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News for 19 August 2019

All the news for Monday 19 August 2019

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 (Men)
Stellenbosch (RSA)


18 Aug 2019     ZIM v GHA (RR)     3 - 4
18 Aug 2019     KEN v NAM (RR)     3 - 1
18 Aug 2019     EGY v RSA (RR)     2 - 3

Final placings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 South Africa 5 5 0 0 28 4 24 15
2 Egypt 5 4 0 1 24 7 17 12
3 Ghana 5 3 0 2 12 18 -6 9
4 Zimbabwe 5 1 1 3 8 23 -15 4
5 Kenya 5 1 0 4 9 18 -9 3
6 Namibia 5 0 1 4 6 17 -11 1

FIH Match Centre

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 (Women)
Stellenbosch (RSA)


18 Aug 2019     ZIM v NAM (RR)     3 - 2
18 Aug 2019     GHA v RSA (RR)     0 - 6

Final placings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 South Africa 4 4 0 0 16 0 16 12
2 Ghana 4 2 1 1 7 8 -1 7
3 Zimbabwe 4 2 0 2 6 7 -1 6
4 Kenya 4 1 1 2 2 6 -4 4
5 Namibia 4 0 0 4 2 12 -10 0

FIH Match Centre

Tokyo beckons as South Africa's continental success continues

Image credit: Kym Clayton Sport Photography

The African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 men’s competition went right to the wire as South Africa (World Ranking:14)  and Egypt (WR:20) battled to the last minute of the final game to decide who would be representing Africa as continental champions.

Egypt were looking for a first ever title and, with 14 minutes left on the clock, there was a growing sense among the spectators that they were about to see history being made. Ahmed Alganaini had given Egypt the lead with a well taken goal on the stroke of half time and his team were looking the sharper of the two teams for the first three quarters.

Unfortunately for Egypt, South Africa proved that they can never be written off and a hat-trick from Spooner within a four minute burst of activity in the final quarter meant that the top ranked team would again be crowned continental champions and qualify for their fifth Olympic Games. Egypt did score a second, through Ashram Said, but with only seconds left on the clock as the match restarted, time was just not on the North African's side.

The women’s competition was a far more straight forward affair as South Africa women (WR:16) continued their 100 per cent success rate at these championships, winning all four of their matches comfortably.

With nearly 1,000 caps shared between just six players – Celia Evans (157), Dirkie Chamberlain (237), Lisa-Marie Deetlefs (262), Lilian du Plessis (130) and Quanita Bobbs (126) – the experienced and talented South African team were always going to be the team to beat and so it proved.

The action at Stellenbosch University over the six-day tournament was fast and furious as six men’s and five women’s teams played for the all-important title of African champion and the right to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Image credit: Kym Clayton Sport Photography

In their opening game, Zimbabwe women (WR:66) showed that they were determined to make their mark as they lost by just a narrow 2-0 scoreline to the highest ranked team. South Africa scored in the 14th minute but then faced a staunch defensive performance led by Zimbabwe captain Mary Campbell which meant they could only seal the victory with a second goal in the 57th minute.

Despite a good performance by Petro Stoffberg in the Namibia (WR:40) goal and some resolute play from captain Margreth Mengo and the Namibia midfield, South Africa’s second match saw them hit the back of the net five times, with three goals coming in the last quarter.

Victories over Kenya (WR:45) (3-0) and Ghana (WR:32) (6-0), sealed the title for South Africa. Second place was taken by Ghana, whose only loss was at the hands of the champions. Zimbabwe played well above their rankings and finished in third place despite being the lowest ranked team in the competition.

For most of the men’s competition Egypt and South Africa were a class apart, both winning all their matches up to the decisive final day.

Kenya (WR:48) will be rueing late goals in two of their matches as they lost 3-2 to Ghana (WR:36) and 3-2 to Namibia (WR:68), conceding goals late in the game. Ghana enjoyed a good tournament, finishing third after they beat Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe (WR:61).

Top scorer in the women’s competition was South Africa’s Lilian du Plessis with four goals. In the men’s event, Austin Smith was top scorer with 10 goals, all from penalty corners.

