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News for 20 January 2020

All the news for Monday 20 January 2020

2020 FIH Pro League (Men) - 19 January
Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

18 Jan 2020    IND v NED (RR)   5 - 2
19 Jan 2020    IND v NED (RR)   3-3 (3 -1 S/O)

Live streaming and full game replay on https://fih.live (May be Geo blocked if there is TV coverage)

FIH Match Centre

India fight-back earns five points from a maximum six against the Netherlands

India made it five points from a possible six points on the opening weekend of the men’s FIH Hockey Pro League, with the hosts fighting back from 3-1 down against the Netherlands to tie the match before winning the shoot-out in a wonderful encounter at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Hockey Stadium.

The home favourites – 5-2 winners against the Dutch on Saturday – had the better of the early chances, but it was the Netherlands who took a 3-1 lead into half time thanks to quick-fire strikes from Mink van der Weerden, Jeroen Hertzberger and Bjorn Kellerman just before the break. A yellow card ten-minute suspension for captain Manpreet Singh saw India play most of the third quarter with ten players, but somehow managed to avoid conceding before Mandeep Singh and Rupinder Singh netted in the fourth quarter to send the match to a shoot-out for the bonus point. Vivek Prasad, Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep Singh successfully converted their opportunities in the one-on-ones, giving India a 3-1 shoot-out victory to thrill the home fans at the Kalinga Stadium.

Rupinder Singh, Player of the Match, said: "I think it was really good for us because we have been playing against the Netherlands for a long time and we [have been] training every day really hard”, said India goal-scorer and Player of the Match Rupinder Singh after the game. “I think it is good because it is an Olympic year and we are working hard. It's good for our confidence, also.”

Netherlands captain Billy Bakker said: "Like I said yesterday, we played one quarter pretty well, but that was not enough. I think today was a way better performance than yesterday, but unfortunately we didn't control the last quarter."

Complete information on the match can be found on the live reporting page by clicking here.

The FIH Hockey Pro League continues on 24, 25 and 26 January with fixtures taking place in Spain, USA and Australia. More information on those matches can be found below, with the complete match schedule available by clicking here.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on the FIH Hockey Pro League via the event website and through FIH social media channels - FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

FIH Hockey Pro League result – 19 January 2020

Kalinga Hockey Stadium, Bhubaneswar (IND)

Result: Men’s Match 2 - Sunday 19 January 2020
India 3 Netherlands 3 – 3-1 After Shoot-Out (Match 2 of 2)
Player of the Match: Rupinder Singh (IND)
Umpires: Rawi Anbananthan (MAS), Sean Rapaport (RSA) and Gareth Greenfield (NZL – video)

Upcoming fixtures

Match Day 5 – Friday 24 January 2020
Valencia (ESP) – Men: Spain v Germany (Match 1 of 2)
Time: 1100 (GMT/UTC +1)
Chapel Hill (USA) – Women: USA v Netherlands (Match 1 of 2)
Time: 1400 (GMT/UTC -5)

Match Day 6 – Saturday 25 January 2020
Sydney (AUS) – Women: Australia v Belgium (Match 1 of 2)
Time: 1600 (GMT/UTC +11)
Sydney (AUS) – Men: Australia v Belgium (Match 1 of 2)
Time: 1830 (GMT/UTC +11)
Valencia (ESP) – Men: Spain v Germany (Match 2 of 2)
Time: 1300 (GMT/UTC +1)

Match Day 7 – Sunday 27 January 2020
Sydney (AUS) – Women: Australia v Belgium (Match 2 of 2)
Time: 1500 (GMT/UTC +11)
Sydney (AUS) – Men: Australia v Belgium (Match 2 of 2)
Time: 1730 (GMT/UTC +11)
Chapel Hill (USA) – Women: USA v Netherlands (Match 2 of 2)
Time: 1400 (GMT/UTC -5)


Official FIH Pro League Site

India's rearguard marks a pleasant departure from norm as clock ticks for Tokyo Olympics

Sundeep Misra

The Dutch led 3-1 in the second quarter but India came back strongly to take the game to shoot-out, and win it. Image: Twitter/ @sports_odisha

The Dutch led 3-1 in the second quarter. Silence engulfed The Kalinga when Manpreet Singh was shown the yellow card in the third quarter; it meant India were down to ten men and fighting to not concede another goal. The defence dug in as Holland rotated, ran circles but couldn’t penetrate a defence marshalled by Rupinder Pal Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Surender Kumar and Chinglensana. In fact, the entire team had fallen back. The idea was to see off the period. And when Sreejesh saved Mink van der Weerden’s PC flick, Netherland’s third PC, India had taken the match to the fourth quarter. There was life still remaining in Graham Reid’s men.

Former Indian coach Terry Walsh has often spoken about four different matches being played in the four quarters: plots and sub-plots. And that is exactly what happened, when all the Dutch wanted was to keep the ball away from the Indians. The pace had been killed. India were desperately looking for the ball. The Dutch, in the third quarter, had 55 percent possession with almost 73 percent pass accuracy, enough to keep the Indians at bay.

But, once Manpreet Singh was back after his yellow card suspension, the hosts sprang back. A few forays down the left flank as Surender Kumar pushed hard meant India earned their third PC. Harmanpreet Singh’s flick was taken on the pads by the Dutch goalkeeper. The rebound fell to a lurking Mandeep Singh, who pounced and shot it in. India had cut the scores to 2-3. The fans roared. The Dutch fell back. India exploited the space.

With five minutes to go, India had their fourth PC. Rupinder Pal Singh, bending low, head synchronised beautifully with the flow of the shoulder and midriff, flicked in powerfully. The crowd’s roar welcomed India’s equaliser. At 3-3, India were looking to figure out a way to snatch a winner. Krishan Pathak, who had a terrible second quarter, saved Holland’s fourth PC, snuffing out a grounder. India, from a position of defeat, had taken the match to a shoot-out.

In the shoot-out, India scored through Vivek Prasad, Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep while the Dutch could only slot in one, off Mirco Pruijser. Jeroen Hertzberger, Glenn Schuurman and Thierry Brinkman, all missed with Indian goalkeeper P Sreejesh bringing off some fine saves. India won the shootout 3-1. India now have five points from a possible six with two wins against the Dutch in the double header.

It has been a brilliant debut from the Indians in the Pro League. But none of this would have been necessary if India had scored off the chances they had in the first quarter. In fact, if those goals had gone in, it could have been a rout. It’s an area India would need to have a look at — one-on-one situations with the opposition goalkeeper. Lalit Upadhyay twice had the moment while Akashdeep once. But, a lack of clarity of either looking for a tap or being in the wrong position helped the Dutch escape.

