News for 11 December 2013

All the news for Wednesday 11 December 2013


Last minute draw against Pakistan enough for Belgium to top Pool A

Germany also qualified with large win over Egypt



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Germany vs. Egypt: 6-0 (half-time: 2-0)


Germany needed a win to have a chance to advance to the quarter-finals and immediately got on the scoreboard, with a little help from an Egyptian defender deflecting in his own goal an innocent looking cross. Egypt were saved once by their post but Germany doubled their tally in the 19th minute by Niklas Bruns, left with an easy deflection over the line after a quick exchange of passes in the circle.

The match was played without much passion in the midday heat. The Germans were controlling the proceedings but did not exert themselves too much and the score was still 2-0 going into the break.

Germany missed a couple of chances in the opening minutes of second period and were again off target on two early penalty-corners. Christopher Rühr widened the gap in the 42nd minute but the Germans continued to produce a half-hearted effort, playing at a pedestrian pace.

They nevertheless added 3 more goals by Mathias Müller, Christopher Rühr and Niklas Bruns to finish with a 6-0 scoreline, virtually insuring their quarter-final berth unless Pakistan could produce a spectacularly large win over Belgium. 

Belgium vs. Pakistan: 2-2 (half-time: 0-0)

With final standings still very much in the air before this last game in the group, pace of play was immediately intense. Pakistan seemed in a better frame of mind than in their initial matches and pushed Belgium back on their heels in the initial fifteen minutes of the match. They could however not really threaten Arnaud Flamand in the Belgian goal and play became balanced, with teams neutralizing each other in midfield.

Frustration started to show on both side at the end of the period and the teams went into the break back to back and goalless.

Pakistan finally overwhelmed the Belgian defense in the 41st minute when Muhammad Dilber inherited the ball with his back to the goal but still managed to deliver a lethal shot to open the scoring. Pakistan had a chance to increase their lead on the following action, forcing a penalty-corner, but the high flick was deflected by the keeper.

The scare seemed to put some urgency in the Belgian play and it was soon Pakistan’s turn to be confined in their defensive zone. They nevertheless increased their lead in the 54th minute, by Muhammad Faisal Qadir at the conclusion of a swift counter-attack that swept the whole pitch in three quick passes.

Things were looking bleak for Belgium and they tried desperately to come back in the game. They closed the gap in the 60th minute when Maxime Plennevaux stole a pass from a defender, turned on the spot and blasted a backhand shot high in the corner. Momentum was now for Belgium and Plennevaux scored another spectacular goal, escaping his marker in the circle and managing a diving shot that left Mazhar Abbas stranded in the Pakistani goal.

The last minute draw pushed Belgium to the top of Pool A in front of Germany, sending Pakistan to the bottom pat of the draw for the second part of the competition.

FIH site



Korean come-back edges India out of quarter-finals

Skilled Netherlands undefeated in Pool C



(Photo: Stanislas Brochier)

Netherlands vs. Canada: 7-0 (half-time: 4-0)

Netherlands were playing to consolidate their position at the top of Pool C and immediately showed that they meant business, calling Canadian goalkeeper Kevin Pereira into action and hitting the post in the first minute of play! Pereira was kept busy but once again showed his fine form.

The Netherlands opened their tally on a penalty-stroke in the 10th minute after a messy scramble in the Canadian goalmouth. The Dutch players were displaying their usual skills at speed but the Canadian defense maintained its compact structure and kept the Oranje forwards at bay until the 20th minute mark, when Rik Van Kan and Milan Van Baal scored two goals in quick succession.

The Netherlands were clearly dominating the proceedings. Kevin Pereira had to make several key saves but could not do much when three Dutch players arrived in front of him in the final minute of the period for a fourth goal by captain Roel Bovendeert.

Milan Van Baal scored the fifth Dutch goal in the 47th minute after a long run by Nicholas Leijs and a quick exchange of passes that mesmerized the Canadian defense. The Netherlands added a penalty-corner in the 57th minute by Tristan Algera and, despite the foregone conclusion, did not show any sign of slowing down, pressuring the tiring and dispirited Canadians until the end. 

The Netherlands finished undefeated in Pool C and will meet New Zealand in quarter-final, while Canada will play Spain in the bottom draw.

India vs. Korea: 3-3 (half-time: 2-1)

The last match of pool play between India and Korea was eagerly expected by the Indian fans and media. The local team absolutely needed to win to qualify for the quarter-finals, when a loss or even a draw would push Korea through.

India was immediately on the attack and forced a penalty-corner in the 3rd minute, but Lee Seyoung easily saved the low drag flick. Korea were equally unsuccessful on their first penalty-corner when You Seungju crashed his powerful drag-flick on the crossbar. The match was launched on a high tempo and the crowd was in for a thriller!

Korea had another penalty-corner opportunity but You Seungju was again a tad too high. He however managed to make the necessary adjustment and was on target in the 16th minute, silencing the crowd with a flick over the head of Sushant Tirkey in the Indian goal.

Atmosphere was hot in the stands and on the pitch and Korea picked up two yellow cards in the battle. They did not seem bothered by the situation and even created a good scoring chance while playing short two men. India saw many of their passes going astray and wasted another corner chance before Gurjinder Singh was finally on target on yet another penalty-corner three minutes from time.

India forced another penalty-corner literally in the last second of the period, and Gurjinder Singh sent the crowd into raptures with his second strike of the night to give his team a one-goal lead and a glimpse of a possible qualification for the quarter-finals going into the break.    

With Korea back at full strength, play was intense and exciting. India earned another penalty-corner on a video-referral but Gurjinder Singh changed his option and propelled the ball wide. The crowd did not need to wait too long as Mandeep Singh scored in the 45th minute, this time from the field.

The Indian players were now on a roll and Korea had trouble keeping their head above water. Lee Seyoung in the Korean goal was peppered left and right but the Indians did not manage to deepen the gap, leaving the door opened for a Korean come-back. It happened in the 58th and 60th minute, with two more penalty-corners by You Seungju for a hat-trick that suddenly reversed the dynamic of the match.

