever quarterfinals berth in the history of the event.

The French Hockey Federation’s vision for four years reflected in the team’s performance. Backed by meticulous planning and strong preparation, France, which beat Spain in its first match, toppled the second traditional team in a row to gather six points.

In a match dominated by exchange of attacks, France benefited because of its better tactical game and sound defence.

Even though the Europeans had better control over the ball, Argentina drew first blood through a fine counterattack completed by an unmarked Estanislao Perez Pesado in the 20th minute.

Pieter van Straaten deflected in a high ball to equalize five minutes later. The Frenchmen made quick amends following a fumble and Theophile Ponthieu converted a penalty corner to make it 2-1.

A carelessly raised French stick inside its own circle cost the team a penalty stroke and Argentine captain Gonzalo Peillat made no mistake in drawing parity at the stroke of half-time.

Displaying excellent presence of mind, Jean-Laurent Kieffer nicely received Niels van Straaten’s cross, beat a rival defender and goalkeeper with body dodge and reverse-scooped it into the net in the 48th minute.

Edgar shines

French custodian Edgar Reynaud, who had minimized the damage in the first half with some solo efforts, continued to shine under the bar. He preserved his side’s narrow lead as the opposition strikers frantically searched for the third goal. Argentina, which substituted its goalkeeper with a field player in the closing minutes, accepted defeat as the ecstatic French players celebrated their success.

“They were fast and skilful. But our goalkeeper was very good,” said France’s coach Gael Foulard.

Despite missing its spark, Australia beat Spain 2-0 in another Pool B match to qualify for the quarterfinals with two wins.

Malaysia posted its second victory to collect six points and qualified.

The results:

Pool B: Australia 2 (Daniel Beale 38, Dylan Wotherspoon 63) bt Spain 0.

France 3 (Pieter van Straaten 25, Theophile Ponthieu 31, Jean-Laurent Kieffer 48) bt Argentina 2 (Estanislao Perez Pesado 20, Gonzalo Peillat 35).

Pool D: Malaysia 2 (own goal 27, Firhan Ashari 43) bt South Africa 1 (Matthew Brown 13); New Zealand 2 (Kane Russell 39, Matt Rees-Gibbs 68) drew withEngland 2 (James Gall 14, Luke Taylor 27)

Pool D: New Zealand 2 (Kane Russell 39, Matt Rees-Gibbs 68) drew withEngland 2 (James Gall 14, Luke Taylor 27).

The Hindu

Argies edge Spain

France are the surprise package of the Junior World Cup after making the quarterfinals at the expence of the mnore fancied Spain and Argentina.

The French defeated Argentina 3-2 and Spain 4-3 to book their spot alongside tradiytional giants Australia.

The other teams that have qualified for the quarterfinals 2009 losing finalists Holland, Malaysia, European champions Belgium.

Germany can book their spot if they defeat Egypt as will India if they stave off the challenge posed by South Korea.

India will have to defeat South Korea on Tuesday for a place in the quarterfinals after struggling to edge lowly Canada 3-2 on Tuesday, coming back twice before registering the hard fought win.

Korea and India will both be out to win the match to join Holland in the last eight from their group.

“We have our backs to the wall and our fate depends totally on the match against Korea,” said Baljit Singh Saini, the Indian juniors assistant coach.

“We are making unnecessary mistakes in defence and give away possession easily and these are areas we need to rectify.

“By conceding goals, we put pressure on ourselves and the players tend to forget the game plan and try to get the equaliser.

“Korea are a great side and it will not be easy as all they need is a draw while we need an outright win.”

Pakistan are also fighting for survival as they were trashed 6-1 by Germany in a match they played 46 minutes having a player red carded in the 24th minute.

Still that was no excuse for the winners of the inaugural Junior World Cup in Paris in 1979 to lose so badly to Germany who are the defending champions.

Pakistan will now have to defeat European champions Belgium, and that too with a big margin to sneak into the last eight.

Meanwhile in a match that was purely academic Argentina defeated Spain 1-0. Both teams needed to redeem themselves after a disappointing starts in this competition.

Manuel Nicolas Saccput Argentina ahead  in the 46th minute that Argentina finally went on the scoreboard when he intercepted in the circle a clearance from the defense and blasted it back in goal.     Argentina finish 3rd in Pool B and are out of the quarter-finals for the first time in nine Junior World Cup appearances

Hockey Asia

Main man Frank strikes

Frank Main & Cameron Joyce goals earn Burras 2-0 win over France

The Burras marched on to the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup in Delhi with a 2-0 win over Pool B rivals France. The result maintained the Burras’ 100% record at the tournament and sets up a last eight clash on Thursday against the second placed team in Pool A - either Belgium, Germany or Pakistan. The outcome of Pool A will be determined on Tuesday.

A terrific solo effort by Western Australian Frank Main and an arrow-straight penalty corner flick by South Australian Cameron Joyce sealed all three points and Pool B pole position for the Burras for whom Main was subsequently named Man of the Match.

National Junior Coach Paul Gaudoin said afterwards, “I’m pleased with the win. The French are a very good side; they were fourth in the under 21 Europeans and the only teams above them were Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. We improved a little from yesterday and I’m glad we kept a clean sheet, although we will still need to play better to get through the next round.”

With the quarter-finals on the horizon, Gaudoin highlighted the importance of carrying good form and momentum through the tournament. “We want to win as many games as we can, we don’t want to flirt with form,” he said. “We won today, we stuck to our process and everyone has had time on the pitch. But a 100% record is irrelevant if we don’t win our quarter-final. The sudden death nature of the tournament from here means that Thursday’s quarter-final is a grand final for us.”

Going into the match both sides were assured of quarter-final progress but with momentum and differing paths in the latter stages on the line there was no quarter given in a high energy opening period.

Despite the Burras’ domination of the possession statistics and a brace of early corners, the Australian goal led a charmed life in a first half that saw counter-attacking France pass up no fewer than three clear opportunities to take the lead. The Australian defence was not the only one breathing a sigh of relief, however; Frank Main had the travelling supporters on their feet as he robbed his opponent on the 23 metre line but after bursting into the circle he fired narrowly wide.

Late in the first half Daniel Beale found himself thwarted at close range by the French goalkeeper Edgar Reynaud after good work along the baseline and Casey Hammond came close with a shot on the angle but the sides remained deadlocked.

Just two minutes into the second half Frank Main atoned for his earlier miss when he put the Burras 1-0 up with an excellent individual goal. Cutting in from the left, Perth-born Main danced past three defenders before lashing his shot through the legs of the goalkeeper.

And Australia’s advantage might have been doubled a minute later but for a slight bobble that took the ball over the out-stretched stick of Will Gilmour after good interplay between Main and Dylan Wotherspoon inside the French circle.

South Australian set piece taker Cameron Joyce made it 2-0 midway through the second half with a penalty corner flick that flew straight down the middle of the goal and through Reynaud’s legs.

Both sides took the opportunity to give pitch time to their reserve goalkeepers with the Burras’ Ed Chittleborough joining the fray for the final 12 minutes.

Australia’s quarter-final clash will take place at 5:45pm local time on Thursday (11:15pm AEDT / 8:15pm AWST). Belgium lead Pool A by three points going into the final round of fixtures with Germany sitting second ahead of Pakistan on goal difference. Belgium and Pakistan meet on Tuesday while Germany’s final pool match is against Egypt.