In the first quarter, India had seven shots on goal to Holland’s two: A classic example of domination but not getting the right results. At the Pro League level or at the Olympics, such quarters could be the difference between losing and winning.

In the second quarter, Bjorn Kellerman created some fantastic play in the 22nd minute leading to Holland’s first PC. Mink Weerden flicked it high into the net as Pathak flayed at it. The goal had come against the run of play. That was followed by some really sloppy defending. To say that the Indians went to sleep in the 25th to 27th minute wouldn’t be an understatement.

India had the equaliser in the 25th minute off a Lalit goal. But two snap goals followed as Holland scored off Jeroen Hertzberger and then a lovely move from Hertzberger had Kellerman deflecting in superbly as Pathak couldn’t judge the move. In one single quarter, four goals had been scored. There was a perceptible loss of focus and intensity in the dying minutes of the 2nd quarter, that allowed the Dutch to not only take the lead but also put India under pressure.

After the match, Graham Reid, the Indian coach said, “The good thing was that we attacked. Yes, there were mistakes in the second quarter and even when we were down, we went for it. And got the goals.”

Speaking about the struggle in the second and third quarters, Reid said, “What was good today was that we struggled to get better and win. We have to struggle and that’s how you learn. It was good to come back in the 2nd half.”

Rupinder Pal Singh, who has had two good games both in the defence and as a flicker, also said that the team did try and control the situation after being 1-3 down. “Yes, the defence did some mistakes,” Rupinder conceded. On both the wins, Rupinder said, “I think it is good because it is an Olympic year and we are working hard. It's good for our confidence, also.”

Speaking on the comeback in the fourth quarter, Rupinder said, “We knew we would get the chances. Probably, a few years back, goals down we would have buckled. But that has changed, and we have learnt to overcome the mistakes.”

Dutch coach Max Caldas, though happy with his team’s performance, as these are early days felt the team didn’t do enough when India had been shown the yellow card. “We should have taken the game there.”

Netherlands captain Billy Bakker said: "Like I said yesterday, we played one quarter pretty well, but that was not enough. I think today was a way better performance than yesterday, but unfortunately, we didn't control the last quarter.”

These are early days, but winning a double header against the Dutch would help India in figuring out what all is required to keep the momentum going. Yes, this is an Olympic year with more than six months to go for Tokyo. However, such wins, especially after being 1-3 down, help build an appetite for bigger victories. Winning is always the best adrenaline fix. As the days roll by, pressure will increase. For a team hunting victory, pressure, however, will always be a privilege.


India on top in the ProLeague double header

s2h Team

Image: Shamim Qureshy

Resilient India saw off fighting visitors with a hard-earned 3-3 draw in the second encounter of the ProLeague season 2 that also saw the hosts winning the shootout at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. Thus adding two points -- one from draw another from shoot-out win -- Indian men had collected five points out of two matches. Credits to the Dutch team that posed stiffer challenge and took 3-1 lead at half time, but had to settle for a honourable draw as the Indians came out with their guns blazing in the last quarter of play. The match outcome almost depended on Indian's ability to prevent the Dutch from scoring further in the crucial 3rd quarter. It kept them to do what they did ultimately to emerge honour intact.

The repeat match started on a brisk note. India generated two good moves, both times yesterday's hit man Lalit Upadhya came close to scoring from close range from the goalie but huffed and buffed his tries. India was on full control in the whole of first half, evening earning only penalty corner of the session, but could not move the scoreboard. Netherlands started asserting the second half, breaking the backbone of Indian midfield. There were attacks, penetration into the circle are a galore, leaving goalie Krishan Pathak to do many damage control feats.

But it was beyond him when van der Weerden drag-ficked the ball to the right top of the net to break the jinx (1-0). The 24th minute goal was nullified by Lalit. The 26-year old was in right place to deflect a long push by Birender Lakra (1-1). Thereafter, Indians were somewhat confused in their defence, fast moving Dutch forwards proving beyond their grasp. Joren and others could send good shots and pushes into the circle. After Joren Hertzberger connected a minus inside the circle (2-1), Bjron Kellerman struck to enlarge the lead (3-1) thereby silencing the crowd and returned for break with two goal margin.

After break, Indian showed same energy and enterprise that characterised their game the other day.

However, all it could do insofar as scoreboard is concerned, is to keep the marauding rival forwards under check. Arresting further damage came in handy for the Houdini act to unfurl in the next session of play.

Mandeep Singh tucked in a rebound from goalkeeper in a penalty corner sequence to put India back in the fight (3-2).

The 51st stunner was followed four minutes later immaculately by the ultimate Man of the match, the lanky Rupinder Pal Singh. This time the team did not rely on rebound, as his direct flick cound home (3-3).

The remaining five minutes saw fight to finish kind of aggression from both sides though goals eluded both of them.

In the ensued shoot out, its goalie PR Sreejesh, who alternated with Krishan Pathak, in the match came out colourful. He could easily block two strikes, thus paving way for the honourbale draw.

For India Vivek Prasad gave life in the ordeal after Harmanpreet Singh failed. And then when Rupinder Pal Singh too failed to strike, came sensational Gurjant Singh to infuse life into the Indian camp. When Akashdeep Singh, who was otherwise subdued in the two days, surprised with his clinical show. On the other side, after Joren, Glenn and Thierry failed, Micro struck, but by then the Indians have made their point.

India thus collected two points from the encounter, over all five out of two matches, to move into the next encounter, which will come next month against Belgium.


India beats Netherlands 3-1 in shootout

P.R. Sreejesh made three saves while Vivek Prasad, Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep Singh scored for India in the shootout against Netherlands on Sunday.

Uthra Ganesan

Rupinder Pal Singh scored the equaliser for India which forced the second leg against Netherlands into shootout.   -  HOCKEY INDIA TWITTER

When did India last beat Netherlands in consecutive games in a top-level hockey competition?

Never. More precisely, never before Sunday.

Even its most ardent supporters knew it would be tough for India to replicate Saturday’s total dominance against Netherlands in less than 24 hours. The host ran into a more resolute opposition but proved its victory a day before was no fluke, winning 3-1 in shootouts after coming back to level 3-3 in the second game of the Hockey Pro League here on Sunday.
illing to be surprised a second time, the Dutch knew the best way was to take charge early on. There were a few forays into the Indian circle, including Mirco Pruijser’s backhand shot padded back by PR Sreejesh. But the Indians slowly took control, pressing the Dutch defence hard with several half chances and a penalty corner in the 9th minute but failing to convert them.