Now obliged to score, India depleted their defense and Korea had an open-net chance but Ji Woocheon incredibly missed his deflection. The end of match was torrid for the Korean defense but they survived the final rush and were soon dancing to celebrate their qualification for the quarter-finals, while the Indian players were dejected, rueing their missed opportunities early in the second period. 

FIH site



India held by Korea, fails to advance

Y. B. Sarangi



Celebration time: Seungju You's two gaols India helped Korea advance in the Hero hockey junior World Cup. Photo: R.V. Moorthy

Other than a quarterfinal berth in the Junior World Cup hockey tournament, honour was at stake for India. The host managed a 3-3 draw in a high voltage Pool C cliff-hanger, interrupted by scores of video referrals, and left the field with lowered heads after failing to reach the knockout stage at the National Stadium here on Tuesday.

India, which had a lowly ninth place finish in the previous edition, tied with Korea on four points but lagged behind on goal difference and would play for ninth to 16th position. Korea fixed a quarters clash with Malaysia.

Knowing fully well that it would be difficult to get past the home team in the do-or-die match, the Koreans had done their home work well. Playing a highly physical game, which invited two yellow cards and a green in the first half, they denied the Indians any space and troubled with sharp counterattacks.

Seungju You gave Korea the lead by converting the third penalty corner in the 16th minute.

Indians were far less organized, struggling with their passing and stopping. Some moves upfront lacked coordination and the desperate home players resorted to slapshots to penetrate the crowded Korean circle.

A freak mistake in trapping by a Korean defender earned India its third short corner and the reliable Gurjinder Singh leveled the scores with a high flick in the 32nd minute. Seconds prior the break, Gurjinder replayed his shot to turn the script around.

India held and attacked in the second period and reaped the benefits. Satbir Singh timely relayed Ramandeep’s precise cross and Mandeep Singh dived to spectacularly put it in.

But You struck in quick succession to complete his hat-trick and make it 3-3 as Indians missed a few opportunities.

The Netherlands tops group

The Netherlands trounced Canada 7-0 to end up at the summit of Pool C with nine points. The Dutch team set up a quarters date with New Zealand.

Germany outplayed Egypt 6-0 in its last Pool A match and entered the quarterfinals with six points.

Pakistan played out a 2-2 draw with Belgium to crash out of the quarterfinals race with four points.

Belgium, which topped Pool A with seven points, will meet France, while Germany, which collected six, will take on Pool B leader Australia in the last eight on Thursday.

The results: Pool A: Germany 6 (Own goal 4; Niklas Bruns 19, 68; Christopher Ruhr 42, 56; Mathias Muller 52) bt Egypt 0; Belgium 2 (Maxime Plennevaux 60, 65) drew with Pakistan 2 (Muhammad Dilber 41, 54).

Pool C: Netherlands 7 (Tom Hiebendaal 10; Rik van Kan 21; Milan van Baal 23, 47; Roel Bovendeert 34, 64; Tristan Algera 57) bt Canada 0; India 3 (Gurjinder Singh 32, 35+, Mandeep Singh 11) drew with Korea 3 (Seungju You 16, 58, 60).

The Hindu



India fails to make it to quarter-finals

s2h team


India fails to make to the quarter-finals of the Junior Hockey World Cup after they drew their last pool match to South Korea 3-3. India, who were in full control of the game in the first half scored two goals, both by Gurjinder Singh through Penalty Corner. The game was lost somewhere in the last 10 minutes when Korea scored two back to back goals in quick succession.

“The team had not prepared for this. The team really wanted to do so well in this tournament,” said visibly disappointed Indian coach Gregg Clark.

“We have lessons learnt in terms of individual players,” he added.

About Sushant Tirkey, who was made to play for the first time in this World Cup, Gregg said, “We had decided to play him from the beginning. But, Korea had their best Penalty Corner specialist who scored all the three goals for them.”

India has now finished third in Pool C. They will next play against England for the final standings.

For Korea, they are into the quarter-finals along with Netherlands from Pool C.

Stick2Hockey.com



Korea give India a bitter draw

Hosts out of Jr World Cup after skipper You Seungju’s hat-trick helps South Korea draw match

South Korea scored two goals in two minutes to force a 3-3 draw with India, knocking India out of the Junior World Cup here tonight. India needed an outright win to qualify, but the draw meant that the Koreans went through to the quarters instead on goal-difference.

South Korea captain scored a hat-trick of goals, the last two coming in the 58th and 60th minute, which neutralised India's 3-1 lead.

For India, Gurjinder Singh scored twice off penalty-corners while the third goal was scored by off a deflection by Mandeep Singh.

India had started stronger, earning a penalty-corner in the third minute, but it was saved by the Korean defence. India earned another penalty-corner in the 12th minutes, but Gurjinder Singh missed the opportunity.

South Korea went ahead when, off a penalty-corner, You Seungju sent the ball in and India trailed 0-1 after 17 minutes. The Indians needed to score at least two to win, but when they pressed into the attack, they were being easily foiled by the Koreans.

India got three penalty-corners in five minutes towards the end of the first-half, and this changed the complexion of the match. The first was taken by Prabhdeep Singh, whose powerful shot was barely wide of the target.

The second, in the 33rd minute, brought India the equaliser when Gurjinder slammed the ball in to make it 1-1. Then, just as the hooter sounded, India earned another penalty corner. Imran pushed the ball, and Gurjinder struck another powerful shot, to the left of the goalkeeper, and India were 2-1 ahead.

The Koreans came out attacking in the second half, the ball was in India's half for long spells, and the Indians had to defend with tenacity. India were awarded a penalty-corner after the TV referral in the 44th minute, and Gurjinder's shot was deflected out by the Korean goalkeeper.

India scored the third goal a minute later when Ramandeep and Satbir Singh made a fine move, and Mandeep was in the right position to deflect the ball in.