Junior World Cup, Men
Pool B
Delhi, Argentina

BURRAS 2 (0)

Frank Main 37 (F)
Cameron Joyce 52 (PC)

FRANCE 0 (0)

Burras squad v France
(listed alphabetically by surname)
Name (Hometown)

Andrew Butturini (GK) (Burringbar, QLD)
Tyler Cowley (South Morang, VIC)
Matthew Dawson (Central Coast, NSW)
Justin Douglas (Townsville, QLD)
Will Gilmour (Melbourne, VIC)
Casey Hammond (Melbourne, VIC)
Cameron Joyce (Port Pirie, SA)
Aaron Kershaw (Goulburn, NSW)
Luke Noblett (Sydney, NSW)
Kane Posselt (Atherton, QLD)
Dylan Wotherspoon (Mulwillumbah, QLD)

Used Substitute
Daniel Beale (Brisbane, QLD)
Robert Bell (Brisbane, QLD)
Edward Chittleborough (GK) (Blackwood, SA)
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT)
Frank Main (Perth, WA)
Flynn Ogilvie (Woonona, NSW)
Jayshaan Randhawa (Eltham, VIC)

Pool Standings (for tournament standings & schedule click here)
Pool B

1. Australia 9 pts (3 matches)
2. France 6 pts (3 matches)
3. Argentina 3 pts (3 matches)
4. Spain 0 pts (3 matches)

Hockey Australia media release

Aussies remain unbeaten

Australia maintained their unbeaten run by defeating France 2-0 at the Dhyan Chand Hockey Stadium in New Delhi this evening.

Both teams were already through to the quarter-finals after winning their initial two matches and were playing for top of the pool and a better draw later in the competition. The mood was light and action was flowing back and forth pleasantly in the initial minutes of play. Teams traded early penalty-corners but with no real danger for the keepers.

William Gilmour had a chance for Australia alone in front of Edgar Reynaud in the French goal but blasted his shot wide. Simon Martin Brisac created a good chance with a quick free-hit and a 40m run through the Australian defense but his last pass in front of the empty net was misunderstood by his teammate. Despite missing key midfielder Hugo Genestet, France were holding their ground handsomely in front of the Oceania Champions. 

Goal-keeper Edgar Reynaud was again in fine form and thwarted some hot Australian attempts. The Kookaburras put some of their best chances high and wide and the two teams were still on par 0-0 going into the break.

Australia did not waste time in second period and jumped into the lead by Frank Main in the 37th minute. France had a good reaction but could not penetrate the dense Australian defense. Play was entertaining, very intense and physical at times. Australia took advantage of a numerical advantage to force a corner and Cameron Joyce capitalized with a straight forward low shot, giving his team a small 2-goal cushion.

With time passing and little chance of altering the final result, both teams gave field time to their alternate goal-keepers and Australia walked off with the win and top of Pool B, while France were satisfied with their performance against a higher ranked team and their qualification for the quarter-final for the first time since 1985.

Hockey Asia

Strong second half not enough for England U21 Men

England goalscorer Phil Roper, pic by Stanislas Brochier

A STRONG second half performance was not enough for England Under-21 Men, who lost out 2-4 to group winners Malaysia in their final group match at the Hero Hockey Junior Men’s World Cup in New Delhi, India, on Monday.

England were industrious throughout and enjoyed 56 per cent of the possession, but their rivals proved more clinical with the ball that they got.

“It was an extremely disappointing result, and in the first half particularly we struggled,” said Head Coach Jon Bleby. “In the second half we competed very well, but in pushing forward for goals we got caught out at the other end.”

The Asian outfit took the lead after 15 minutes through Mohd Bin Hashim from a penalty corner, and they doubled their lead 11 minutes later with an attack down the inside right channel. The initial shot came off England goalkeeper Harry Gibson, but the rebound was pushed in by Firhan Ashari.

England pulled back a goal on 31 minutes with a good hard shot to the goalkeeper’s head side from Luke Taylor, and they prepared to step up their play after the break.

However, Malaysia were first to score in the second half, Muhammad Bin Baharam hitting home on 44 minutes from a scrappy melee in the circle which England failed to clear and left them 1-3 down.

Things got worse on 57 minutes with Fitri Saari scoring with a reverse stick shot that took Gibson by surprise.

Phil Roper (pictured) pulled back a goal on 65 minutes from a penalty corner, and England took ‘keeper Gibson off in place of a kicking back as they desperately went in search of goals for the last three and a half minutes.

But Malaysia held firm to top the group, while England will face Egypt on Thursday in the minor places play-off, with a final match on Saturday.

Hero Hockey Junior World Cup 2013

Pool A – Team Points

Belgium 6
Germany 3
Pakistan 3
Egypt 0

Pool B – Team Points
Australia 9
France 6
Argentina 3
Spain 0

Pool C – Team Points
Netherlands 6
Korea 3
India 3
Canada 0

Pool D – Team Points
Malaysia 9
New Zealand 4
South Africa 3
England 1

England Under-21 Men’s Squad v Malaysia


Harry Gibson (GK) – Loughborough Students
Jonathan Griffiths – Loughborough Students
Jonathan Gall - Surbiton
Andrew Bull (capt) – East Grinstead
David Goodfield – Sheffield Hallam
James Albery – Cambridge City
Phil Roper - Wimbledon
Luke Taylor – East Grinstead
Chris Proctor – Beeston
James Gall - Surbiton
Joseph Sharp - Beeston

Substitutes used
Daniel Faulkner – Loughborough Students
Brendan Creed – Sheffield Hallam
Sam French – Univ of Birmingham
Robert Farrington – Loughborough Students
Nick Bandurak – Cannock

Did not play
Thomas Pinnegar - Univ of Birmingham
Arjan Drayton-Chana – Sheffield Hallam

England Hockey Board Media release

Malaysia outclass England

Malaysia outclassed England 4-2 to finish the preliminary round of the Junior World Cup unbeaten in New Delhi.

And they will take on either India or Korea who battle it out today (Tuesday) for a place in the last eight from Group C with Holland assured of the top spot in the group.

It was a commanding performance from the Malaysians, their best display in the three matches and it had the officials grinning from ear to ear as Malaysian finally showed their true ability.

“We have managed to achieve our first target, that is to make the quarterfinals. And now we need to regroup and make an assault towards our next target, that is getting into the semis,” said Dharma.

“By making the semis we would have delivered the target set by the Malaysian Hockey Confederation. Just 70 minutes seperates us and the preparations start now. It really does not matter who we play, India or Korea as they are both tough teams.”

Dominating proceedings, Malaysia’s first chance of the game came in the third minute when Mohamad Rashid Baharom sent a powerful cross into the circle, however in-form striker Muhammad Firhan Ashaari who was lurking free at the far post failed to put a stick to the ball.

Minutes later, pint sized midfielder Faiz Helmi Jalil weaved his way past four England players and into their circle, but his lay back was not met by any of his teammate.

Ace drag flicker Muhammad Shahril Saabah had a chance to give Malaysia the lead in the fifth minute of their first penalty corner, but his effort was well saved by the England goalkeeper.

The breakthrough finally came in the 15th minute for Malaysia off their third penalty corner of the game, Mohd Zulhairi Hashim stepped up an drilled in a powerful flick past Harry Gibson who was in goal for England.

Despite the lead Malaysia continued to press forward and their determination paid off when Firhan doubled the lead for Malaysia in the 27th minute with another brilliant field goal, increasing his tally to three goals in the tournament so far.

Four minutes before the half time hooter England managed to pull a goal back from their first opportunity of the game which came of a penalty corner.

Luke Taylor was on hand to make their only chance of the first half count with a well taken drag flick.

Rashid Baharom extended the Malaysian lead in the 45th minute and that gave the team more confidence. And Fitri added a fourth in the 58th minute. England reduced the deficit via Phil Roper in the 65th minute.

Hockey Asia

Malaysia beat England to stay perfect

Malaysia's Shazril Irwan Nazli celebrates after Malaysia's victory over New Zealand on Friday. Malaysia qualified for the quarter finals with a perfect 3-0 record after beating England 4-2 on Monday. -

NEW DELHI: Malaysia completed their group matches unbeaten after a 4-2 win over England in the Junior World Cup here on Monday.

The Malaysians topped Group D with nine points after three matches and will play their quarterfinal on Thursday with either India or South Korea. Both teams will battle in Group C on Tuesday and the winner will face Malaysia.  

Zulhairi Hashim gave Malaysia the lead in the 15th minute when he scored with a drag flick from the team’s second penalty corner.

Mohamed Firhan Azhaari then fired home from the top D to put Malaysia 2-0 ahead.