Lalit Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh and S.V. Sunil each had shots at goal, only to shoot wide or taking a fraction longer and losing the moment.

But there was no wide swing of the performance pendulum from a day before. The visitors upped their game, took more chances but India was prepared. India’s half chances early on went a begging, the few precious penalty corners wasted and it looked India was the one under pressure despite the win a day before.

Attacking hockey

It was the kind of attacking end-to-end hockey both teams promised before the tie but it did not affect the scoreline. Then, in the 25th minute, Pruijser earned the team’s first penalty corner and Mink van der Weerden placed the ball in the top of the net for the lead. Thirty seconds later, Upadhyay finally played the perfect poacher to deflect Birendra Lakra’s free hit into the net. A counter, an advantage from the umpire despite India’s protests, and then a break even before India could regroup put Netherlands ahead.

Three goals in as many minutes put Netherlands in control of the game with a 3-1 scoreline at halftime with the side dictating the pace of the game post break. Caldas' side cut down on speed and spread out its defence, not ceding Indians space run through the middle. It was a tentative 3rd quarter and, in the past, it would have meant dropped shoulders from an Indian team on the backfoot in the last 15 minutes.

Not this time as the Indians went all out to score and finally cut the margin when Mandeep slot in a penalty corner rebound. India then got another penalty corner, five minutes from time, rocketed in by Rupinder Pal Singh. And then Sreejesh stepped up, saving three of the Dutch attempts in the shootout. The last time India came back from being two goals down against Netherlands was way back in 2015, during the Hockey World League semifinals.

Back then, it led to India winning its first world-level medal, a bronze, in 33 years in shootouts. On Sunday, it gave the team the perfect start to its Olympic dream.
The result: India 3 (Rupinder Pal Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Mandeep Singh) bt Netherlands 3 (Mink van der Weerden, Jeroen Hertzberger, Bjorn Kellerman) in shootouts.


India achieve Dutch double after shoot-out win at Men's FIH Pro League

By Dan Palmer

India beat The Netherlands again, this time on penalties ©FIH

India won a penalty shoot-out against The Netherlands to defeat them for the second consecutive day in the Men's International Hockey Federation Pro League.

The host nation came from two goals down to earn a 3-3 draw at Bhubaneswar's Kalinga Hockey Stadium, and then won 3-1 on penalties.

It means India have taken five points from six from the two matches, the first to be held in the Men's Pro League this season.

They won 5-2 against the visitors yesterday in the first part of the weekend's double header.

Mink van der Weerden gave The Netherlands, who finished third overall last term, a 23rd minute lead but Lalit Upadhyay replied just two minutes later.

The game was only level for a minute before Jeroen Hertzberger put the Dutch back in front and the Europeans had a 3-1 half-time lead when Bjorn Kellerman added a third just moments later.

India, playing in the Pro League for the first time, had to contest most of the third quarter with a player less after captain Manpreet Singh received a 10-minute suspension.

They kept the Dutch at bay before Mandeep Singh and Rupinder Singh both netted in the fourth to level the match.

Vivek Prasad, Gurjant Singh and Akashdeep Singh all scored their penalties in the shoot-out to earn the bonus point, with the Dutch failing with their opening three efforts.

"I think it was really good for us because we have been playing against The Netherlands for a long time and we [have been] training every day really hard," said India's player of the match Rupinder Singh.

"I think it is good because it is an Olympic year and we are working hard.

"It's good for our confidence, also."

Netherlands captain Billy Bakker added: "Like I said yesterday, we played one quarter pretty well, but that was not enough.

"I think today was a way better performance than yesterday, but unfortunately we didn't control the last quarter."

The Men's Hockey Pro League will resume on Friday (January 24), with Spain hosting Germany in the first of a double header in Valencia.

Inside the Games

Manpreet Singh-led India produce late comeback show to beat Netherlands in thrilling shoot-out

Bhubaneswar: The Indian men's hockey team made a late comeback to level the scores before emerging 3-1 victorious in the shoot-out in their second FIH Pro League match against the Netherlands here on Sunday.

India secured two points from the match (including the bonus point for winning the shoot-out), while the Netherlands got one point as the scoreline was 3-3 at the regulation time.

India had outplayed the same side 5-2 in their debut FIH Pro League match here on Saturday. India thus took five points out of a possible six from its first two FIH Hockey Pro League matches.

In the second match on Sunday, the Manpreet Singh-led team was trailing 1-3 midway the fourth and final quarter before Mandeep Singh (51st) and Rupinder Singh (55th) scored to level the scoreline. Lalit Upadhyay had earlier scored India's first goal in the 25th minute.

Weerden van der Mink (24th), Jereon Hrtzberger (26th) and KELLERMAN Bjorn Kellerman (27th) scored for the Dutch team.

The second quarter blitzkrieg from the Dutchmen seemed to have decided the match in their favour but India scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to level the score 3-3.


Lot of things to do before Tokyo, says coach Reid

In the past, an India win against the mighty Dutch, twice in a row, would have meant yet another false alarm of revival for the game.

Uthra Ganesan

For Graham Reid, this win was only a stepping stone to knowing more about what the team needed to do in the run-up to Tokyo.   -  BISWARANJAN ROUT

For most teams, the opening games in a calendar year leading up to the Olympics would be about warming up to the big event and trying to figure out the right combination.

It has been the same for World No. 3 The Netherlands in its Hockey Pro League games here and coach Max Caldas was more than happy with his team’s performance on Sunday despite it going down to India in the shootout.

“We spoke about playing the way we want to play, not about winning or losing. Hockeywise and physically, today it was a good sign that in less than a day, we can step up and come to play the way we want to. Today we played our natural hockey. Some of the things did not go our way but we did not sit back to defend our lead,” Caldas said.

“The scoreline doesn’t matter, playing good hockey is crucial. Eventually, it is going to come to a point where every win will matter but this is just the start of the year, it’s about developing a system of play and, seeing from yesterday, it’s a really good step-up,” he added.

Tokyo tune-up

In the past, an India win against the mighty Dutch, twice in a row, would have meant yet another false alarm of revival for the game and dreams of a glorious future. For India coach Graham Reid, though, this win was only a stepping stone to knowing more about what the team needed to do in the run-up to Tokyo.