We gave away the match to Koreans: Coach

A disappointed India coach Greg Clark rued that his wards “gave away” the match. “Definitely, we gave it away when you are 3-1 up. I don't think Korea played that well. We gave them lot of soft turnovers. We could have controlled the game a bit more,” a visibly disappointed Clark said. “We turned the ball over too cheaply. We did not take our chances when they came and we paid the price for it.” The Indians were also guilty of wasting too many scoring opportunities and Clark conceded that a lot of work needs to be done in the forward line. “Yeah, together with the technical skill of finishing there also comes the mental ability to keep your mind clear and calm. So that's certainly an area we need to work on,” he said. “I think we made a lot of interceptions in the first half. But I think we rushed the ball on quite a few occasions.”

Results

Germany bt Egypt 6-0
Belgium draw with Pakistan 2-2
Malaysia bt England 4-2
South Korea draw with India 3-3

The Tribune



India slip and slide out of Junior Hockey World Cup

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: Indian hearts were broken on a chilly Tuesday night by speedy South Koreans at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium. The Indian team needed a win to advance to the quarterfinals of the Hero Junior Hockey World Cup but they were held to a 3-3 draw by the gutsy Koreans in their final Pool C encounter.

Both the teams ended with four points after the draw, but Korea advanced on the basis of a better goal difference. India will now play in the 9-16 classification group.

India had their moments and were in a very strong position when they took a 3-1 lead in the second half. But they failed to hold on to it as Korea drew level with back to back penalty corner conversions.

India started the match on a positive note, making the first move in the first minute itself. But Satbir Singh's burst was cut short by the alert Korean defenders.

A minute later they earned their first penalty corner but Amit Rohidas' flick was stopped by the Korean goalkeeper. Surprisingly, Gurjinder did not start for India and he was not around when India got the second penalty corner in the 30th minute of the dramatic first half.

In between, a midfield blunder almost cost India a goal in the 14th minute. The hosts had barely recovered from that, when the Koreans scored their first goal through Seungju You through their second penalty corner.

Stung by the reverse, India tried hard and get back into the match. They were helped by the fact that two Korean players were sent off with yellow cards in quick succession.

A charged-up India tried to make the most of the opportunity and they earned two more penalty corners. Gurjinder, who was on the turf, made full use of them to give India a 2-1 lead just before the half-time hooter.

It was a completely different India one saw after the half-time. They took their game up a few notches to take the Koreans by surprise. They scored one more goal through Mandeep, but wasted several others. However, they failed to maintain their grip on the match and the Koreans hit back.

The Koreans earned two penalty corners and Seungju You made full justice to them to make it 3-3. That was good enough for them.

In an earlier match, the Netherlands topped Pool C by beating Canada 7-0.

Defending champions Germany needed a win to move into the quarterfinals and they did it in style by beating Egypt 6-0. The win made them the table toppers in Pool A.

Germany, who lost their tournament opener against Belgium, took time to gain momentum and once they settled down, they destroyed the rival defence with a ruthless show.

Tournament's highest goal scorer Christopher Ruhr added two more to take his tally to six while Niklas Bruns slammed home two more.

"The pressure on us was huge after we lost our first match to Belgium but we did not lose focus and worked on ways to improve. The boys are working on playing good hockey and are trying to improve as a team with each game," Germany coach Andre Henning said.

Quarterfinal Lineup:

Malaysia vs South Korea; Belgium vs France; Australia vs Germany; Netherlands vs New Zealand

The Times of India



India exit junior hockey World Cup after draw with South Korea

NEW DELHI: Despite leading 3-1 till the 58th minute, India Tuesday blew away their chances of qualifying for the quarterfinals after being forced to a 3-3 draw by South Korea in a dramatic finish in the last Pool C match of the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

After going 0-1 down in the 16th minute in their must-win tie, India struck back with three consecutive goals, almost securing their last eight berth.

But penalty corner specialist Seungju You destroyed India's dreams by scoring twice again and levelling the match in the last 12 minutes of the thrilling encounter.

With the end of the league phase, the Netherlands, who beat Canada 7-0 earlier in the day, topped Pool C with nine points from three wins.

Korea and India both have four points but the former go into the quarterfinals with a better goal difference. Canada, however, finished fourth on zero points.

India took off aggressively, earning a penalty corner early in the second minute but Amit Rohidas' drag flick was wayward and India missed the chance to go ahead.

The visitors responded by earning their first penalty corner (fifth minute) but luck was on India's side as You's stroke hit the top bar and the ball kept out to the delight of the fans.

India maintained majority of the possession and created several chances which the forward line was unable to convert, like the previous two matches against the Dutch and Canada.

Korea's 13th minute penalty corner taken by You also went above the bar but the drag flicker did not miss his third chance and put Korea ahead in the 16th minute.

India earned their second penalty corner in the 29th minute but Rohidas missed his chance to equalise once again. Two minutes later another penalty corner came India's way but this time Gurjinder, who scored the winning goal against Canada, equalised for India.

At the stroke of halftime, India doubled their lead when Gurjinder struck from another penalty corner.

Gurjinder got another chance in the second period (44th minute) but this time the Korean defenders knew he would take the strike and attacked him, forbidding India to extend their lead.

Backed by the crowd which had found its voice after the two goals, India attacked and created several opportunities in which their best chance came when Ramandeep Singh struck the ball inside the D but Korean goalie Lee Seyoung made an excellent diving save to keep the ball out.

The home side then scored in the 45th minute via Mandeep Singh, who deflected an accurate pass by Satbir Singh into the target. Then Malak Singh sent the ball inside the Korean goal but a video referral proved the ball went in after hitting his thigh.

You then silenced the crowds by scoring two goals in a span of two minutes (58th and 60th), making his hat-trick, and putting Korea level with India 3-3 -- in effect putting Korea in the quarters.

India made desperate attempts in the last 10 minutes but Korea held on to the scoreline. India will now play the 9-12 position classifications matches Thursday.

Pool C results: Netherlands beat Canada 7-0, India draw South Korea 3-3.

The Times of India



Our boys gave away the match to Koreans: India coach

NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday crashed out of the Junior Men's Hockey World Cup after being held to a 3-3 draw by Korea in their last pool match and a disappointed chief coach Greg Clark rued that his wards "gave away" the match.

India were leading 3-1 at one stage but allowed the Koreans to come back into the match at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

The draw means both India and Korea finished their pool engagement with four points apiece but it was not enough for the home team to qualify for the quarterfinals as they needed a win on Wednesday.