A foul in the 30th minute saw the English gaining their first penalty corner of the match, which Luke Taylor converted with a low shot to the right of Mohamed Hafizuddin Othman’s goal.

In the second half the Malaysians survived two early penalty corners by the English before increasing their lead in the 44th minute through Mohamed Rashid Baharom.

Skipper Fitri Saari scored his first goal in the tournament with a 57th minute field attempt to seal the match.

The English pulled a goal back in the 65th minute through Phil Roper but it was too late to change the game.

The Star of Malaysia

Warming up to the cold

No stopping Malaysians as they send England packing


MALAYSIA started cold and stuttering, but after they warmed up to the freezing evening, England were demolished 4-2 in Group D of the Junior World Cup at the Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi.

There was little pressure on coach K. Dharmaraj's men as they had already qualified for the quarter-finals before the match, but still, they whipped up a convincing win to enter the knock-out stage unbeaten after three matches.

Malaysia's quarter-finals opponents will be either India or South Korea, who play their last Group C match today. India need a clear win, while South Korea only a draw to meet Malaysia.

"They took some time to settle down, again, and we can't afford this in the knock-out stage," said Dharmaraj.

"We have a two-day break before the quarter-finals, and who we meet does not matter as we have been preparing for years for this day to arrive," said Dharmaraj.

Defender Kavin Kartik, playing in his second Junior World Cup, wants to achieve something in New Delhi.

"I am a much more confident player, as compared to my first Junior World Cup (2009 in Johor Baru) and I have a mission in New Delhi. There are only three more matches to touch the gold medal, and I and my team-mates will try our best to keep a clean slate in the knock-out as well," said Kartik.

It was a comical Malaysia which attacked England like men on a mission, but for 10 minutes, all they had to show were misses, as the ball whizzed from left to right of the England goalmouth with no connection coming forth.

And penalty corners were also won with ease, but there were either no lift-off, or the push was easily intercepted.

It was comical, just because Malaysia had already qualified for the quarter-finals before the match. Otherwise, the number of sitters Malaysia missed would have been heartbreaking.

After five shots at goal, the penalty corner won in the 15th minute finally sounded the board. It was Zulhairi Hashim's attempt and after scoring his first goal of the tournament, he knelt down on the artificial pitch and offered a prayer in gratitude.

Firhan Ashaari, who is a regular with the senior side, released some pressure off his team-mates shoulders when he scored a field goal in the 27th minute. It was his second goal of the tournament.

England pulled one back before the breather when Luke Taylor scored off their firstpenalty corner inthe 31st minute.

Malaysia were better organised, and looked hotter playing in the coldest evening since the tournament started, and did not take long to score their third goal. This time it was a field goal scored by Rashid Baharom, from Penang, in the 44th minute. It was also his second goal of the World Cup.

And skipper Fitri Saari made sure Malaysia win their third straight match when he scored a cracker in the 57th minute.

England scored their second goal in the 65th minute off Phil Roper, but it was tooo late a comeback ro deny Malaysia their glory.

New Straits Times

Malaysia the pride of Asia

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA were the surprise Asian package in the Junior World Cup, as three other teams are still struggling to find their form and break into the quarter-finals.

Pakistan, in Group A, will meet Belgium today and have to win by a big margin, while Germany have a much more realistic entry into the last-eight from the group as they only need to beat Egypt.

As for hosts India, they will be meeting South Korea in their final Group C match, and a draw will see Korea packing off the hosts while a win will allow India passage into the last eight.

And realistically speaking, Malaysia and only one more Asian side will see action in the knockout stages.

India skipper Manpreet Singh knows the score. He said: "Our next game against Korea is very crucial as it is a must-win game for us while Korea only need a draw.

"We realise that we are on the brink of losing out the quarter-finals, hence we will not hold back."

India did beat South Korea 6-1 in the Sultan of Johor Cup, and Manpreet added: "But since then, the Koreans have improved a lot and are playing very good hockey and cannot be taken lightly.

"We went through the video footage of our last game against Canada and have zeroed in on our shortcomings on the field and have been working on the mistakes for the last two days," said Manpreet, who skippered India to the Sultan of Johor Cup by beating Malaysia 3-0 at the Taman Daya Stadium in Johor Baru.

India coach Gregg Clark said: "We are still very much alive in the tournament and there is lot of positivity within the team. The Koreans are a good side, they have consistently performed well in the tournament. The match will be difficult but we have confidence in ourselves."

New Straits Times

Malaysia finish on top of Pool D, New Zealand finish 2nd

NEW DELHI: An impressive Malaysia scored two goals on either side of the break to shut the door on England with a 4-2 win in their last league encounter at the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium, on Monday.

The win also enabled Malaysians to finish on top of Group D followed by New Zealand who beat South Africa by a solitary goal.

In the Malaysia versus England encounter, Mohd Bin Hashim (15th minute) converted a penalty corner to put Malaysia ahead before Firhan Ashari scored a field goal.

Luke Taylor then converted a set piece in the 31st minute to pull one back for England as Malaysia went into the breather with a 2-1 lead.

After the cross over, Malaysia scored two field goals through Muhammad Bin Baharom (44th) and skipper Fitri Saari (57th) to extend their lead to 4-1.

Phil Roper reduced the margin for England in the 65th minute by converting another penalty corner, but Malaysian defence managed to hold on to secure their third straight win in then tournament.

Malaysia, who were already assured of a place in the knock-out phase ahead of today's encounter, will now face the second-placed team from Pool C, which would be either India or hosts Korea, in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Meanwhile in the second match of Pool D today, New Zealand rode on a penalty corner conversion in the 44th minute from Kane Russell to beat South Africa by a 1-0 margin in the must-win match and progress to the quarterfinals of the mega-event.

The Black Sticks in all likelihood will play Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Times of India

World Cup is a mental game says Malaysian coach

Tazeen Qureshy

Although the Malaysian team managed to clinch a victory over South Africa in yesterday’s match, coach K. Dharmaraj feels his team was too nervous and made a lot of mistakes. “For the Malaysian team, the World Cup is not just about physical strength or strategies, but is a mental game altogether,” he said.

“It is a new experience for my boys. The World Cup is a big thing. It is about how mentally strong a team is to handle the pressure,” he added.

Talking about yesterday’s match against South Africa which they won 2-1, he said, “Right from the beginning the boys were under tremendous pressure and conceded early goal as well as penalty corners and a penalty stroke. They were nervous in the beginning of the match. the pressure was mounting on them and they made a lot of mistakes. It is a rich learning experience for them.”

Malaysia had played against New Zealand in their first match which they won 3-2. They next play against England today. “We play to win. We want to finish at the top of the pool.”

Spain finishes at bottom of Pool B

Tazeen Qureshy

For the 21-year old Spanish captain Alejandro de Frutos, Junior World Cup has not been a pleasant tour. After losing to Argentina 1-0 in today’s match, they ended up at the bottom of the pool B. “It was a disappointing tournament. We played some tough matches, competed against good teams. But if you don’t score, you don’t win.” Spain had earlier lost to France (4-3) and Australia (2-0).

undefined Frutos, a Penalty Corner specialist of his team couldn’t utilize his skills well and was unable to score a single goal so far in the World Cup.

Blaming it to lack of preparation, he said, “The preparation was very short. The only difference between other teams and ours was in terms of preparation. We had very less preparation for the World Cup.”

With nothing to lose after this, they will play for pride when the matches for final standings begin. “Next target is to play well in the final standings. We will try our best there.”

But, he disagreed to the fact that winning or finishing higher up in this World Cup could have helped hockey gain prominence in Spain, which is otherwise a soccer dominated country. “I don’t think it would have happened. Hockey is not a big sport there. We would have been in news just for one day, that’s all.”

Junior Black Sticks progress to quarter finals

Photo: Kane Russell in action during today's game. Credit Mani Lamba.

The Junior Black Sticks Men have got through to the top eight after beating South Africa 1-0 today at the Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

It was a spirited performance by the Kiwis with the lone goal coming from Kane Russell early on in the second half,  enough to secure a spot against the Netherlands in the quarter final at 3.30am on Friday 13 December.