“I don’t think the pressure is off but every coach wants to see things go their way at the beginning of a season. It's nice when you are around the place you need to be. There are a lot of things to do between now and Tokyo, we let ourselves down in the 2nd quarter again and there were a lot of opportunities in the 1st. There is always room to improve, I think we can do better in one-on-one tackling. When the chips are down, the ability to do the simple things right is important,” Reid said.

Rupinder Pal Singh, enjoying a second wind with the national side and making the most of it, admitted the seniors had to take more responsibility. “I think there is now more maturity that comes with experience. Now everyone motivates others even when you make mistakes. Earlier, a mistake would mean you keep going down in performance and we would not be confident of fighting back when trailing. But now we believe we will keep getting our chances, we just have to keep pressing ahead,” he said.

That is the one thing Reid seems to have drilled into the team, the importance of moving forward. “We need to get more confident at moving forward even when there is pressure and things are not going well.

“Earlier, if there was no space or we wanted to play safe, we would pass the ball backwards. Now, the first option is to look to go forward, pass ahead. That puts more pressure on the opposition defence. When we say a team is aggressive, that’s what it does. We are trying to do that now,” Rupinder said.


EuroHockey Indoor Championship 2020 (M) = Finals
Berlin, Germany

19 Jan 2020     POL v BEL (Pool C)             4 - 7
19 Jan 2020     CZE v UKR (Pool C)         3 - 2
19 Jan 2020     NED v RUS (3rd/4th Place)     11 - 3
19 Jan 2020     AUT v GER (Final)             3 - 6

Final Pool C standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Czech Republic 3 2 1 0 10 8 2 7
2 Belgium 3 2 0 1 20 15 5 6
3 Poland 3 1 1 1 12 14 -2 4
4 Ukraine 3 0 0 3 13 18 -5 0

FIH Match Centre

Hosts Germany beat world champions to earn Men’s EuroHockey Indoor Nations title

By Mike Rowbottom

Germany won the men's EuroHockey Indoor Nations title today in Berlin ©EuroHockey

Hosts Germany won the Men's EuroHockey Indoor Nations title for a 17th time today as they defeated world champions Austria in Berlin.

The home side delighted a capacity crowd at the Horst-Korber Sportzentrum as they came from behind to win 6-3.

Paul Doesch, captain of the young German side, led by example, scoring two goals.

Austria, winners of this event on penalties against Belgium two years ago, took an early lead thanks to a deadly corner from Michael Korper.

But the home side, who took bronze in 2018, responded to lead 2-1 at half-time and never lost the initiative from that point onwards.

The bronze medal was won by The Netherlands, who had given Germany their toughest match of the tournament in losing 6-7 in their pool B match.

The Dutch side, who were not involved in the 2018 finals, overwhelmed Russia 11-3 to earn a place on the podium, with Boris Burkhardt scoring four of their goals.

Austria had reached the final with a 5-3 win over The Netherlands, with Korper scoring a hat-trick.

Germany had had a far easier passage as they beat Russia 6-1, with Doesch scoring twice.

The Czech Republic finished in fifth place after a concluding 3-2 win over Ukraine, while Belgium, finalists last time round, had to settle for sixth place following a 7-4 win over Poland.

Inside the Games

EuroHockey Indoor Championship II 2020 (M) - Finals
Lucerne, Switzerland

19 Jan 2020     SVK v DEN (Pool C)     6 - 1
19 Jan 2020     TUR v ITA (Pool C)         4 - 4
19 Jan 2020     BLR v CRO (Pool D)     3 - 2
19 Jan 2020     SUI v POR (Pool D)         2 - 1

Final Pool Standings

Pool C

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Turkey 3 2 1 0 16 8 8 7
2 Italy 3 1 2 0 14 11 3 5
3 Slovakia 3 1 1 1 12 11 1 4
4 Denmark 3 0 0 3 6 18 -12 0

Pool D

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Switzerland 3 2 1 0 7 5 2 7
2 Belarus 3 2 0 1 10 9 1 6
3 Portugal 3 1 0 2 11 11 0 3
4 Croatia 3 0 1 2 8 11 -3 1

FIH Match Centre

EuroHockey Indoor Championship III 2020 (M) - Finals
Santander, Spain

19 Jan 2020      SLO v WAL (Pool A)         1 - 1
19 Jan 2020     SCO v ESP (Pool A)         3 - 4
19 Jan 2020     IRL v WAL (3rd/4th Place)     2 - 1
19 Jan 2020     ESP v SCO (Final)             5 - 2

Final Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Spain 4 4 0 0 25 3 22 12
2 Scotland 4 2 1 1 27 11 16 7
3 Ireland 4 1 1 2 9 16 -7 4
4 Wales 4 0 3 1 7 16 -9 3
5 Slovenia 4 0 1 3 1 23 -22 1

FIH Match Centre

Scotland men pipped at the post by Spain in Santander

Scotland missed out on promotion as Spain won Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship III with a 5-2 victory over the Scots in Santander. The match followed an earlier contest between the two to complete the pool section, which saw Spain edge a narrow 4-3 win.

It was a great effort by the Scots who had Dan Coultas finish the tournament as top goal scorer on ten goals, followed by team mate Cammy Golden on seven strikes.
Pool match: Scotland 3-4 Spain

For much of the match both teams were kept their cards close to their chest in this one ahead of meeting again in the final. In the end it was Spain who edged the win in a tight affair in Santander.

The Scots kept possession well and looked composed from the start. An early penalty corner for Spain was well defended on the line by Scotland.

From then on it was all Scotland in the opening quarter and soon had their turn to have a pop at goal from a penalty corner, and it was then the Scots took the lead. Adam MacKenzie was clinical in breaking the deadlock with a low penalty corner for 1-0.

Scotland continued to dominate in the second quarter, however it was Spain who would equalise from a powerful low penalty corner into the bottom corner by Enrique Zorita. 1-1.

Spain took the lead through an innocuous goal. Somehow the ball managed to trundle over the line at the near post to make it 2-1 to Spain. Marc Vizcaino the scorer.

Early in the second half MacKenzie was denied an equaliser from a penalty corner for Scotland by an excellent save to put the ball over the bar.

At the end of the third Spain furthered their advantage when Ignacio Abajo sailed a penalty corner high into the new for 3-1.

Dan Coultas sent a powerful drag flick into the roof of the net just before the end of the quarter to make it Scotland 2-3 Spain.

Spain’s lead was restored moments after the restart with their own drag flick high into the Scottish net by Manuel Proll for 4-2.

As the contest reached a conclusion a slick Scottish counter attack gave them a third goal and again it was Coultas with the finish. 4-3.

It was a very close match but there will be no holding either team back when they meet in the final later.