Final standings

    South Africa


    South Africa


FIH site

SA book Tokyo berths but ball in the Olympic body

s2h Team

Hosts South Africa scored a thrilling come-from-behind victory over arch rivals Egypt 3-2 to win the Africa Cup of Nations title and book a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics men's competition.

At the Stellenbosch University on Sunday, South Africa finished on top of the six-team league to win their eighth-successive title with an all-win record.

It was a grand double for South Africa as their women secured a spot at the Games with a runaway 6-0 win over Ghana to seal the title also with a 100 percent record in the five-team league.

South Africa trailed Egypt 0-1 with only 14 minutes to go after Ahmed Alganaini scored but hit back in the last quarter with a hat-trick by Nicholas Spooner in a four-minute blitz.

Egypt reduced the margin. Ashram Said scored a late goal and with mere seconds left on the clock there was no denying South Africa the top podium by virtue of winning the six-team league and their eighth successive continental title.

The South African women sealed their seventh successive title. However, as happened twice before (2000 and 2016), South Africa's presence in Tokyo next year could hinge on their Olympic body's verdict that the African field was worthy enough to produce a qualifier.

If not, South Africa may have to take the other route of qualifying via the qualifying play-offs in October-November where their rankings (currently No.14 and 16 for the men and women respectively) would give them the right to compete.

Final standings (Men)
South Africa

South Africa


South Africa are the African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Champions

Photos - Eunice Visagie

The South African men and Egyptian men locked horns in the final group stage game of the African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 competition. The way the results had played out the game was in essence a final.

A packed crowd at the University of Stellenbosch greeted the two teams and they produced a fantastic display of the best of African Hockey. The Egyptians had four penalty corners at the end of the first quarter, but the South African defence managed to repel all four. On the edge of half-time though the Egyptians did take the lead with Ahmed Elganaini reacted first after a rebound and finished into the bottom corner.

South Africa waited for the final quarter before Nicholas Spooner stood up and raised his hand to be the hero. Having scored in the last minute of the FIH Hockey Series Final semi-final to get the South Africans to that final. He popped up again to be the man to count as he netted two quick goals to turn it around. He then popped up with a third after Clinton Panther produced a sensational run but was taken out in a professional foul. Spooner finished the flick to complete a remarkable final hat-trick.

The Egyptians poured forward but found a resolute South African defence and an inspired Rassie Pieterse difficult to break down but did manage a late goal through Ashraf Said as a consolation. The result secured the title for South Africa and the African Hockey spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Earlier in the day Ghana secured themselves the bronze medal in a pulsating encounter with Zimbabwe that set the tone for an incredible final day’s action. Michael Baden opened the scoring with his first in the tournament, but Zimbabwe pulled back through Rangarirai Mungwiniri. The scored remained that way until the second half when the action kicked off. In the 34th minute Johnny Botsio made it 2-1. The last quarter then produced more goals than the opening 3. Elikem Akaba made it 3-1 through a penalty stroke but Zimbabwe kept the game alive with a Gift Chomunorwa field goal. Elikem Akaba made the game safe with a 4-2 lead despite a late Tendayi Maredza penalty corner. For Ghana it meant a satisfying bronze medal after a tough week of hockey.

Kenya avoided the wooden spoon with a 3-1 win over Namibia. The Kenyans goals came through Willis Okeyo, Constant Wakhura and Festus Onyango while Nico Neethling earned a late consolation for the Namibians.

DJ Strauss from Namibia was the goalkeeper of the tournament while Austin Smith won the top goalscorer and player of the tournament double award!

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Results – 18 August 2019

Ghana 4-3 Zimbabwe
Namibia 1-3 Kenya
South Africa 3-2 Egypt

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Final Positions

    South Africa

SA Hockey Association media release

SuperGroup South Africa are African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Champions

Photos - Eunice Visagie

Lilian du Plessis was the star of the show for SuperGroup South Africa as they confirmed their title as champions of the African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020. The South African striker netted a hat-trick including the goal of the tournament with a top corner off the crossbar strike.

Du Plessis opened the scoring from a penalty corner before Robyn Johnson pounced on a rebound to make it 2-0. Before the end of the first quarter Du Plessis had made it 3 with a low and wide penalty corner. The score remained the same until the break with the Ghanaians seeing a lot of possession but failing to create too many opportunities.