“It’s a really pleasing result. I thought we showed strong commitment and determination, as a team every player was really fighting for it,” said head coach Grant Edwards.

Today’s performance wasn’t made any easier due to Harry Miskimmin, Nick Woods and goalkeeper Richard Joyce all unwell.

“We only had 15 players to rotate onto the field, and even some of those players were recovering from being sick overnight, so it made getting a win that much tougher.”

“Richard [Joyce] had been in goal for the last two games, but he was ill overnight so we made a decision to put Ben in there instead and he had some great saves especially from penalty corners. He is a great team member and when he had his chance today he played really well.”

All the action happened in the second half in today’s game, with neither team having anything to show on the scoreboard at the break.

“During the first half I thought we were pretty conservative, we weren’t really attacking, the speed of the game was pretty slow. And then the second half we moved the ball much more effectively around the midfield and created some really good opportunities.”

Like they did against England, the Junior Black Sticks came out firing on all cylinders after the half time talk and they were awarded two penalty corners in the first five minutes with Russell scoring his fourth goal of the tournament in the 44th minute and giving the Kiwis a 1-0 lead.  Russell’s strong ability to break forward from the back and powerful penalty corner drag flick is proving to be a lethal weapon for New Zealand during this tournament, and it was recognised today when he was awarded Player of the Match.

“We knew that today wasn’t going to be an easy game, South Africa are physical, fit, strong side and we knew we had to play really well,” said Russell.

For South Africa, a draw in today’s match would have been enough to get them through.

In the final 15 minutes of the game, there was real urgency from New Zealand as they searched for a second goal to try and protect their lead.  During this period the Kiwis held the majority of the possession and were more threatening on attack. Although they couldn’t convert what they created, it was inconsequential and they had done enough to get the three points for the win placing them second to Malaysia in Pool B.

All Junior Black Sticks games are LIVE on Sky Sport.

The Junior Black Sticks are part of the Sir Owen G Glenn Future Black Sticks programme which is about providing specialised coaching, training and international competition experience for the next generation of Black Sticks.

Full time: 1-0 to New Zealand
Half time:  0-0
New Zealand goal scorers: Kane Russell (44th)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Junior Black Sticks into World Cup quarter-finals

The Junior Black Sticks men's hockey team have battled through sickness to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Junior World Cup in India.

Kane Russell's second-half goal was enough to give the Kiwis a 1-0 win over South Africa in New Delhi today and a place in the top eight.

They play the Netherlands on Friday.

"It's a really pleasing result," head coach Grant Edwards said of the win.

"I thought we showed strong commitment and determination, as a team. Every player was really fighting for it."

New Zealand were struggling for fit players with Harry Miskimmin, Nick Woods and goalkeeper Richard Joyce ill.

"We only had 15 players to rotate on to the field, and even some of those players were recovering from being sick overnight, so it made getting a win that much tougher," Edwards said.

"Richard [Joyce] had been in goal for the last two games, but he was ill overnight so we made a decision to put Ben [Smith] in there instead and he had some great saves especially from penalty corners. He is a great team member and when he had his chance today he played really well."

As they did against England, the Junior Black Sticks came out firing in the second half against South Africa and they were awarded two penalty corners in the first five minutes with Russell scoring his fourth goal of the tournament in the 44th minute.

Russell's strong ability to break forward from the back and his powerful penalty corner drag flick is proving to be a lethal weapon for New Zealand in this tournament.

New Zealand's win placed them second to Malaysia in Pool B.


Russell takes Kiwis into Junior Hockey World Cup quarters

Biswajyoti Brahma

NEW DELHI: In a remarkable turnaround in fortunes, New Zealand overcame a fighting South Africa 1-0 to make it to the quarterfinals of the Hero Junior World Cup on Monday.

New Zealand, who had lost their opening match, were on the brink of elimination till the 68th minute of their match against England on Sunday.

They somehow salvaged a point with a timely goal against the Europeans and earned full points on Monday to become the second team from Pool D to qualify for the last eight stage.

Kane Russell scored the only goal of the match in the 44th minute and South Africa, who needed at least a draw to advance, failed to get the equaliser despite a spirited fightback.

In the other Pool D match, Malaysia proved too hot for England as the junior Asian champions won their match 4-2 to record their third straight win in the competition. It was a clinical display by the Malaysians who will meet either India or South Korea in the quarterfinals.

Earlier, Australia ended the Pool B on top after a comfortable 2-0 win over France in their last league encounter. Both the teams came to the match having already qualified for the quarterfinals.

Australia came up with an attacking game, but found the going tough in the face of some dogged resistance by the Frenchmen. Quite like the match against Spain, they had their share of chances but could not take advantage of that.

Things changed in Australia's favour when Frank Main sounded the board two minutes after the half-time break. France tried to level the score but a penalty corner conversion by Cameron Joyce 15 minutes later ended their hopes.

"We have a young squad of players and they are focusing on following a simple strategy of gaining and passing the ball quickly. Our team has done a lot of improvements in the past few days which can be seen in their game," Australian coach Paul Gaudoin said.

In the other Pool B match, Argentina got the better of Spain 1-0 with the winner coming from the stick of Manuel Nicolas Sacchetti in the 46th minute.

The Times of India

New Zealand enters quarterfinals

Y. B. Sarangi

A fine achievement: The New Zealand team started off cautiously, before Kane Russell (left) scored the lone goal. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

The suspense in Pool D came to an end with an under-prepared New Zealand surprising South Africa 1-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals of the Junior World Cup hockey tournament at the National Stadium here on Monday.

It was a fine achievement by the junior Black Sticks, who had flown in for the event with less than two weeks of preparation and started off with a loss and a draw. It collected four points to qualify as the second side from the pool.

The first half was a story of cautious approach and missed opportunities, including several short corners. After 35 minutes of goalless action, Kane Russell put New Zealand ahead in the 44th minute by shooting to the left of goalkeeper Richard Curtis from his team’s third penalty corner. New Zealand held on to the slender lead till the end.

Malaysia, which had already booked a place in the last eight, defeated a lethargic England 4-2 to keep its slate clean and end up at the peak of Pool D.

The reigning junior Asian champion showed excellent positioning and passing to outwit England. Mohammad bin Hashim’s low and fast drag-flick opened the scoring in the 15th minute and Firhan Ashari slotted in the second goal as the English defence struggled to cope with the rival attack.

Luke Taylor’s penalty corner conversion reduced the margin before the break. But the Malaysians came back with renewed vigour to slam in two more goals.

England pulled one back in the dying minutes, but it was too late. It managed just one point.

“Such victories will prove our players’ worth to the world,” said Malaysian coach Muhammad Dhaarma Raj.

Australia overcame a tough challenge from France to register a 2-0 victory through second-half goals and top Pool B with nine points.

France was the other team from the pool to reach the last eight.

Argentina beat Spain 1-0 and redeemed some pride by earning three points. However, the South Americans failed to finish within the top eight in three decades.

The results:

Pool B: Argentina 1 (Manuel Nicolas Sacchetti 46) bt Spain 0; Australia 2 (Frank Main 37, Cameron Joyce 52) bt France 0.

Pool D: Malaysia 4 (Mohammad bin Hashim 15, Firhan Ashari 26, Muhammad bin Baharom 44, Fitri Saari 57) bt England 2 (Luke Taylor 31, Phil Roper 65); New Zealand 1 (Kane Russell 44) bt South Africa 0.

The Hindu

India looks to get past Korea

Even a draw would help Korea advance to the next round

Y. B. Sarangi

The knockouts start a bit early for India. With three points from the victory over Canada, the host needs to put it past Korea in its last Pool ‘C’ match on Tuesday to enter the quarterfinals of the Junior World Cup hockey tournament here. Korea has three points too and will advance to the next round even if it pulls off a draw against India because of a better goal difference.

Supported by history, India is upbeat. According to statistician B.G. Joshi, India defeated Korea 3-1 in its only meeting in the Junior Worlds so far.