FINAL: Spain 5-2 Scotland

A great effort by Scotland fell short in Santander as Spain won the Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship III final 5-2 to take the promotion spot.

The game started and instantly the tempo and intensity was increased from the first meeting. The first chance of the contest went to Spain and Tommy Alexander pulled off a terrific reaction save from close range to deny the goal.

The pace was ferocious as the contest zipped from end-to-end and the first quarter passed in a flash.

It was a quarter however that would see Scotland take the lead. Adam MacKenzie fizzed a low penalty corner into the corner to make it 1-0.

Very quickly Spain had the ball in Scotland’s net when Marc Vizcaino found the right corner with a drag flick. 1-1.

Early in the second quarter Jamie Golden was blocked on the Spanish goal line after Scotland sliced the Spanish defence open down the right.

The Scots were playing some quality hockey as things progressed with Jamie Golden showing impressive skills and link-up play. Despite a late onslaught Spain held the Scots off and the teams went in on level-pegging at half time.

There was a sucker punch for Scotland in the second half. A double save denied Scotland from taking the lead in the third, and allowed Spain to race forward on the counter and score. Joachim Malgosa slipped the ball into the bottom right corner for 2-1.

But Scotland battled right back and Craig Falconer then equalised when he smashed a low powerful shot through the goalkeeper to make it 2-2 at the end of the third.

The final quarter went the way of the hosts. First, a penalty corner saw Spain go back in front when Enrique Zorita found the corner for 3-2.

Zorita then finished another penalty corner, high into the roof of the net, to make it 4-2 to Spain with five minutes to play.

Jordi Bonastre sealed it for the Spaniards when he popped up at the far post to make it 5-2 with two minutes to go.

It was a great effort by the Scots but it wasn’t to be as Spain win promotion to Men’s Indoor EuroHockey Championship II.

Scotland Men’s Indoor Head Coach Stuart Neave said, “We played really well and gave Spain a good game, but their penalty corners were really slick. They’re an excellent side, but I’m not disappointed in the slightest of how we played.

“We performed well throughout the tournament, and got to where we want to be, and any other year we’d probably have been promoted. We’ve set a good standard and can build on it going forward.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Jackson hopeful indoor bronze will lead to bigger things

Ireland’s men struck twice in the closing two minutes to snatch a bronze medal from the EuroHockey Indoor Championships III in Santander, crowning a satisfying first weekend back in the game.

In their first international tournament since 1987, the side grew into the tournament with their final salvo a just reward as they beat Wales 2-1 in the third place playoff.
The Irish men’s indoor side with their medals

They did trail to Jonathan Fleck’s seventh minute opener for a long time as Ireland endured a frustrating second and third quarter with both Mark English and Jackson denied with spectacular saves off the goal line.

When Neal Glassey served time for a yellow card, it look like the game was up for Ireland but he returned from his suspension to in a vital fourth penalty corner.

English laid it into the path of Jackson to guide home for 1-1. Thirty seconds later, Michael Robson found a foot from which Canning took the direct route to the roof of the net.

Wales only had one shot prior to the final minute but duly won a series of three penalty corners in the final minute; goalkeeper Stephen West brilliantly charged down each one to secure the medal.

It marked a positive return to the code after the long break and something to build on. Other than Friday evening’s 11-3 blow-out against Scotland when Ireland showed a naïve touch, chasing the game too early, they embarked on a steep learning curve, culminating in the back-to-back wins.

Skipper John Jackson summed up the mood, saying: “Amazing to come away with a medal at our first attempt. It’s probably something that doesn’t happen very often, medaling at an event with Ireland.

Ross Canning’s match-winning goal

“Across the course of the weekend, our performances got better and better. We found a style that started to suit us, particularly for the court we were playing on.

“The only disappointing thing was the second half against Scotland – otherwise, we played a really good tournament. Today, even with time slipping away, we were dominating the match in terms of threat and getting the ball into the dangerous parts of the pitch.

“We always have faith despite being down that we would get something at some point. Credit to Kenny [Carroll]; he made some really good calls on the corners. Indoor is one of those things, even with a minute to go, goals can come in a split second. You are rarely out of it at 1-0 or 2-0. We always had belief we could get something.”

He also paid tribute to coach Carroll and manager Rob Abbott who played instrumental roles in getting Ireland back to this stage with hopes for more in the future.

“The whole trip has been excellent and is a real credit to Kenny and Abbo for the efforts they put in over the months and years to get us to this point.

“We are delighted it came together today. Had we not won a medal, it would still be a hugely positive experience and hopefully something that will be replicated and bettered in the coming years. It’s certainly the start of something bigger and better!”

Men’s EuroHockey Indoor Championships III

Bronze medal match: Ireland 2 (J Jackson, R Canning) Wales 1 (J Fleck)

Ireland: S O’Keeffe, J Jackson, R Rixon-Fuller, R Canning, N Glassey, M Robson

Subs: C Robson, M English, B Parsons, H Morris, S West

Injured: J Lynch

The Hook

Ireland strike late on to claim bronze

Goals from Jackson and Canning within 30 seconds seal a dramatic 2-1 win over Wales

Stephen Findlater

John Jackson and Ross Canning scored in the final two minutes to end the Irish men’s EuroHockey Championships III campaign in spectacular fashion as they defeated Wales 2-1 to clinch bronze .

After a 33-year hiatus from the code, Kenny Carroll’s side ran up their first win on Saturday evening 4-0 against Slovenia to build confidence and earn that third-place playoff.

And they followed it up with a composed performance, despite trying conditions toward the end, finally making their dominance tell on the scoreboard.

They did trail to Jonathan Fleck’s seventh-minute opener and it remained 1-0 until the death as Ireland endured a frustrating second and third quarter with both Mark English and Jackson denied on the goal line. When Neal Glassey served time for a yellow card, it look like the game was up for Ireland but he returned from his suspension to in a vital fourth penalty corner.

English laid it into the path of Jackson to guide home for 1-1. Thirty seconds later, Michael Robson found a foot from which Canning took the direct route to the roof of the net.

Wales only had one shot prior to the final minute but duly won a series of three penalty corners but Stephen West brilliantly charged down each one to secure the medal.

It marked a positive return to the code after the long break and something to build on. Other than Friday evening’s 11-3 blow-out against Scotland when Ireland showed a naïve touch, chasing the game too early, they embarked on a steep learning curve, culminating in the back-to-back wins.

It is pity, though, the side will now have two years to wait until their next formal tournament but the ambition will be to add more fixtures into the annual calendar each winter.