The third quarter saw the hosts please the crowd once again as Sylvia van Jaarsveldt got herself on the scoresheet with a splendid deflection. She was playing with a bloody nose after getting a solid strike so she will be pleased with the strike. Then came the goal of the game when Du Plessis surged into the D before firing in a tomahawk strike into the roof of the net. Lisa-Marie Deetlefs added the gloss to the score line with the final strike and confirmation that South Africa had earned the African Hockey spot at the Tokyo Olympics.

Zimbabwe secured the bronze medal with a fantastic 3-2 win over their Southern African neighbours Namibia. Needing to win to secure the third-place medal, Zimbabwe surged to a 3-0 lead thanks to Sophie McDonald and a brace from Nicola Watson. Although they seemed destined for the victory the Namibians produced their best quarter of the tournament to set up a bumper fightback. Tarmarie Myburgh and Phea Gerber pulled it back but the Zimbabweans held on for the victory.

Lilian du Plessis was named the top goalscorer of the tournament while Nicola Watson and Ongi Mali shared the top player award. Jordyne Cripstone and Cristina Onyango shared the goalkeeper of the tournament award.

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Results – 18 August 2019

Namibia 2-3 Zimbabwe
South Africa 6-0 Ghana

African Hockey Road to Tokyo 2020 Final Positions

    South Africa

SA Hockey Association media release

South African Hockey seal Olympic qualification in Stellies

The South African Hockey have all but sealed their Olympic qualification in Stellenbosch. Photo: @SA_Hockey_men via Eunice Visagie

STELLENBOSCH – The South African men’s hockey team has their Olympic qualification all but sealed after beating Egypt 3-2 at the African Championships in Stellenbosch yesterday.

It was double delight for the South African teams at the continental showpiece with the women topping the log to clinch the title after a runaway 6-0 win over Ghana on the same day.

According to the international hockey federation’s Olympic criteria, both teams have earned their places at the Tokyo 2020 Games by winning the continental tournament.

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), however, do not allow continental qualification. Both teams missed the previous Games in Rio 2016 due to the same policy.

But the men’s team’s chances of making the South African team for the Tokyo Games has been given a shot in the arm after they finished second at the Hockey Series Finals in India which was part of the national federation’s suggested criteria. The women, in turn, missed out in the finals of their tournaments which was held in Valencia.

The South African men bowed out of the tournament as deserved champions. They on all five of their matches to retain the continental crown. The hosts and Egypt were unbeaten coming into the final game of the six-nation tournament.

The Proteas were in a class of their own conceding only four goals throughout their campaign. The home side managed to bounce back from an early setback with the Egyptians leading 1-0 going into the half-time break. Egypt’s Ahmed Alganaini landed the blow seconds before the recess with a field goal.

South African equalised at the start of the fourth quarter with Nicholas Spooner scoring his first of a hat-trick of goals. Spooner’s three goals all happened within a few minutes of each other, knocking the stuffing out of the Egyptians. Egypt scored a final goal at the death, which provided some consolation.

The South African women’s team enjoy a two-point lead over Ghana in second place going into yesterday’s decider. The Proteas steamrolled their way over their competitors winning the match 6-0 to clinch the title, They won all four of their games.

Independent Online

Hockey teams fail to qualify for Olympics

Sikhumbuzo Moyo

THE Zimbabwe men’s and ladies’ hockey teams failed in their pursuit of qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after failing to make the grade at a qualification tournament in South Africa yesterday.

Despite failing to qualify, the ladies’ side performed better by settling for bronze, missing the knockout stage by a point.

The Zimbabwe ladies beat Namibia 3-2 in their last game on Saturday to secure third place, with goals from Sophie Macdonald and Nicola Watson, to finish on six points. Only gold medalists in the qualifiers make it to the Olympics.

The men’s side drew 2-2 against Namibia on Saturday with goals from Tony O’Riodan and Gift Chamunorwa, before losing 3-4 to Ghana in their last game yesterday.

Skipper Tendayi Maredza was again on target, with Chamunorwa and Rangarirai Mungwiniri grabbing the other goals.