The draw, however, was more than enough for the Koreans to progress to the knock-out stage as they have a better goal difference than the Indians.

Korea finished second while Netherlands topped the pool with three wins from as many games. The Dutch thrashed lowly Canada 7-0 in their last league encounter earlier in the day.

"Definitely, we gave it away when you are 3-1 up. I don't think Korea played that well. We gave them lot of soft turnovers. We could have controlled the game a bit more," a visibly disappointed Clark said.

"We turned the ball over too cheaply. We did not take our chances when they came and we paid the price for it."

The Indians were also guilty of wasting too many scoring opportunities and Clark conceded that a lot of work needs to be done in the forward line.

"Yeah, together with the technical skill of finishing there also comes the mental ability to keep your mind clear and calm. So that's certainly an area we need to work on," he said.

"I think we made a lot of interceptions in the first half. But I think we rushed the ball on quite a few occasions."

India faced a must-win situation against Korea today in order to progress to the knockout stage and Clark said pressure played a factor.

"Whenever the Indian national team plays anywhere around the world there is pressure and yes the boys would have definitely felt the pressure tonight.

"May be that was the reason but despite all the pressure the guys went out there and played a good game. We came back from a tough situation being 1-0 down and came to a winning position," the South African said.

With a podium finish out of sight, Clark said his next task would be to rejuvenate his wards for the 9-12 place classification matches.

"The guys are very disappointed. It was a home tournament and they were desperate to do well. I really feel for them. They had been training and focusing on this tournament for a long time.

"I will give them time and space today and tomorrow. It is really important for us now to win our nest two matches so that we can finish as high as possible," he said.

Asked why he did not use third specialist drag-flicker in Sukhmanjit Singh today, Clark said, "Having analysed Korea we felt we had the right option to take penalty corners. Credit to them for denying us in the first two corners when Gurjinder was not in the field. The way Koreans run does not give us the option to try Sukhmanjit."

The Times of India



Batra takes responsibility for India’s ouster from Junior WC

Hockey India Secretary General Narinder Batra on Wednesday took moral “responsibility” for the country’s early ouster from the Hero FIH Junior Men’s World Cup and apologised to the fans for letting them down.

India crashed out of the quarterfinal race of the ongoing World Cup after being held 3-3 by Korea in a must-win Pool C match at the floodlit Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, here last night.

The result meant that both India and Korea finished their pool engagements with four points apiece which was not enough for the home team to march forward.

The draw, however, was more than enough for the Koreans to progress to the knock-out stage along with pool toppers Netherlands as they have a better goal difference than the Indians.

“I personally take full responsibility for the dismal performance of Team India in Junior Men’s World Cup in Delhi in failing to qualify for the quarterfinals yesterday,” Mr. Batra said in a text message.

“Kindly do not put any blame on the team, the coaching staff and the high performance team. I, as head of all operations in Hockey India, take full responsibility and apologise to the nation, all hockey lovers, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Authority of India for letting them down,” he said.

India will now play Argentina in the 9-12 classification match on Thursday while Korea will take on Malaysia in the quarterfinals.

The Hindu



Holland go on a rampage

Netherlands were playing to consolidate their position at the top of Pool C and immediately showed that they meant business, calling Canadian goalkeeper Kevin Pereira into action and hitting the post in the first minute of play! Pereira was kept busy but once again showed his fine form.

The Netherlands opened their tally on a penalty-stroke in the 10th minute after a messy scramble in the Canadian goalmouth. The Dutch players were displaying their usual skills at speed but the Canadian defense maintained its compact structure and kept the Oranje forwards at bay until the 20th minute mark, when Rik Van Kan and Milan Van Baal scored two goals in quick succession.

The Netherlands were clearly dominating the proceedings. Kevin Pereira had to make several key saves but could not do much when three Dutch players arrived in front of him in the final minute of the period for a fourth goal by captain Roel Bovendeert.

Milan Van Baal scored the fifth Dutch goal in the 47th minute after a long run by Nicholas Leijs and a quick exchange of passes that mesmerized the Canadian defense. The Netherlands added a penalty-corner in the 57th minute by Tristan Algera and, despite the foregone conclusion, did not show any sign of slowing down, pressuring the tiring and dispirited Canadians until the end. 

They finished undefeated in Pool C and will meet New Zealand in quarter-final, while Canada will play Spain in the bottom draw.

Hockey Asia



Germans sail through

Germany needed a win to have a chance to advance to the quarter-finals and immediately got on the scoreboard, with a little help from an Egyptian defender deflecting in his own goal an innocent looking cross. Egypt were saved once by their post but Germany doubled their tally in the 19th minute by Niklas Bruns, left with an easy deflection over the line after a quick exchange of passes in the circle.

The match was played without much passion in the midday heat. The Germans were controlling the proceedings but did not exert themselves too much and the score was still 2-0 going into the break.

Germany missed a couple of chances in the opening minutes of second period and were again off target on two early penalty-corners. Christopher Rühr widened the gap in the 42nd minute but the Germans continued to produce a half-hearted effort, playing at a pedestrian pace.

They nevertheless added 3 more goals by Mathias Müller, Christopher Rühr and Niklas Bruns to finish with a 6-0 scoreline, virtually insuring their quarter-final berth unless Pakistan could produce a spectacularly large win over Belgium.

Hockey Asia



Belgium held by Pakistan

With final standings still very much in the air before this last game in the group, pace of play was immediately intense. Pakistan seemed in a better frame of mind than in their initial matches and pushed Belgium back on their heels in the initial fifteen minutes of the match. They could however not really threaten Arnaud Flamand in the Belgian goal and play became balanced, with teams neutralizing each other in midfield.

Frustration started to show on both side at the end of the period and the teams went into the break back to back and goalless.

Pakistan finally overwhelmed the Belgian defense in the 41st minute when Muhammad Dilber inherited the ball with his back to the goal but still managed to deliver a lethal shot to open the scoring. Pakistan had a chance to increase their lead on the following action, forcing a penalty-corner, but the high flick was deflected by the keeper.