The memory of thrashing the Koreans 6-1 in the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia less than three months ago is still fresh for the home side and will give it a psychological edge.

Coach Gregg Clark has a word of caution though. “We won that game comfortably. But this is a World Cup, not just any six-nation tournament around the world.”

The home team needs to tighten several loose ends. Getting rid of glaring weaknesses – and spoiling scoring opportunities – will help the team immensely.

The Hindu

Team needs to show more maturity, feels Clark

With a win and a loss in the competition so far, the Indian team at the hockey junior World Cup is in a must-win situation ahead of its last league match on Tuesday.

But, given the way the team has performed so far, the team management knows it will be a tough outing against Korea.

Against Canada on Saturday, India missed more than a dozen chances in front of the goal, either because of poor passing or the strikers being out of position.

Coach Gregg Clark minced no words, saying the team needed to work on several areas if it wished to progress.

“We need to be more accurate and have more control, both over the ball and the match. We have conceded soft goals early on to put the team on the back foot.

“It gets very frustrating sitting on the bench at such times,” he admitted.

Clark couldn’t have been more accurate. In the two games, India managed to enter the opposition circle once almost every five minutes. At any point, there were minimum three strikers present in front of the goal. The scorelines, though, don’t reflect that.

Talented youngsters

“I personally feel this team has 16 talented youngsters. But they need to show more maturity.

“The Indian team is among the most experienced in the competition and I expected more from players like Manpreet Singh and Amit Rohidas,” said former coach Harendra Singh, who led the team to semi-finals in 2005 before losing out on a medal in tie-break.

“I am more disappointed in them because they have been part of the senior squad for quite some time now.

At this age, it is easy to lose concentration and get restless if things are not going your way. Ensuring that mental toughness is the coach’s job,” he said.

Rajinder Singh, under whom India won its maiden title in the competition in 2001, was less charitable. “I don’t see any planning. There is talent but the players are wasting their energy in marking opponents and running up and down. They seem too desperate to go out and score,” he said.

Harendra agreed. “We are giving too much space from both flanks to the opposition to score. The defence is too open, there is no back-up and we are not forcing the opposition into positions from where we can dictate the game,” he said.Assistant coach Baljeet Saini, part of the team that finished second in 1997, admitted it was frustrating to see opportunities go waste so many times.

“Korea would not give us so many chances to bounce back. The players need to control the ball and the game. The attack needs to be a lot sharper,” he admitted.

Clark had the last word.

“The boys played with a lot of speed and passion but they also need to play with some common sense,” he said.

The Hindu

It’s make-or-break time for hosts India

By S. Ramaguru

Indian players celebrate after scoring a goal against Holland in their opening Group C match in the Junior World Cup hockey tournament in New Delhi last week. Holland won the match 3-2. -

NEW DELHI: Three more quarter-final places are still up for grabs in the Junior World Cup and three Asian teams are in the mix as the group stage comes to an end today at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

To date, five teams – Belgium (Group A), Australia and France (Group B), Holland (Group C) and Malaysia (Group D) – have reached the last eight.

India and South Korea clash in Group C and only one team will make the cut to join fellow Asian side Malaysia in the last eight.

Pakistan are the other Asian team in the hunt but face a tough hurdle as they need to beat European champions Belgium in Group A by a big margin to stand a chance of making the last eight.

Germany, second in the group with three points but with a better goal difference, have a better chance as they face winless Egypt in their last match.

Pakistan, the inaugural champions in 1979, will also go into today’s match without Mohamed Arsian Qadir who is suspended for two matches. He was red carded in Pakistan’s 1-6 loss to defending champions Germany on Saturday.

Skipper Umar Bhutta was unable to explain his team’s poor performance.

“It was a poor and disappointing performance against Germany and now we are staring at an early exit.

“Now we need to defeat group leaders Belgium. Winning is already a tough task but to score four goals is even tougher.

“But as long as there is a chance, we will try our level best. We will not give up fighting, no matter how impossible the task,” said Bhutta.

Like neighbours Pakistan, hosts India are also struggling for form. The hosts are third in Group C with three points after beating Canada 3-2. South Korea are second, also on three points but with a better goal difference of plus two.

The Koreans only need a draw to make the cut while the Indians have to win by two clear goals.

Indian coach Gregg Clark believes his team are capable of achieving the target.

“We had good goalscoring chances against Holland (who won 3-2) and also Canada. It shows that we can create the chances. Our problem is converting these chances into goals.

“I’m confident my players will get the result against Korea, just like they did in the last match against Canada.

The Indians, however, need to watch out for You Seong-ju and Seo In-woo. Both have scored four goals each.

The Star of Malaysia

Victory against South Korea a must for India to qualify

Biswajyoti Brahma

NEW DELHI: When they met last, it was a one-sided affair with the Indian junior team winning the contest 6-1 against South Korea in the Sultan of Johor Cup in September. The hosts are hoping to do an encore when they take on their Asian counterparts in the Hero Junior World Cup on Tuesday.

Coming back to competition after a two-day break, the players know that anything less than a win would help Korea qualify for the quarterfinals at India's expense.

And it's not going to be that easy for the hosts. Going by the performance of both teams in the mega event so far, the Indians have a serious challenge on hand. If the Koreans were impressive in both their matches, including the one in which they narrowly lost against the Netherlands, the Indians were wayward.

If a lapse in concentration cost them their first match against the Netherlands, missed chances against Canada almost ended their campaign.

Coach Gregg Clark admitted that it would be difficult to deal with Korea in a must-win match. "Psychologically, we will have strong memories of Johor, where we scored six goals against them. But now, it is the World Cup and not just any six-nation tournament. It counts. So, they will be very difficult. But we are confident," Clark said.

The biggest worry for the hosts is their tendency to panic like they did after conceding an early goal during their 3-2 win over Canada. But the coach is positive.

Referring to a couple of past championships, he said he was hoping that the team improves as the tournament progresses. "We were more fluent in the second match against Canada. From my experience from the two tournaments we have played, we have made progress in each tournament. In Johor, we got better and better and won the final comfortably," he said.

"We started with two defeats in the Asian Champions Trophy but got stronger and stronger after that. I hope we can repeat that formula. I think we will be more and more comfortable with the environment now," Clark opined.

The Times of India

We are geared up for Korea: India captain

NEW DELHI: India captain Manpreet Singh said on Monday that his boys are ready to take on South Korea in their do-or-die last group match of the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Tuesday.

While the Netherlands are already through to the quarterfinals from Pool C, the winner of the India-Korea match will be the second team to proceed in to the last eight from the group. Canada, with two losses, is already out.

"Our next game with Korea is very crucial and a must win game for both teams. We realise that the losing team misses out on the quarterfinals hence it is an important match for both. The team is practicing very hard and working on all the strategies which will help ensure a win," Manpreet said.

"While we beat Korea 6-1 in the Sultan of Johor Cup this year, we are still not ruling out that they are playing very good hockey and should not be taken lightly. We went through the video footage of our last game against Canada and have zeroed in on our shortcomings on the field which we have tried working on in the last two days. The team is geared up and ready to take on the Koreans tomorrow," added the skipper.

The Times of India

India face Korea in must-win match of Junior World Cup

NEW DELHI: With their backs to the wall, hosts India have no other option but to win in a tricky encounter against Korea in their do-or-die final Pool C match to progress to the quarterfinals of the Hero Junior Men's Hockey World Cup on Tuesday.

After a 2-3 defeat against formidable Netherlands in their tournament opener, India kept themselves in the hunt for the knock-out stage by eking out a hard-fought 3-2 win over Canada in their next match at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium.

But India cannot afford either a loss or a draw against Korea in their final pool match to secure their quarterfinal berth.

Both India and Korea are on three points each from two outings but Korea have a better goal difference and a draw would be enough for them to pip the home team and go forward.

With two wins out of as many games, Netherlands have already qualified for the quarterfinals from Pool C.