The men’s side bowed out of the tournament with just one win; a 3-2 victory against Kenya, which came after disastrous 0-6 and 0-9 thrashings by Egypt and South Africa.

The ladies were also on the receiving end in their opening two matches, losing 1-3 to Ghana and 0-2 to South Africa.

The Chronicle

Belfius EuroHockey Championship (Men) 2019 - Day 4
Antwerp, Belgium


18 Aug 2019     ESP v WAL (Pool A)     5 - 1
18 Aug 2019     IRL v SCO (Pool B)         3 - 3
18 Aug 2019     ENG v BEL (Pool A)     0 - 2
18 Aug 2019     GER v NED (Pool B)     2 - 3

19 August is a rest day

Pool Standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Belgium 2 2 0 0 7 0 7 6
2 Spain 2 1 0 1 5 6 -1 3
3 England 2 0 1 1 2 4 -2 1
4 Wales 2 0 1 1 3 7 -4 1

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Netherlands 2 2 0 0 8 3 5 6
2 Germany 2 1 0 1 11 3 8 3
3 Ireland 2 0 1 1 4 8 -4 1
4 Scotland 2 0 1 1 3 12 -9 1

FIH Match Centre

Belfius EuroHockey Championship (Women) 2019 - Day 3
Antwerp, Belgium


18 Aug 2019     GER v BLR (Pool B)     13 - 0
18 Aug 2019     ENG v IRL (Pool B)     2 - 1

Fixtures (GMT +2)

19 Aug 2019 13:30     GER v ENG (Pool B)
19 Aug 2019 15:45     IRL v BLR (Pool B)
19 Aug 2019 18:00     ESP v NED (Pool A)
19 Aug 2019 20:30     BEL v RUS (Pool A)

Live streaming via http://www.eurohockeytv.org

Pool Standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Spain 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3
2 Belgium 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
2 Netherlands 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1
4 Russia 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Germany 1 1 0 0 13 0 13 3
2 England 1 1 0 0 2 1 1 3
3 Ireland 1 0 0 1 1 2 -1 0
4 Belarus 1 0 0 1 0 13 -13 0

FIH Match Centre

Mixed fortunes for Home Nations on second day of action at EuroHockey Championships

England v Ireland #EHC2019

England’s women got their EuroHockey Championship campaign off to the perfect start as they ground out a 2-1 win over Ireland.

In the first of four games involving Home Nations sides on the second day of action, Suzy Petty scored her first England goal and Giselle Ansley produced a stunning flick to see their team to a well earned victory.

Scotland’s men also picked up their first point with a draw against Ireland, although they would have hoped for more having been 3-1 up with five minutes remaining.

England’s men produced a vastly improved performance from their draw with Wales the day before but two quality finishes from Tom Boon and Alexander Hendrickx saw hosts Belgium to a 2-0 victory.

And Wales’ men couldn’t repeat yesterday’s fine showing as they were comfortably beaten 5-1 by Spain.

England 2 (2)
Petty (15’, PC), Ansley (28’, PC)

Ireland 1 (0)
Barr (43’, PC)

Playing their first competitive game since the 2018 Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup, England secured three crucial points against an Ireland side that finished second at that tournament.

Suzy Petty gave her side a deserved lead at the end of the first quarter, showing great reflexes to turn the ball in for her first England goal after Ayeisha McFerran had initially stopped Giselle Ansley’s flick.

There was no stopping Ansley’s effort in the 28th minute though as she produced a rocket that snuck in off the underside of the crossbar.

Ireland put plenty of pressure on the England goal in the third quarter as eventually pulled one back as Beth Barr cleverly deflected a corner beyond Maddie Hinch.

Hinch hit back superbly in the final 15 minutes though as she produced a string of superb saves to deny Ireland an equaliser as England held on for victory.

Spain 5 (3)
Iglesias (3’, FG), Quemada (14’, PC; 56’, FG), Ruiz (28’, FG), Romeu (36’, PC)

Wales 1 (0)
G Furlong (42’, PC)

Buoyed by yesterday’s impressive draw with England, Wales were hopeful of causing another upset against a Spain side who had been thumped by Belgium previously.