The Irish Times

2020 Test matches RSA v IRL (W) 1st Test
Stellenbosch (RSA)

19 Jan 2020     RSA v IRL     0 - 1

FIH Match Centre

Tice drags Ireland to first win of Olympic year

Lena Tice’s 33rd minute penalty corner drag-flick saw Ireland get their six-game series in South Africa up and running with a win, starting OIympic year on the front foot.

Sean Dancer made a number of saves from the side that won the ticket to Tokyo with Emily Beatty, Hannah McLoughlin, Sarah Torrans and Ellen Curran coming into the line-up.

They started well with a lovely move from Chloe Watkins’ interception leading to a nice interchange with Nikki Evans and Sarah Hawkshaw almost unlocking the door.

The Green Army had the best of that quarter but South Africa were on the up in the second, albeit with chances scarce at either end. The hosts did have the ball in the net from the only corner of the first half but Lisa-Marie Deetlefs sweep was too high for an initial strike.

Ireland went in front early in the second half when Deirdre Duke – introduced at half-time – won a corner with one of her first acts and Tice did the rest.

SA earned an instant corner in reply but could not stop it and Ireland spent the rest of the game working reasonably well with a three-quarter press earning a couple of well-placed turnovers.

Chloe Watkins had a drag tipped away by Marlise van Tonder and Hawkshaw’s shot on the spin was inches wide.

Roisin Upton departed the scene after a lengthy injury break after a ball was whipped into her thigh with 12 minutes to go. Two further Irish corners went incomplete while Anna O’Flanagan’s flick was smothered by van Tonder but Ireland held on for an initial win.

Ireland play the Dutch Under-21s in a friendly on Tuesday before facing a tie against Germany next Saturday.

Women’s senior international

Ireland 1 (L Tice) South Africa 0

Ireland: L Murphy, R Upton, S Barr, K Mullan, S McCay, L Tice, E Beatty, C Watkins, S Hawkshaw, A O’Flanagan, E Curran

Subs: H McLoughlin, H Matthews, L Colvin, S Torrans, N Evans, D Duke

South Africa: M Modipane, C Evans, K Paton, K-L Botes, D Chamberlain, L-M Deetlefs, N Veto, E Hunter, L de Plessis, O Mali, Q Bobbs

Subs: O Zulu, S van Jaarsveldt, R Johnson, H Pearce, S Baxter, T Mallett, M van Tonder

The Hook

Australian Men’s Indoor World Cup Squad announced

After an action packed four-days of indoor hockey, the Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey World Cup Squad has been selected.

Teams from across the country competed in the Australian Open Men’s National Indoor Hockey Championship, held in Unanderra NSW from 4-7 January 2020.

The standard was exceptionally high with the level of competition highlighting why Australia is cementing itself as a strong competitor on the international indoor hockey scene.

From the championships, a squad of 25 has been selected comprising players from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.

“The time put into developing the Australian style of play and individual players over recent years has shown fantastic results,” said Steve Willer, Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey Head Coach.

“In particular the training camps and tours to Austria and Russia last year have elevated players’ skills, understanding and performances to a whole new level.”

“It is a strong squad of players with the right mixture of experience and talent. There are three players in the squad who will be looking to secure their place in the team and play at their third Indoor Hockey World Cup, and ten players from the team that performed extremely well at the last Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin.”

Heath Ogilvie, Thomas Sinclair and Ben Rennie all represented Australia at the 2015 and 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cups and offer a significant level of experience to the squad.

Current Australian Men’s Development Squad players Jack Hayes and Jake Sherren both played pivotal roles for the team in Berlin in 2018.

In addition, Aidan Campbell, James Knee, Luke Noblett, Troy Rossiter and Troy Sutherland played in the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup.

“We have had a number of players take the opportunities to tour to Austria and Russia late last year and they have come back stronger, faster and more tactically aware,” said Willer.

“This has significantly increased the strength and depth of players within the Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey program and created a very competitive selection environment.”

Brady Anderson, Josh Gregory, Brendan Hill, Brandan Horner, Daniel Jolliffe, Josh Mayo, Heath McDonald, Zach Meaden, Thomas Miotto and Matthew Tate all travelled to Europe last year and competed in tournaments in Austria and Russia.

Players will attend an intensive three-day selection camp in August 2020, where the final team of 12 will be selected to represent Australia at the Indoor Hockey World Cup.

At present, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has not announced the details of the next Indoor Hockey World Cup, but it is anticipated it could take place as early as February 2021.

The Australian Men’s Team had its best-ever performance at the 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cup, finishing second in their pool and eventually finishing fourth overall, going down in the bronze medal match to Iran.

Australia has competed in every Indoor Hockey World Cup, which has been held five times since 2003.

The Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey Team will be aiming to improve on its 2018 performance and earn a spot on the podium.

Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey World Cup Squad

HILL, Brendan (ACT)
HORNER, Brandan (NSW)
KNEE, James (VIC)
MAYO, Joshua (NSW)
MIOTTO, Thomas (NSW)
STEWART, Nathanael (NSW)
TATE, Matthew (WA)
WILLIE, Jackson (QLD)

*Squad selected from 2020 Australian Men’s National Indoor Hockey Championship, Unanderra NSW, 4-7 January 2020. The squad will attend a 3-Day Selection Camp from Friday 14-16 August 2020. From the selection camp the Australian Men’s Indoor Hockey World Cup Team (12 players) will be selected.

Hockey Australia media release

National Women’s Squad named for next Indoor World Cup

Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey Head Coach, Mark Sandhu has announced an extended 25-player squad for the ensuing Indoor Hockey World Cup.

The players selected herald from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia following the recent conclusion of the Open Division of the Australian Indoor Hockey Festival.

“This squad builds on the successes of the 2019 squad which attended a rigorous training camp as well as touring Austria and Russia,” said Sandhu.

“The Open Women’s Team won the 2019 Vienna Indoor Classic and the U21 team placed 5th in the Moscow Nights tournament against senior sides from both Russia and Belarus.

“The majority of those players have taken the experience and learnings from the training camp and tours and applied them when competing in the Australian Championships.

“The end result is a stronger, more flexible and tactically aware group of players. We have also added players with attacking speed and counter attacking skills to the squad.”

The average age of the squad is just under 24 years and includes players with experience in 13 World Cups. Tegan Boucher and Emma McLeish have represented Australia at the 2011, 2015 and 2018 Indoor Hockey World Cups, while Lauren Austin (2007, 2018), Kyah Gray (2015, 2018), Tamsin Bunt (2018), Karri Somerville (2018) and Elizabeth Duguid (2018) have also competed in previous World Cups.