The Manpreet Singh-led Indian outfit has some thinking to do ahead of the crucial match as less formidable Canada made it toil hard for the 3-2 win which came in the dying stages of the match, courtesy a penalty corner conversion by Gurjinder Singh.

Against Canada, India were by far the better side on display but missed chances were the order of the day for the hosts as they ended up making life difficult for themselves.

India's chief coach Greg Clark too admitted that his wards need to be more accurate against a dangerous opponent like Korea.

"We really got good chances in the last matches. We created fairly good chances and would like to stick with the same in future matches," he said.

"I have full confidence that the boys will do well in the next match against Korea like they did in the last match against Canada. Statistically we did lot of right movements like circle entry and created a lot of chances in the opposite end of the field," Clark said.

"The Koreans are a good side; they have consistently performed well in the tournament. The match will be difficult but we have confidence in ourselves. Our performance has constantly improved. But we got to be more accurate in our next encounters."

Fully aware of the task at hand, Clark said that his wards will give their best in the must-win match tomorrow.

"I have full confidence that the boys will do well in the next match against Korea like they did in the last match against Canada.

"Our experience shows that the team gets comfortable with environment as the tournament progresses and performs better with every match. We will definitely put our best show (against Korea)," he insisted.

Eve though India boast of a strong forwardline in Mandeep Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Malak Singh and Talwinder Singh, they are yet to fire in the tournament.

The mid-field, however, is in the safe hands of skipper Manpreet Singh.

But it is the backline which would be a cause of concern for the hosts as they conceded soft goals in their first two matches against Netherlands and Canada.

To add to it, the Manpreet Singh-led Indian outfit will be under pressure to at least repeat the podium finish its women counterparts achieved when they won a historic bronze at Mochengladbach, Germany earlier this year.

Korea, on the other hand, can afford to relax a bit as they only need a draw to progress to the knock-out stage.

After thrashing Canada 7-4 in their opening match, Korea lost 2-3 to Netherlands in the next game.

But with a goal difference of two against India's nil, they are better placed than the hosts and need only a point to break the hearts of the home crowd.

The Times of India

Korean hurdle for hosts

New Delhi: India are feeling the heat.

One win from two games has left them on the edge in the Hero Hockey Junior World Cup here, and Tuesday will be a test of fire for the young squad when they face Korea in their final Pool C match.

Ahead of the tournament, there was talk about the team’s ability to handle pressure, but just two games into the 16-nation event, it has all fallen apart. They are now in a must-win situation if they are to advance to the next stage.

Though talented, India have struggled to handle pressure or come up with a Plan B when cornered.

Skipper Manpreet Singh and goalkeeper Harjot Singh have had decent outings, while striker Mandeep Singh has shown the occasional spark, but barring the trio, the rest have struggled to find rhythm.

Chief coach Gregg Clark reckoned it could be the anxiety of playing a big tournament, while India coach Baljeet Singh Saini said it was time the team showed their mettle.

Korea, who ran Holland close in their 2-3 defeat, are an athletic team. They are swift in counter attacks and are backed by a strong defence line.

India will need to step it up on Tuesday in all departments. The attack has been a major let down and it will be crucial to come up with the goods against a strong outfit.

Said Saini, “We have been guilty of conceding early goals in both games, and suddenly the team have started to play in too much of a hurry . At the end of the day, the result is all that matters and for that, the boys have to keep a calm head. “The boys have been told to stick to their game plan under all situations, even if we are trailing.” The hosts can take heart from the fact that they had defeated Korea 6-1 in a league game of the Sultan of Johor Cup two months ago.

In a crucial Pool D encounter, South Africa and New Zealand tested each other at regular intervals, with both playing a compact game. At stake was a quarterfinal berth, and in the end the Kiwis advanced by a one goal margin, when Kane Russell converted a penalty corner in the 44th minute.

The Proteas dominated the opening half and had several scoring chances, while the Kiwis too gave their all. A draw would have seen South Africa through, but the team failed to recover from a one goal deficit and went into the defensive mode.

New Zealand were incisive in their attacks, and held their own in the second half.

Earlier, Malaysia made it three in a row, beating England 4-2 in their final round-robin game to top Pool D. Already through to the quarter-finals, Malaysia did not let up on intensity coming up with a heartening show.

Earlier in Pool B, Australia warmed up for the last-8 in style beating fellow quarter-finalists France 2-0, while Argentina blanked Spain 1-0 in an inconsequential game.

The Asian Age

Uniform set-up will help India, Pakistan hockey: Tahir Zaman

NEW DELHI: Pakistan hockey great Tahir Zaman believes if India and his country could work out a uniform sub-continental coaching structure and manual, both could benefit immensely branding their own unique hockey style.

Zaman, who played a key role in Pakistan's 1994 Sydney World Cup victory, said the Indian and Pakistani players get confused by different theories propounded at different stages by sub-continental coaches.

"The problem is that in India and Pakistan, there isn't a uniform coaching structure. Coaches drill into the minds of their wards different philosophies and styles of play. A player is normally trained by two-three coaches and when he gets into the national team, he is made to unlearn quite a few things, creating doubts and confusion in his mind," Zaman, the captain of the bronze-winning team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, said.

"That's why there is no uniform style or consistency in their performance. That's the main reason for the wild swings in performance graph. Sometimes we do very well and sometimes it is shockingly abysmal."

"If our players receive the same kind of hockey knowledge right through their career, they will perform a lot better," added Zaman, who is here as a consultant to the Pakistani side playing in the ongoing Junior World Cup.

Pakistan hockey suffered a major jolt in August when the four times champions failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. It was as big a blow as eight times Olympic champions India's failure to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Games.

"We must have structured coaching programmes and manual for coaches. Unless the coaches get their hockey knowledge updated regularly, they won't be able to produce quality players. The better the coaches, the better players they produce. This was one of the chief reasons why we failed to qualify for the World Cup," said Zaman.

The 44-year-old, who is also the coach to Pakistan senior team, said both countries need to follow the European model coaching structure, educating the coaches constantly.

"We need to have a synchronised coaching structure from top to bottom. Take the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, for instance. They use a single development programme and the same high performance coaching from top to bottom. So when a player reaches the national team, he doesn't struggle much as he is well versed with style and substance as he is taught the same techniques right from his younger days," said Zaman.

"Plus the European club competition is so well organised at the grassroot level. The coaches are invariably up to date and the young ones are taught the right technique. If we implement these methods sincerely, in five years we will also reach the heights our fans want to see us at."

Zaman is also not happy with the performance of the Pakistan team in the World Cup here at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

"We were hoping to carry on with the momentum of winning the Asian Champions Trophy, but unfortunately the players look like they are struck by the World Cup phobia. They are playing under stress and they are unable to exhibit their skills fully," said the former Pakistan captain.

Pakistan managed to scrape past minnows Egypt 3-2 in their first match and suffered a disastrous 1-6 loss against defending champions Germany. With only a match remaining against table toppers Belgium, it will be difficult for Pakistan to secure a quarterfinal berth.

The Times of India

Joshua Burt — donning many roles

Uthra Ganesan

Joshua Burt

Joshua Burt is not a name most Indians would know. Many would recognize him, though.

Burt was the man who played the role of the Australian women’s hockey team coach in the hit movie, ‘Chak De India.’ He, however, is not just another foreigner playing a cameo in an Indian film.

Burt is a qualified coach in Melbourne and a technical official with the International Hockey Federation. Here as a judge for the junior World Cup, Burt is trying to adjust his image of India with the reality on his first visit to the country.

“How the movie happened is a bit surreal. It all started with a couple of phone calls from Black Cat Films that I thought were a prank and didn’t take seriously. Then nothing happened for six months before they called up again and I met the film team,” Burt says.

“Originally they only wanted me as a local liaison. Then they asked me to help with the casting of the foreign players and so all the Australians, Koreans and Argentine girls came into the picture.

“These were girls that I coached back in Melbourne, they were actual players. Then it moved to storyboards and helping the director, Shimit Amin, keep the action realistic. A day before the shoot, Shimit wanted me to play the Australian coach.