But the Spaniards went ahead in the third minute through Alvaro Iglesias and never looked back, with Pau Quemada adding a second in the 14th minute.

Vincenc Ruiz added a third shortly before half-time before Josep Romeu added his name to the scoresheet in the 36th minute.

Gareth Furlong scored for the second consecutive game to reduce the arrears but it was Quemada who had the final say as he added a fifth with four minutes remaining.

Ireland 3 (1)
O’Donoghue (12’, FG; 58’, PS), Cross (55’, FG)

Scotland 3 (1)
Bain (28’, FG; 33’, FG), Falconer (51’, FG)

Scotland’s men bounced back in style after being beaten 9-0 by Germany yesterday but will feel slightly aggrieved they couldn’t hold on to victory against Ireland.

Shane O’Donoghue gave the Irish the lead in the 12th minute before Kenny Bain struck either side of half-time to put the Blue Sticks in the driving seat.

Craig Falconer then extended their advantage to two with just nine minutes remaining, only for Tim Cross to pull right back into it with five minutes remaining.

O’Donoghue then converted a controversial penalty stroke with just two minutes remaining to seal the comeback and ensure Scotland only left with a point.

England 0 (0)

Belgium 2 (1)
Boon (15’, PC), Hendrickx (49’, PC)

Despite a much improved performance, England’s men just didn’t quite have enough to overcome hosts Belgium in a closely fought encounter.

Tom Boon produced a world class finish to give his side the lead right at the end of the first quarter, reacting superbly after Harry Gibson initially produced a fine save from a corner.

England then had plenty of chances to equalise but were denied on numerous occasions by the seemingly impenetrable Vincent Vanasch, while Harry Martin also smacked the crossbar as he deflected an Ashley Jackson drag flick.

Belgium upped the intensity in the final quarter and, despite yet more great goalkeeping by Gibson, doubled their lead with 11 minutes remaining as Alexander Hendrickx fired in his third corner of the tournament.

England’s women are back in action tomorrow (19 August) as they face Germany at 12:30, while it’s a rest day for the men.

England will then kick off day four of the tournament (20 August) with a must-win encounter against Spain at 12:30, before Scotland play The Netherlands (17:00) and Wales face Belgium (19:30).

Great Britain Hockey media release

Improved England narrowly defeated by World Champions

Having been forced to settle with a 2-2 draw with Wales in their opening match of the EuroHockey Championships, England put in a much-improved performance to push hosts Belgium hard.

Though they tested ‘keeper Vincent Vanasch throughout, England were unable to find the back of the net as Belgium produced two stunning finishes to take a 2-0 victory.

Ian Sloan won his 50th England cap in a performance the team will certain take positives from as they go into their final match of the group stages against Spain on Tuesday afternoon.

Having seen Belgium put Spain to the sword with a 5-0 victory in their opening match of the tournament, England began the game well organised and disciplined to keep the hosts at bay.

It was an opening quarter full of entertainment as both sides went toe to toe with some superb passes and runs on show as the two teams looked to get on the attack.

England earned the first penalty corner of the game which was well defended as Sam Ward’s drive was well charged down by the defence.

Though England had started well and had matched Belgium throughout, a moment of quality from the reigning World Champions ensured they would take the lead seconds before the conclusion of the first quarter. Having had a shot on goal denied by Harry Gibson, Belgium profited from a penalty corner as Tom Boon showed superb skill by stroking the ball into the corner of the net as it rebounded from the initial flick.

Looking for a response, good wide play from Will Calnan saw the ball fall dangerously into Zach Wallace in the D, however, the midfielder could only fire his shot straight at Vanasch in the Belgium goal.

Belgium were starting to click in attack and were creating chances, Thomas Briels pressed high and nicked the ball inside the circle, but his resulting shot was blazed high and wide when bearing down on goal.

England were well in the match though and Ward’s scorching drag flick was again denied by Vanasch to see Belgium into the half-time break with a one goal advantage.

Immediately after the restart England broke forwards with Calnan again feeding Wallace into the D, this time a last-ditch tackle from Emmanuel Stockbroekx knocking the ball out of play before Wallace could pull the trigger.

A minute later and England were in on goal again, this time the ball driven across the face of goal narrowly evading the diving James Gall from prodding home from close range.