The scare seemed to put some urgency in the Belgian play and it was soon Pakistan’s turn to be confined in their defensive zone. They nevertheless increased their lead in the 54th minute, by Muhammad Faisal Qadir at the conclusion of a swift counter-attack that swept the whole pitch in three quick passes.

Things were looking bleak for Belgium and they tried desperately to come back in the game. They closed the gap in the 60th minute when Maxime Plennevaux stole a pass from a defender, turned on the spot and blasted a backhand shot high in the corner. Momentum was now for Belgium and Plennevaux scored another spectacular goal, escaping his marker in the circle and managing a diving shot that left Mazhar Abbas stranded in the Pakistani goal.

The last minute draw pushed Belgium to the top of Pool A in front of Germany, sending Pakistan to the bottom pat of the draw for the second part of the competition.

Hockey Asia



Belgium choke Pakistan to win quarters race


The last minute draw pushed Belgium to the top of Pool A in front of Germany, sending the greenshirts to the bottom half of the draw for the second part of the competition. PHOTO: hockeyindia.org

KARACHI: The Pakistan Junior Hockey team drew their crucial World Cup match after allowing European powerhouse Belgium to claw their way back despite a two goal advantage. The result ended Pakistan’s hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the 16-team tournament taking place in New Delhi, India.

The greenshirts made a rampant start and looked like a different team to the one that was thrashed 6-1 by Germany. After making repeated inroads, the former champions succeeded in gaining a two-goal lead by the 54th minute.

Muhammad Dilber scored the opening goal in the 41st minute while the score was doubled in Pakistan’s favour by Muhammad Faisal Qadir.

With the match seemingly won, Pakistan allowed the European team to claw back with some weak defence.

Belgium closed the gap in the 60th minute when Maxime Plennevaux stole a pass from a defender, turned on the spot and blasted a backhand shot high in the corner.

Plennevaux scored another spectacular goal, managing a diving shot that left goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas stranded in the Pakistan goal.

The last minute draw pushed Belgium to the top of Pool A in front of Germany, sending the greenshirts to the bottom half of the draw for the second part of the competition.

With this loss, Pakistan coach Anjum Saeed feels that his team was unlucky to draw the match after maintaining a stranglehold for a long time

“It wasn’t an easy match,” Saeed told The Express Tribune. “Belgium are current European champions, but if we converted our chances we would have won by five goals.”

The Express Tribune



Germany join Belgium in quarters, Pakistan out

NEW DELHI: Germany made a statement why they are the defending World Champions by decimating minnows Egypt 6-0 in a Pool A clash to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Hockey Junior World Cup at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Tuesday.

Pakistan, on the other hand, failed to qualify for the last eight after they drew Belgium 2-2 despite leading 2-0 at one point in the last Pool A clash. With two wins and a draw, Belgium (seven points) topped the pool ahead of five-time champions Germany (six points). Pakistan (four points) and Egypt (zero points) will now play the classification playoffs.

Germany needed a win to advance to the quarters and immediately got on the scoreboard with a little help from an Egyptian defender deflecting the ball to his own goal. Germany doubled their tally in the 19th minute when Niklas Bruns scored with an easy deflection.

The Germans controlled the proceedings and went into the break leading 2-0.

In the second half, Germany missed a couple of chances and were off target on two penalty corners. However, Christopher Ruhr widened the gap in the scoreline in the 42nd minute.

The Europeans added three more goals through Mathias Muller, Ruhr and Bruns to finish with a 6-0 scoreline.

Later in the day, Pakistan seemed in a better frame of mind than their first two matches and pushed Belgium in the initial 15 minutes. They could, however, not threaten Belgian keeper Arnaud Flamand and play became balanced.

Pakistan finally overwhelmed the Belgian defence in the second half when Muhammad Dilber inherited the ball in the 41st minute and delivered a lethal shot straight into the target.

Pakistan increased their lead in the 54th minute via Muhammad Faisal Qadir at the conclusion of a swift counter-attack that swept the whole pitch in three quick passes.

Things were looking bleak for Belgium but they did not give up and closed the gap in the 60th minute when Maxime Plennevaux blasted a backhand shot high in the corner.

Momentum was now for Belgium and Plennevaux scored another spectacular goal, escaping his marker in the circle and managing a diving shot that left Mazhar Abbas stranded in the Pakistani goal.

The Europeans made sure they are still undefeated in the tournament and head to the quarters topping their pool ahead of heavyweights Germany.

Pool A results: Germany beat Egypt 6-0, Belgium drew Pakistan 2-2.

The Times of India



New low for Pakistan too in Junior Hockey World Cup

Biswajyoti Brahma


NEW DELHI: The slide continues. Pakistan, struggling like India to regain their place back among the world hockey elite, sank to a new low at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Tuesday.

They failed to make the last eight of the junior World Cup for the first time. The fall in their standards can be gauged from the fact that Pakistan won the first edition of the tournament in 1979.

The Pakistanis were knocked out after a 2-2 draw against Belgium, a side considered by many as the next hockey powerhouse. "Pakistan used to be the pioneer in the World Cups and now we can't even qualify for the quarterfinals. I feel shattered," rued Pakistan manager Manzoor-ul Hassan, a member of the Pakistan side which won the bronze medal in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

It was an emotional moment for Hassan who has played for Pakistan at the same venue to packed houses. He said people back home are still passionate about the game.

"Not qualifying for the quarterfinals is a big setback. Our failure is not good for hockey in Asia. People here would have loved to see an India vs Pakistan match in the semifinals or the final. People of Pakistan who love the game would be very upset today."

By the time Pakistan came out to play, it was all but over for them since they needed to beat Belgium by at least 11 goals to advance to the knockout stage.

"I had told them it was unlikely for us to qualify considering the given scenario. But I also told them that we must play well today for the future of Pakistan hockey," the 61-year-old said. "I am happy that they played well, even though they missed two to three scoring opportunities," he added.

When asked for the reason behind Pakistan's early ouster, Hassan attributed it to a bad game against Germany and fatigue. "Against Germany, we played easily the worst game of the tournament. Besides, these players have been playing continuously in the last three months."