“I was apprehensive but they convinced me. And so, through those few months, the best months of my life, I was an actor, a casting coach, a manager and an assisting director,” he laughs. His team lost to India in the movie but in real life, he says, it encouraged him to take up a similar challenge. Burt led the Victoria women’s side, perpetual wooden spoon holder, to its maiden national title in 2010. Burt’s next encounter with India was far less pleasant. He was the judge on whose recommendation five Indians, including coach Jugraj Singh and manager David John, were suspended for five matches after an on-field fight with Pakistan during a tri-series in Australia in October 2011.

“That was very disappointing for me. It was an India-Pakistan match and maybe some tension was expected. But the incident that happened was not a mere tussle, it was more serious. Expected or not, the rules didn’t allow it. I didn’t want to but it was my job,” he says.

He is looking forward to officiating in an India-Pakistan game here, if it happens, but is hopeful there wouldn’t be a repeat of 2011. As for acting, he says, “No more acting because that would ruin the memories of this experience. Unless, of course, there’s a Chak De 2.”

The Hindu

Sally Walton's spot on as England clinch bronze in World League Final

By Graham Wilson

Sally Walton (right) scored the winner in the penalty shoot-out [GETTY]

SALLY WALTON had that look of disbelief on her face as she scored the penalty shoot-out winner to give England the bronze medal in the World League Final.

After the game finished deadlocked at 1-1, defender Walton, as coolly as you like, went up for the dribble against world No1 side Argentina to slot the ball straight through the goalkeeper’s legs for a 4-2 finish that left the home fans stunned. The tournament brought together the top eight sides but victory does not come easy against Argentina at any time, let alone on home ground.

And it was good to see Walton come back after she had deflected home a cross that led to an-own goal equaliser just before half-time. England had a great start when Laura Unsworth was credited with the opening goal after only four minutes, with her shot helped in by a defender.

But Las Leonas , boasting Luciana Aymar, who at 36 was nominated as the FIH world player of the year for the eighth time, had a lot of the play and England’s defence did well to keep the scores level.

England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch was at her best again, saving twice in the shoot-out and she earned the goalkeeper of tournament award for a third time this year.

England captain Kate Richardson-Walsh said: “Playing Argentina, in Argentina, has always been one of my favourite experiences across my career. The atmosphere is just amazing and I’m very proud that we were able to stand up to that pressure and still play our game with that amount of noise going on. Every game against Argentina is an open game, there’s always lots of attacking chances for both sides.

“We were set a new tactical challenge by coach Jason Lee and I think we took it on board well. Picking yourself up after a defeat like yesterday’s [3-0 against Australia], both emotionally and physically, is so tough, but I’m really proud of how the team played tonight. We are definitely learning and growing as a squad all the time.”

University of Birmingham’s Lily Owsley, who was shortlisted as an FIH talent of the year, spoke like a veteran.

“We knew as a squad it was a matter of picking ourselves up after the Australia defeat,” she said.

“We were all so gutted with that result, but to come back and get the bronze medal, playing against some of the best players in the world, and the host nation, is just amazing and I’m so proud.”

Argentina had lost to Olympic champions Holland in a penalty shoot-out the previous day while England’s hopes of gold had gone down 3-0 to Australia in the semi-finals. Holland went on to power past Australia 5-1 in the final.

England must play for places against Egypt on Thursday after they were knocked out of the men’s junior World Cup when they lost to Malaysia 4-2 in their final pool game.

“It was an extremely disappointing result, and in the first half, particularly, we struggled,” said coach Jon Bleby.

“In the second half we competed very well, but in pushing forward for goals we got caught out at the other end.”

Daily Express

Hockey unfairness failed to pay off for Argentina

By Eric Weil

Argentina and Netherlands played a magnificent semifinal in the Women’s World League in Tucumán on Saturday as befits a clash between the two world top-ranked teams. The Dutch only won in a penalty shoot-out, but perhaps justice was done — not because they were any better, but because of the unfair organization of the tournament by the Argentine Hockey Confederation (CAH) for which the International Hockey Federation (FIH) must also take the blame for allowing it.

As this column has mentioned several times, the tournament should never have been played in summer in one of the hottest places in Argentina — even if CAH president Aníbal Fernández argues summer begins on December 21! There may be some justification for Argentina always playing in the evening (for spectator attendance reasons), while others played during the day in temperatures ranging from 32-37ºC, but it is still not fair in an international tournament. In the knock-out stage, Argentina even the original fixture times changed to let them play in the evening. No wonder other teams, specially the Europeans, protested. Then Argentina even wanted the draw changed to avoid facing the Dutch in the semifinal, but here the FIH finally put its foot down and refused.

Last Tuesday, an FIH confirmation appeared that next year’s Women’s Champions Trophy would be played in Tucumán at the same time, but later Tucumán HA president, Rafael Pirlo, said this was wrong and that they had asked to organize the tournament, but nothing had been decided. Perhaps other countries had formally protested. Local professional soccer matches must not be played before 5pm until March in Argentina, but who is supposed to protect hockey players?

Buenos Aires Herald

SA men’s fourth Test against Argentina postponed by 24 hours


The fourth Test match of the five-Test series between the South Africa men’s hockey team and South American champions Argentina has been postponed by 24 hours.

The fourth Test between Africa continent champs South Africa and the Argentineans, scheduled for 3 pm Sunday, December 15 at Queensmead Hockey Stadium in Durban South, will now be played at 3 pm on Monday, December 16.

The decision was made out of respect for the last day of National Mourning with respect to the passing of the father of the South African nation, Nelson Mandela, as well as the funeral of the iconic Mandela, the first president of a democratic South Africa.


1st Test – Wednesday, 11th December (Riverside Sports Club in Durban North 6.00pm); 2nd Test – Thursday, 12th December (Kearsney College 4.00pm); 3rd Test – Saturday, 14th December (Queensmead Hockey Stadium in Durban South 3.00pm); 4th Test – Monday, 16th December (Queensmead 3.00pm); 5th Test – Tuesday, 17th December (University of KZN Pietermaritzburg 6.00pm).


Matt Botha, Pierre de Voux, Craig Haley, Rhett Halkett (capt), Jacques le Roux, Clive Terwin (all Western Province); Dylan Coombes, Miguel da Graca, Jethro Eustice, Owen Mvimbi, Rassie Pieterse, Nic Spooner, Dean Symons, Ricky West (all Southern Gauteng); Tim Drummond, Gowan Jones, Wade Paton, Taine Paton (all KZN Coastal Raiders); Nick Gonsalves, Matt Guise-Brown, Frankie Pretorius, Jonty Robinson (all Northern Blues); Jody Hosking (North West); Robin Jones (KZN Inland). Head coach: Charlie Pereira.

SA Hockey Association media release

Loser also winners on gripping day three at Nolands PSI Nationals


Durban Panthers U13A goalkeeper Taine Bird impressed former SA keeper and Nolands PSI Nationals founder and tournament director Simon Martin no end, despite ending on the losing side against West Coast Barracudas in a gripping semi-final Monday. Photo: ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

The Durban Panthers might have been edged 4-3 in a heart-stopping U13A semi-final at the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals  in the Good Hope Centre, Cape Town Monday but the true hero of this enthralling encounter was Panthers goalkeeper Taine Bird.

Living up to Investec South Africa women’s hockey team head coach Giles Bonnet’s dictum that the true value of a goalkeeper is the stopper’s ability to keep his or her team in the game when things are not going so well, Bird made a series of stunning saves that ensured his hungry Panthers stayed in the hunt.

The U13A section saw remarkable competition. And what a group of teams! There was just a four-point difference between position 1 and position 6.

1st on 30 points - West Coast Barracudas.

2nd on 29 points - Port Elizabeth Vipers

3rd on 28 points - Cape Town Seals

4th on 27 points - Durban Panthers

tied 5th position on 26 points - Namibia Hawks and Boland Foxes.

There were a host of other gripping playoffs that had the enthralled fans on the edge of their seats at the GHC, as well as Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), University of Cape Town (UCT), Bishops and Somerset College.