“The announcement of the 2020 squad is the next step in continuing the necessary change both on and off the pitch,” said Sandhu.

“To improve our performance at the World Cup and our world ranking we must take risks, continue to make hard decisions, learn from our previous results and look to improve our culture as it relates to high performance, our integrity and accountability.

“The next six months are just as crucial for every squad member, as is the three day selection camp in August 2020 to select the World Cup team.”

Players will attend an intensive three-day selection camp in August, where the final team of 12 players will be selected to represent Australia at the Indoor Hockey World Cup. The timing of the tournament is to be confirmed, although it could take place as early as February 2021. Australia has competed in ever Indoor Hockey World Cup, which has been held five times since 2003. The Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey Team will be aiming to improve on its 2018 performance and earn a spot on the podium.

Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup Squad

AUSTIN, Lauren (WA) (2007, 2018 World Cups)
BOUCHER, Tegan (VIC) (2011, 2015, 2018 World Cups)
BUNT, Tamsin (NSW) (2018 World Cup)
BURNS, Caitlin (NSW)
DOWELL, Aymee (QLD) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Team)
DUGUID, Elizabeth (WA) (2018 World Cup)
EVANS, Mikayla (ACT) (Debut in Australian Squad)
FIELD, Litiana (NSW) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Team)
GILBAR, Holly (QLD) (Debut in Australian Squad)
GRAY, Kyah (NSW) (2015, 2018 World Cups)
HUGHES, Kelsey (NSW) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Team)
LEARD, Amelia (NSW)
McLEISH, Emma (NSW) (2011, 2015, 2018 World Cups)
NEWMAN, Zoe (NSW) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Team)
PEARSON, Alissia (TAS)
PRICE, Aleisha (ACT) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Team)
REID, Emma (WA) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Team)
SOMERVILLE, Karri (WA) (2018 World Cup) *Selected under HAHPP exemption
THOMSON, Taylor (ACT) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Team)
VANDERZWAN, Jade (WA) (Debut in Australian Squad)
YEARBURY, Nicole (QLD) (Elevated from 2019 U21 Shadow list)

*Indoor World Cup Squad selected from 2020 Australian Women’s National Indoor Hockey Championship, Unanderra, NSW 4-7 January 2020. The Indoor World Cup Squad will attend a 3-day selection camp from 14-16 August 2020, from which the Australian Women’s Indoor Hockey World Cup Team will be selected.

Hockey Australia media release

Late goals pivotal for UCD and Loreto in Jacqui Potter Cup

UCD and Loreto both nabbed crucial goals to pave their way into the Jacqui Potter Cup semi-finals where they will be joined by Pembroke and Old Alex.

For UCD, they were indebted to Orla Patton’s final second penalty stroke to draw with Leinster Division One’s Corinthian before eventually winning a shoot-out in the third round of sudden death.

The reds had a remarkable first half to the season, reaching the Irish Senior Cup semi-final and winning all of their games in Leinster Division One and EYHL2.

And, after soaking up early pressure, they went in front in the 13th minute when Jessica McGrane calmly rounded the UCD keeper to slot home a fine goal.

The students had a stroke before the end of the first quarter but Patton was denied by Holly Micklem, keeping the narrow lead intact. Corinthian continued to sit deep and counter and had a second goal disallowed just before half-time from a corner.

It remained at 1-0 wiith Emily McKay and Leanne Kelly keeping UCD at bay and they almost had the game sewn up when Sara Quill, Cilia Holdermann and Leigh Pelow combined for a corner which McGrane cracked onto the post.

But, from the final play of the game, UCD won a corner which ended up as a stroke which Patton, this time, converted. It led to one-on-ones with the sides locked at 2-2 in the regulation five; the next two rounds were blank but UCD nabbed the winner in the third round to advance.

At Beaufort, Railway Union’s reign came to an end at the hands of Loreto in a 2-1 result. Grace Donald put the hosts in front when she dribbled from right to left across the top of the circle and hit a lovely reverse-stick shot.

Martha McCready continued her ascent into the first team with the leveller. She had been driving the press and ended up with the ball in the Loreto 23 on the right where she pushed on into the D and unleashed a backhand into the far side netting.

From there, it was tight with both sides having their chances to win the tie but it was settled when Mia Jennings showed some lovely skills to beat a couple of defenders and then reverse-flicked home.

Railway’s second string bowed out at the hands of Pembroke at Park Avenue 3-0, Orla Macken and Laura Noble on the mark in the first half before Ava Beatty completed the scoring.
Grace Donald shoots for Loreto’s first goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Old Alex were the big scorers, meanwhile, with a 6-0 success against Naas. The Milltown side effectively ended the tie with four first quarter goals before the Kildare side tightened up – Hannah McDermott got two while Orna Bools, Jeamie Deacon, Sarah Robinson and Emma Russell netted the others.

In the only Irish Hockey Trophy tie to be played, Pippa Best got the only goal as Armagh beat Avoca 1-0 in a tie switched from Sion Hill to Newpark to avoid the frost.

In men’s action, South Antrim recorded a 6-1 win over Rathgar in the only Trophy game to get the go-ahead.


Leinster Jacqui Potter Cup, quarter-finals: UCD 1 (O Patton) Corinthian 1 (J McGrane), UCD win shoot-out 3-2; Old Alex 6 (H McDermott 2, O Bools, J Deacon, S Robinson, E Russell) Naas 0; Loreto 2 (G Donald, M Jennings) Railway Union 1 (M McCready); Railway Union II 0 Pembroke 3 (O Macken, L Noble, A Beatty)

Irish Hockey Trophy – Quarter Finals: Avoca 0 Armagh 1 (P Best)

Postponed: North Kildare v Kilkenny, Portadown v Raphoe; Lisnagarvey v NUIG

Munster Division 1

Postponed: Cork C of I v Waterford, UCC v Bandon; Limerick v Ashton


Irish Hockey Trophy, quarter-finals: South Antrim 6 (C Henry 2, M Taylor 2, P Maguire, J Brown) Rathgar 1 (M Breton)

Postponed: UCC v Waterford; Belfast Harlequins v NICS; Raphoe v Portrane

Munster Division 1: Bandon 5 (A Smith, D Smith, R Smyth, C Crowley, E Hamilton Foott) Ashton 2 (C Buttimer, N Packham)

The Hook

Tenaga test for under-performing Terengganu

By Jugjet Singh

Terengganu Hockey Team (THT)’s coach K. Dharmaraj says the team is not happy with its form. -NSTP/MOHD YUSNI ARIFFIN

Terengganu Hockey Team (THT) have had close shaves against minnows in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) since their Charity Shield defeat to Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

Although the reigning overall champions have quality players, they are not playing to expectations.