He dismissed suggestions that Pakistan hockey was finished. "This is not the end of hockey in Pakistan. But we have to think as to why we lost. We must have series against India and foreign teams must visit Pakistan too. It's sad to see that our country - where foreign teams looked forward to playing - is not hosting any big tournament."

The Times of India



Malaysia face tough qfinals in Junior World Cup

By S. Ramaguru



Malaysian and English players vie for the ball in their group match at the Junior World Cup which Malaysia won 4-2.

NEW DELHI: The Malaysian juniors have lived a charmed life so far in the hockey Junior World Cup, but they will have to seriously buck up if they hope to get through the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The team played well below their level in the first two matches but still managed to win. They defeated New Zealand 3-2 and then South Africa 2-1 after saving a penalty stroke in the match.

Against England a little of the usual swagger returned to their game but then again it was helped by an insipid English team.

The quarterfinal fixtures will be decided after the last group match between India and South Korea in Group D. The winner will meet Malaysia.

But coach K. Dharmaraj is not going to wait for the opponents to be confirmed before starting his tactical planning.

“In the knockout stage every team will be a big threat. There is no second chance like the group matches. So you either come out with the right plan to win or end up losing.

“We knew that either India or South Korea would come up if we topped the group. So that is not a surprise. Both teams have shown good form and are very dangerous,” he said.

“We have been a little scrappy in the first two matches but there was good improvement in the third match against England. We are getting the goals and the defensive play is getting a little better as well.

“But we are not able to kill off a match quickly despite taking early leads,” he said.

In Mohamed Firhan Azhaari, the Malaysians have found a striker who is starting to score goals again. After 12 months of not scoring, the 20-year-old Firhan has now scored in all three matches here.

He is well supported by Mohamed Rashid Baharom who has two goals to his credit. Other players who have shown good form are skipper Fitri Saari, defender Faiz helmi Jali and the two goalkeepers Mohamed Hafizuddin Othman and Mohamed Hasrul Faiz.

But the others can also improve their game.

Dharmaraj is banking on the players to up their game in the next match.

“I give credit to my players for remaining cool under pressure and also in making sure we win our matches. They are a very determined lot. We are just one game away from reaching our target. There is no way we will relax now,” he said.

The Malaysians will continue to hold training sessions during the two-day break.

The Malaysians also have to worry about the weather. The timing of their match is not confirmed yet as the FIH (International Hockey Federation) have indicated that it might be changed if India is their opponent.

For now the Malaysians are listed to play at 6pm (Malaysian time). But if India makes the cut then the timing could be changed to 10.30pm. This is due to the request from television stations.

The weather at that time is very cold and the Malaysians will have to be ready for it.

“We also know about the weather issue. But let us wait and see if the timing of the match is changed first. Why worry about it now,” added Dharmaraj.

The Malaysian team will do well to heed the words of Australian coach Paul Gaudoin.

He said, “India have not performed to expectation and only just managed to survive the game against Canada with a last-minute goal.

“If they make the cut to the last eight I see them as the biggest threat to any team aiming for the title. I believe we will see the full potential of the team at that time. I do not envy any team going up against them in the knockout stage,” he said.

The Malaysians do not have a choice who they play against. But whoever they meet, the Malaysian team will just have to work hard for the win as that will take them closer to a final appearance.

Malaysia’s best result in the series has been fourth placing in 1979 and 1982. One can only hope that they will do better this time.

The Star of Malaysia



Team must step up a gear

Malaysia cannot continue playing a game of two halves

By JUGJET SINGH


ASIAN champions Malaysia have yet to show their true potential, but still romped into the quarter-finals with a clean slate in the Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

Nine points from three wins against New Zealand (3-2), South Africa (2-1) and England (4-2) is a commendable result, considering this set of players looked a bungling lot in the first half of all three matches, only to pick up speed after the breather.

When asked about this two-halves pattern shown by his charges, Malaysia coach K. Dharmaraj put on a lingering smile before answering.

"Yes, the boys do take longer than usual to get themselves into the match. All three matches actually, but I'm not worried," said Dharmaraj.

This is the coach that motivated his charges to become Junior Asia Cup champions in Malacca, without dropping a single point along the way.

"I hate to lose, even in my playing days. I really used to get worked up when Malaysia lost a match. And it is the same with my players, as I have drilled into them the importance of keeping their mind on victory, even when the situation is uphill and against them with very little time left on the clock," the coach added.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation has set a top-six target for the boys, which is within sight, but the coach and his charges have a bigger dream.

"Just 70 minutes of play separates us from the top-four, to top-eight. We have reached a stage where there is no more looking back, and we don't care who the opponents are as it does not make a difference.

"This is a junior tournament, and all teams enter the pitch on the same level. Only goals differentiate the winners and the whiners," said Dharmaraj.

And goals Malaysia must score, not after six shots at goal, but the first chance that they get.

"Too many goals were wasted during penalty corners and also simple field attempts in the three earlier matches," Dharmaraj continued. "We can't afford the statistics in the knockout stages. We have only three more matches, and I believe my charges are ready to give their very best."

South Korea or India stand in Malaysia's way to the semi-finals, and the early indications are that Malaysia are ready for both of them.

New Straits Times



Teams are playing to empty stadiums

By Jugjet Singh


THE Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi can seat 16,000 fans but since the start of the Junior World Cup, not more than 100 paying fans have turned up to watch on every match day, even when hosts India are playing.

It only costs 50 rupees (about RM2.50) per ticket and it's free seating around the stadium, but still, the fans have yet to show up as the tournament enters the knockout stages.

This is really a worrying factor for the organisers, as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has awarded India four major events for the next year, including the 2016 men's Junior World Cup and the 2018 men's World Cup.

India will host the 2015 and 2017 editions of men's Hockey World League Finals.

India also hosted the senior men's World Cup in 2010, and will be hosting it again eight years later, not to mention back-to-back Junior World Cups.

"Delhi is not a sporting state and people here lead a hectic life and have no time to come and watch hockey matches. I hope the organisers will hold the other major tournaments elswhere in India because it will be the same empty seats be it senior or junior World Cup," said an official who declined to be named.

India, on fire during the Sultan of Johor Cup, has also been a disappointment at their own backyard, as they struggled to reach their true form.