The U14A Boys’ semi-finals at UCT were incredible. The Panthers and Cape Town Seals U14s were 1-1 at full-time and 3-3 in the 8-second showdowns before the Panthers won in sudden-death. The Battle of the Boland was also a blinder. The Foxes and Scorpions were 4-4 at full-time, 1-1 in the 8-second shootout, before the Foxes won sudden-death.

You can catch all the results and logs, as well as tomorrow’s finals programme for the coveted gold medals at which also has superb videos and images.

But let’s get back to Bird:

Durban Panthers U13A goalkeeper Taine Bird in the perfect position against West Coast Barracudas in the teams' semi-final clash at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town Monday. Photo: ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

“I am proud of the way I played,” said Taine Bird of the Panthers’ gut-wrenching 4-3 defeat, where the Barracudas got the better of the Panthers defence in the last move of the match, a penalty corner. “But I could have done better in putting pressure on their PCs,” the perfectionist that is Bird added with a rueful smile.

Bird (13) has just completed Grade 7 at Northwood Primary and is heading to the senior school in 2014. The promising keeper is clearly drawn to the gloves, as he also plays goalkeeper in soccer and keeps wicket on the cricket pitch.

“I love being the last line of defence,” said Bird with an enthusiastic smile as he looked forward to the Panthers’ playoff for third place against the Cape Town Seals Tuesday.

“This is my first PSI and I’m going to come back every year, I absolutely love it” said the Northwood stopper. “PSI Indoor is awesome, it’s the first time I have ever played indoor hockey and what I love is the fast pace, so quick, and where the goalkeeper is always involved in the action.”

PSI founder and tournament director Simon Martin was impressed with Bird no end. “Taine was fantastic, he’s extremely agile, he wasn’t shy, he commanded his defence well, and the key factor was that he didn’t commit himself too early, stayed balanced on his feet and judged the right time to go to the floor.”

Now retired, Martin (33) knows what he is talking about; having made his debut for South Africa in the keeper’s jersey aged just 19 and earning hero status in the hockey fraternity by saving three of five attempts in a penalty-stroke shootout to help win the Africa Cup for SA against Egypt not too long ago.

What makes a great goalkeeper? “The most important thing is the ability to read the game,” said Martin, who was also a wicketkeeper and soccer keeper in his youth. Martin added that what drove him as a keeper was the difference he could make to his team’s chances of winning a game.

Meanwhile, the Panthers’ brains trust, Mike Wiggett and Greg White, were full of praise for the PSI concept.

“The points system rewards positive play, encourages an attacking mindset, as sides keep searching for the bonus point for scoring five goals or more,” said Wiggett.

White heartily agreed: “A great example today was a team substituting their goalkeeper for a field player as they searched for that fifth goal.”

The former Nuffield cricketer and SA Schools’ B hockey player also praised the young players’ better appreciation of the structure and pattern their coaches were asking them to play than what he saw at the 2012 PSI Nationals.

“These boys and girls are very young, yet the way they are handling the pressure-cooker atmosphere in the big games in front of passionate crowds, where the noise can be a distraction, is also impressive this year.”

Wiggett then concurred with White’s description of the growth of PSI since its inception in 2007 as being akin to a little dorp transforming into a city.

“Five years ago, my first PSI, it was way smaller in terms of numbers [1 400 this year – the U16s and U18s start Wednesday] but what has remained – and you could see it in our semi-final today, is the way the players from opposing sides at PSI get on so well with each other once the final whistle has gone, no matter how intense and competitive the game was.

“The coaches and players are such good friends – that’s what makes PSI so special and keeps people coming back every year,” Wiggett added.

Check out the link for the behind-the-scenes action on day 2 on this You Tube clip.

PSI Media release

HA expands Board of Directors

Stephen Smith & Prof. Kerryn Phelps AM appointed to the Board

Hockey Australia is pleased to announce the new appointments of Stephen Smith and Professor Kerryn Phelps, and the elections of Fiona Boyce and Melanie Woosnam to its Board of Directors.

The appointments follow the Hockey Australia Board and Council meetings at which newsreader and journalist Sandra Sully was reappointed to the board and existing directors Stuart Grimshaw and Norman Same were re-elected.

They will join an expanded Hockey Australia board comprising 11 members.

Hockey Australia’s industry-leading commitment to ensuring gender balance throughout the sport continues with a number of changes also made to its constitution. Chief amongst the changes is a ruling that any one gender must be represented by at least four people on the Hockey Australia Board of Directors.

Hockey Australia President Stuart Grimshaw, who was re-elected at the meeting, said: “I welcome all of the directors elected and appointed to the Hockey Australia Board of Directors. The appointed directors were all identified for the particular skills and experience that that they can bring, complementing those already on the board.

“I would like to acknowledge the outstanding service given by retiring directors Ken Read and Renita Garard after ten and 12 years of service to the Hockey Australia board respectively. Both have played significant roles in improving the governance of Hockey Australia and in setting the direction of our high performance and business outcomes. I have no doubt they will remain great supporters of hockey in Australia.”

Former Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith’s appointment strengthens a relationship with hockey that has spanned almost 50 years. A qualified barrister, Smith served parliament as Federal Member for Perth from 1993 until earlier this year. He is Patron of UWA Hockey Club and Vice Patron of Eastern Blades Hockey Club in Western Australia.

Professor Kerryn Phelps AM is one of Australia’s best-known doctors and public health and human rights advocates. From 2000-2003, she was President of the Australian Medical Association; the first woman to be elected to the position. Prof. Phelps is an adjunct Professor at Sydney Medical School and a Conjoint Professor at the University of New South Wales Medical Faculty. She is a member of the New South Wales Ministerial Taskforce on Preventive Health and from 2009-2012 was President of the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association. In 2011, Prof. Phelps was named a Member of the Order of Australia for services to medicine. She is a keen follower of her daughter’s school hockey team and a former hockey player.

Olympian Hockeyroo Fiona Boyce played more than 100 matches for Australia, winning Commonwealth gold in Delhi in 2010 and a silver medal at the 2009 Champions Trophy in Sydney. She was a member of the Hockeyroos team that finished fifth at the Olympic Games in London last year before retiring from international hockey in March. Away from the hockey pitch, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Law/Commerce and now works for commercial law firm Herbert Smith Freehills as a solicitor in its finance, real estate and property group.

Another former Hockeyroo, Melanie Woosnam is Managing Director of her own sporting consultancy, Active8 Sports Solutions. She played for the Australian women’s hockey team from 1993 until 1995 under her maiden name Dempster and has since gained more than 15 years’ experience in the sports industry as CEO of several State Sporting Organisations including Queensland Touch Football, NSW Futsal and Hockey NSW, where she was involved in the preparation of the hockey stadium for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Woosnam currently sits on the board of Stadiums Queensland and is heavily involved in Redlands Hockey Association where she is President.

Phelps, Boyce and Woosnam join Hockey Australia’s existing female board members Sandra Sully, Tracey Scott and Clare Prideaux.

Cam Vale, Chief Executive of Hockey Australia, said, “The new directors, along with our existing directors, will without doubt provide excellent support and guidance to me and the Hockey Australia staff as we continue to drive hockey forward from 2014.

“As a sporting administrator I am very privileged to have a board of directors with such great experience and skill assisting me with our new strategic direction whilst providing accountability on key governance issues which continue to remain an important challenge for all sports. The board of Hockey Australia is recognised at the highest level in sport in this country, something that all of hockey’s stakeholders should be proud of.”

Hockey Australia Board Members

Stuart Grimshaw (President) – elected director
Claire Prideaux (Vice President) – elected director
Norman Same (Vice President) – elected director
Fiona Boyce – elected director
David Hatt – elected director
Tony Leeflang – elected director
Prof. Kerryn Phelps – appointed director
Tracey Scott – elected director
Stephen Smith – appointed director
Sandra Sully – appointed director
Melanie Woosnam – elected director

Hockey Australia media release