“We were not happy with our form in our wins over NurInsafi and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).

“The players admitted they had played below their capabilities,” said THT coach K. Dharmaraj.

Against NurInsafi, both teams were tied at 2-2 after the first quarter before THT powered away with an 8-2 win.

THT were down 2-1 against UiTM but were lucky enough to secure a 5-3 success.

“The fact that my players know they are playing miserably is, in a way, good as well. They know Tenaga Nasional are not going to give them much space, so they need to be on their toes for 60 minutes.

“Our match against Tenaga (Wednesday) will chart our direction this season,” he added.

Tenaga and UniKL share the early lead with maximum points after four matches, while THT are third on nine.

New Straits Times

Erratic Tenaga need more power against big two


KUALA LUMPUR: Seasoned campaigners Tenaga Nasional have had a perfect start in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL), winning all their first four matches.

And there can be no letting up. They have a 17-year itch to scratch. They want to win the league and double, something they last managed in 2003.

Tenaga have the people to do the job – they have 13 national players. However, they have yet to show the performances they are capable of as they even struggled to beat TNB Thunderbolt 3-1.

Against whipping boys Kedah-Nurinsafi, Tenaga played well only in patches to win 6-1 but against Maybank, they again struggled to beat the Tigers 2-0.

Only against Hockey Academy of Kuala Lumpur did they show glimpses of their class to run away 6-0 winners.

Their erratic form could prove dangerous against the likes of defending overall champions Terengganu and league champions Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

Tenaga face the east coast team on Wednesday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil and UniKL on Jan 31. Between the two, they have a match against Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on Jan 29.

Wednesday’s match will be crucial as Terengganu had lost the Charity Shield match to UniKL 3-2 and will definitely be going all out against Tenaga to stay on track for the league title.

Syed Mohd Syafiq Syed Cholan, who marshals the Tenaga defence, said they have the strength in every department but have yet to play as an unit.

“Our team (Tenaga Nasional) have set a target to bag the double and we need to work really hard to achieve that as we need to show more urgency in our matches.

“We will face our real challenge when we face Terengganu and UniKL, who are powered by foreign players.

“We failed to win titles because we always falter against these two teams, ” said Syed Mohd, who has played for Tenaga since 2014.

The 25-year-old international said he has a heavy responsibility to marshal the defence and also score goals from penalty corners.

“We have to watch out for Terengganu’s defender Jang (Jong-hyun), who is a good drag flicker. He was the top scorer in the league with 22 goals last year.

“And he has converted six goals in three matches this season, ” said Syed Mohd, who has scored three penalty corners in three matches.

“Our performances were inconsistent last year as we did well to beat Terengganu in their own backyard (3-2) but lost (5-3) at home.

“We hope we can play consistently good hockey to put pressure on Terengganu and UniKL for the league title, ” said Syed Mohd, who has 90 caps for Malaysia.

The Star of Malaysia

Haziq more clinical after surgery

KUALA LUMPUR: An eight-month layoff due to a knee surgery has not affected former international Mohd Haziq Samsul’s (pic) performances in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

The 26-year-old forward, who underwent surgery last May, showed he is in good form scoring six goals in four matches for Maybank in the MHL.

Haziq, who last played for Malaysia in the Asia Cup in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 2017, scored a brace against Hockey Academy of Kuala Lumpur in the opening match on Jan 10 as the Tigers won 4-1.

The Perak-born player also scored against Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in the 4-1 win and was in his element with a hattrick to steer the Tigers to their biggest win, a 9-3 whipping of minnows Kedah-Nurinsafi.

He only failed to score against Tenaga Nasional in the match that they lost 0-2.

Haziq, who is top scorer for the Tigers in the MHL, said he was enjoying his hockey after the long break.

“I am playing well and not showing any rustiness in my game after the knee surgery. I am also quite pleased with my goalscoring in the league.

“It felt nice to score a hattrick against Kedah-Nurinsafi on Saturday but I still believe I need to be sharper, ” said Haziq, who joined Maybank last April.

“I have scored against the weaker teams but I must score against stronger teams like Tenaga Nasional, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Terengganu.

“I did not score against Tenaga who have 13 national players but I hope to do so against UniKL and Terengganu, ” said Haziq.

The Tigers have nine points from three wins and a defeat and they next face TNB Thunderbolt on Wednesday at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Their biggest challenge will be playing two away matches against reigning league champions UniKL in Bangi on Jan 29 and defending TNB (overall) Cup winners Terengganu in Kuala Terengganu on Jan 31.

Haziq said his goal is to help Maybank finish in the top four to qualify for the TNB Cup.

“I also want to continue scoring goals to impress the national selectors before the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (in Ipoh from April 11-18).

“I believe I am on the right path for a national call-up but I must play much better in the MHL to get my place in the national team, ” said Haziq, who has 68 international caps.

He featured in the World League semi-finals in London in 2017 when Malaysia did well to finish fourth and qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India.

The Star of Malaysia

Hockey India donates US$25,000 to Red Cross bushfire appeal

On behalf of the Hockey Australia Board, President Melanie Woosnam has expressed her thanks and gratitude to Hockey India President, Md. Mushtaque Ahmad for their generous support of Australia’s current bushfire crisis.

Hockey India are donating $US25,000 to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal while also providing Hockey Australia with two playing shirts signed by the Indian Men’s and Women’s hockey teams to auction with all proceeds going to the cause.

“I want to note the wonderful support we have received from our international colleagues during this devastating time for our country,” said Woosnam.

“We acknowledge and sincerely thank Hockey India for their thoughts and their very charitable contribution to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.”

Indian Women’s Team Captain Rani and Head Coach Sjoerd Marijne with the shirts to be auctioned.

Indian Men’s Head Coach Graham Reid and Captain Manpreet Singh with the shirts to be auctioned.

Hockey India, whose men’s team will compete in the FIH Pro League in 2020, are glad to provide their support.

“Hockey India and the hockey community in India has been overwhelmed by the devastating fires in Australia,” said Md. Mushtaque Ahmad.

“With this small contribution on behalf of Hockey India and the Indian hockey community we want to offer our heartfelt support to the cause and to Hockey Australia’s initiative.”

To see the various bushfire fundraising initiatives being undertaken by the hockey community and to donate, click here.

Hockey Australia media release

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