Meanwhile, Pakistan took a 2-0 lead before collapsing 2-2 to Belgium in a Group A match yesterday. Pakistan's No 9 Muhammad Dilber scored in the 41st and 54th minutes before Belgium's No 9 Maxine Plennevaux replied in the 60th and 65th minutes.

The match concluded the quarter-finalists from Group A and Group B, with Belgium playing France while Australia and Germany battle it out in the other last eight.

New Straits Times



Hockey village India kids train with German U-21 team

NEW DELHI: Kids from Hockey village India got an unique opportunity to learn the tricks of the game from the German U-21 team who is here to participate in the ongoing Junior Men's World Cup.

The German side took out time ahead from their compact World Cup schedule to educate young boys and girls from the academy in Rajasthan on drills and dribbling tactics.

German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner hosted the session of around 50 kids from Garh Himmat Singh village in Dausa district, at the embassy on Monday.

Andrea Thumshirn, the coach and founder of the academy, said such experiences would help develop further interest of the children in the sport.

"Some of the kids are very good. The experience of meeting these talented German players will motivate them to take up the game more seriously. It will generate aspiration amongst kids to represent their country some day," said Andrea, who has been running the academy since 2011.

On the occasion, Steiner said: "It was amazing to see how well both teams, the German Under-21 and the Hockey Village, trained and interacted together. It proves that hockey is part of the sport DNA both in India and in Germany - on a senior as well as on a junior level."

He also hoped for India-Germany final at the quadrennial event.

"My personal wish would be a final between the Indian and the German Under-21 team at this year's World Cup. Of course, I would come to watch. And I would love to see some young kids from the Hockey Village in Rajasthan playing one day in the German Hockey League," he added.

The Times of India



Experimental SA men's hockey side face searching test against Argentina in KZN

JONATHAN COOK


The squad of 24 players chosen to represent the South African men’s hockey team in the five-Test series against world number 11 Argentina that starts at Riverside Sports Club in Durban North at 6 pm Wednesday has an experimental feel.

With SA already through to the 2014 World Cup finals in the Netherlands in May/June it is clear the SA brains trust are casting their net wide before making a final decision on their ultimate combination.

Seasoned starting line-up players including world-class captain Austin Smith are not in the side and there are 14 new faces compared to the team that won the Africa Cup in Nairobi last month.

The South American champions have a host of world-class players and along with the regulars, new caps Dylan Coombes, Nic Spooner, Dean Symons (all Southern Gauteng) and Jody Hosking (North West) as well as the recalled Matt Botha, Craig Haley, Clive Terwin (all Western Province), Miguel da Graca, Owen Mvimbi, Ricky West (all Southern Gauteng), Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders), Nick Gonsalves, Matt Guise-Brown (both Northern Blues) and Robin Jones (KZN Inland) will face a searching test.

The second Test match is at 4pm Thursday at Kearsney College, the third at 3pm Saturday at Queensmead, the fourth at Queensmead next Monday at 3pm with the final Test at Maritzburg Varsity next Tuesday at 6pm.

Meanwhile, the SA U21 men’s team dominated their crucial Pool D match against New Zealand at the Junior World Cup in Delhi Monday, yet gilt-edged goalscoring opportunities were spurned and captain Dylan Swanepoel’s side ended up on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline.

A draw would have been enough to put SA into the quarter-finals for the first time. Now lies the difficult task of trying to finish ninth, which would still be the best achievement at this level by the African junior champions. Kane Russell netted the winner for NZ in the second half (44th minute).

The quest for ninth place begins at 1 pm SA time Thursday when SA take on the talented, yet under-achieving Pakistan team, who were held to a 2-2 draw by Pool A winners Belgium Tuesday after leading one of the gold medal favourites for almost the entire match. The clash is on Pitch B and will not be televised.

SA/ARGENTINA FIXTURES
1st Test Wednesday (Riverside Sports Club 6pm); 2nd Test - Thursday (Kearsney 4pm); 3rd Test - Saturday (Queensmead 3pm); 4th Test – Monday, December 16 (Queensmead 3pm); 5th Test – Tuesday, December 17 (UKZN Pietermaritzburg 6pm).

SA TEAM
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



PSI Nationals Day 4 delivers silver and gold to in-form franchises

JONATHAN COOK in Cape Town



Mustapha Cassiem of the West Coast Barracudas takes on the PE Vipers' defenders during the Cudas' 9-8 victory in the U13A final of the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town Tuesday. Photo: ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY

Wow! Finals day Part One had it all in Cape Town Tuesday as the 7th Nolands Pro Series Indoor (PSI) Nationals reached its peak at the Good Hope Centre in the U13 and U14 sections.

With the A section finals for boys and girls taking place simultaneously at adjacent courts on the fast-paced GHC surface, it was whiplash time trying to keep track of what was in front, and behind, you as the action flew from end to end.

Commentators John McInroy and Rob le Brun did a great job in keeping the big crowd informed and entertained as the flurry of activity reached bewildering levels.

Here’s just a taster of what it felt like being at the GHC in the flesh:

And it all comes down to this - Gold medal-aspirant teams gave their all in the U13A boys’ final: The West Coast Barracudas boys went 1-0 up in the opening sequences of their pulsating pummel with the PE (Port Elizabeth) Vipers.

In the fifth minute the Vipers boys equalised via a slick penalty corner - and slotted another seconds later with a scorching variation. The Vipers were spitting venom and a classic action goal followed soon after for 3-1.

It was nearly 4-1 in the 14th from yet another power Vipers PC but a brave Barracuda saved on the goalline with the ice-cold efficiency of the Atlantic Ocean in nearby Table Bay to momentarily stem the PE venom.

It was not to last, as yet another top-class action goal did make it 4-1 to the Vipers. Sadly for the PE faithful, who came in their numbers from one windy city to another in support of their beloved Vipers, that goal was the beginning of the end.

The masterful Mustapha Cassiem and his fellow Barracudas from the West Coast decided enough was enough … and the quality Cassiem was arguably the catalyst in the Cudas’ coming back from the dead to run out 9-8 winners to the delight of their fans in this classic clash that showcased junior indoor at its best.

Indeed, the nerve-jangling closeness of the U13 and U14 finals will be the abiding memory of PSI Nationals Part One in 2013 and only served to whet the appetite for the smorgasbord of spills, thrills and skills set to be served up when the U16 and U18 boys and girls swing into action Wednesday till Saturday’s showdowns for the gold, silver and bronze medals (the “dirty gold” that is so highly sought by the competing teams who miss out on tackling each other for the more precious metals).

The three other A section finals were a triumph for the Boland Foxes.

U13A Girls’ final: Boland Foxes win 8-second showdown after deadlock at full-time.

U14A Boys’ final: Boland Foxes 3 Durban Panthers 2

U14A Girls’ final: Boland Foxes 4 Johannesburg Gryphons 4 (Foxes win 8-second showdown).

For today’s B section final results and all the bronze medal winners, as well days one, two and three results, plus all the team lists, logs, fixtures, photos, videos and more, go to the official PSI website at http://www.psihockey.co.za/nationals-2013/ for all the info.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6kkiIK-nbo

Check out the day three PSI Nationals video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cVGwQKTpEQ

And here are the PSI “Best of the Best” Awards

U14 Girls’ A section

Best Goalkeeper - Brittany du Plessis (East Rand Quaggas)
Best Spirit – Durban Panthers
Best Player- Monique Bartsch (Boland Foxes)

U14 Girls’ B section
Best GK - Tess Lawrence (PE Vipers)
Best Spirit - Annemieke Thomadis (East Rand Quaggas)
Best Player - Kirsty Adams (Boland Scorpions)

U14 Boys’ A section
Best GK - William Everleigh (Boland Scorpions)
Best Spirit - Steven McGillivray (PE Vipers)
Best Player - Antonie Small-Smith (Boland Foxes)

U14 Boys’ B section
Best GK - Kevin Brand (West Coast Barracudas)
Best Spirit- Keon Leong Colon (Johannesburg Gryphons)
Best Player- Jacques van Tonder (Bloem Bears)

U13 Girls’ A section
Best GK - Mishka Ellis (Boland Foxes)
Best Player - Kiana Cormack (Namibia Hawks)
Best Spirit - Amber Dercksen (Namibia Eagles A)

U13 Girls’ B section
Best GK - Sonja Veldsman (Boland Scorpions)
Best Spirit - Sophie Butler (Boland Scorpions)
Player - Nicci Claasen (Southern Cape Sables)

U13 Boys’ A section
Best GK- Taine Bird (Durban Panthers)
Best Spirit- Namibia Hawks
Best Player - Luke Wynford (PE Vipers)

U13 Boys’ B section
Best GK - Jadin Jordaan (East Rand Quaggas B)
Best Spirit- Tim Kotze (Cape Sunbirds)
Best Player - Scott Mostert (Southern Cape Sables)

PSI Media release



National hockey U18 to face Australian Country

Arin Kumar



Members of the Fiji U18 hockey team pose for a group picture before a training session at the National Hockey Centre in Suva yesterday. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

THE national under-18 training squad preparing for the Youth Olympic Games qualifiers next year will play warm-up matches with the much senior and experienced Australian Country side next week.

The Australian Country side arrives in the country this Saturday and will play matches against the national side, the HPU side and the U18 Invitational side as part of their tour.

Fiji Hockey Federation development officer Tai Smith who is helping coach Anthony Newton prepare the under-18 team says preparation is coming along well.

"We have 29 boys and 26 girls training with us here in Suva and so far training has been going well," she said.

"They will be in camp for two week and next week, on Monday and Wednesday, they will play against the Australian Country side.

"Also, this weekend and next week, these players will be working with international master coach Dr Burt Bunnik and he will monitor their games and instruct us with the best training methods."

Smith said the boys side faced the hard task of playing against New Zealand, Australia, Samoa and hosts Vanuatu in the qualifiers next year.

"As for the girls some are already in the HPU squad and some in the national squad so we will have no problems selecting them.

"But for the boys, we have a hard task of selection because we almost have 30 boys here, we can only take 10 with us."

She said the final squad to travel to the qualifiers would be announced in the first week of January.

The Fiji TImes



US Mens National Team Coach instructs special youth clinic in Colorado

Club Lewy Field Hockey, one of the fastest developing clubs, continues to make a big impact on Colorado athletes both male and female who are looking to achieve success in the sport. Head coach and club founder Paul Lewis is leading the charge with over 20 years of coaching experience and an 11 year member of the Men’s National Team, he has the experience and skills to develop top-level hockey in a state that has yet to fully embrace the sports unique qualities and ever growing popularity.

Lewis, also a Head Futures Site Coach and Region 10 selector has accepted a recent offer from USA Field Hockey to also head a Colorado Regional Boys Development Center, one of five sites responsible for improving boys' hockey with the goal to feed future High Performance Teams.

Coach Lewis states, “It all starts deep in the trenches, the younger players of today will be the Olympians of tomorrow. Big numbers help, and we just need to give our young student athletes an opportunity to play the sport. If that happens, I’ve got them hooked. There is a reason why it is one of the most popular team sports worldwide today.” 

Recently Chris Clements the Men’s National Team Head Coach met up with Paul and Club Lewy in Colorado putting on a memorable skills clinic for all club members and coaches.

“Having Clements out was quite a moment for our young players. The boys and girls were so inspired; they can’t wait to get to practice as they are very focused now on improving their fundamentals," Lewis said. “Chris really made an impact with our Regional Development Site, the boys now know that they are being directly looked at and they don’t want to let Chris down. I think the seed is planted and now we just need to focus on selling the parents for continued growth. On behalf of Club Lewy and our Boys Regional Development Center, We give special thanks to Chris Clements as you are always welcome here in Colorado."

“Continuing to grow the game in the regions is critical to local and national improvements in the quality of play,” said Clements. “Providing opportunities like this only inspires our future Olympians to train hard and set goals of representing their country. Having Paul with such a strong passion for the game and his expertise is a perfect fit for the local players. We look forward to improving the ability and opportunities for the talented young players in his area.”

USFHA media release