England were well in the ascendancy and were only denied an equaliser from a penalty corner by a spectacular diving save from Vanasch to keep out Ashley Jackson’s rocket of a drag flick that looked destined to find the bottom corner.

As the second-half went on England continued to look the more likely to find the next goal and came within inches of restoring parity as Jackson’s drag flick was deflected onto the crossbar by the sliding Harry Martin.

With less than 15 minutes remaining Belgium showed more flashes of their brilliance as Gibson was forced into making an impressive save with the glove from a drag flick.

The team demonstrated their class with the finishing blow shortly after, Alexander Hendrickx rifling his drag flick beyond Gibson into the goal for an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

England’s final, decisive match in Pool A comes against Spain on Tuesday 20 August at 12:30pm BST where the team will know that only victory will be enough to give them a chance at making it through to the knockout stages.

England 0 (0)

Belgium 2 (1)
Boon (15’, PC)
Hendrickx (49’, PC)

England Starting XI: Gibson, Ames, Jackson, Martin, Griffiths, Sloan, Ward, Roper, Dixon, Creed, Gall
England Subs (Used): Willars, Weir, Waller, Sorsby, Calnan, Wallace
England Subs (Not used): Pinner

England Hockey Board Media release

Winning EuroHockey start for England's women

Women’s team secure winning EuroHockey start

England’s women’s team put in a clinical display to get off to the perfect start in their EuroHockey Championships with a 2-1 victory over Ireland.

Two goals from two penalty corners in the first-half gave the side a strong advantage with Suzy Petty in the right place at the right time for the opening goal before Giselle Ansley fired a sensational drag flick into the top corner.

Ireland got one back at the end of the third quarter as Beth Barr latched onto the end of a drag flick to take it past Maddie Hinch in goal to set up a tense final fifteen minutes.

As the clock ran down, both sides created good chances with resilient defending and a couple of smart saves from Hinch securing an opening game victory for England.

Match report:

Chances were limited in the opening quarter as both sides sized each other up, with neither ‘keeper being truly tested.

When an opportunity did present itself to England, a penalty corner right on the cusp of the whistle, they were clinical. Ansley’s flick finding its way into the path of the unmarked Petty on the post to tap home for her first England goal.

England were looking good on the ball and had limited Ireland from making many circle entries in a solid opening half.

The side were able to double their lead as fantastic dribbling from Hannah Martin was rewarded with a penalty corner. England were again lethal from the set piece with Ansley producing a spectacular drag flick that soared well out of the goalkeeper’s reach into the top corner of the goal for a 2-0 lead going into half-time.

Ellie Rayer went on a searing run on the right flank, using explosive pace to drive past several opposition players although her pull back into the circle was well intercepted just before it could reach the looming Martin.

Ireland got themselves back into the game in the third quarter through a successful penalty corner routine of their own as Barr got a decisive deflection on the flick to guide it into the back of the net.

Izzy Petter, who was making her England debut, then had a strike on goal well saved by Ayeisha McFerran before Martin’s follow up attempt went wide.

The game had opened up with an end to end final quarter ensuing as both sides looked to add to the score line. 

It was a dramatic end to the game with Hinch twice being called into action to deny the Irish from bagging a late equaliser, making solid saves with the right boot to keep the opposition out and secure an opening match victory.

Next up for the team is a challenging fixture against Germany, who thrashed Belarus 13-0 in their first game of the tournament, on Monday 19 August at 12:30pm BST. 

England 2 (2)
Petty (15’, PC)
Ansley (28’, PC)

Ireland 1 (0)
Barr (43', PC)

England Starting XI: Hinch, Unsworth, Toman, Martin, Townsend, Petty, Rayer, Ansley, Pearne-Webb, Owsley, Petter
England Subs (Used): Evans, Howard, McCallin, Hunter, Balsdon, Defroand
England Subs (Not used): Tennant

England Hockey Board Media release

England face must-win game after Belgium defeat

England face a must-win game against Spain on Tuesday after they were beaten by hosts Belgium at the Men's EuroHockey Championships in Belgium.

Tom Boon and Alexander Hendrickx struck for world champions Belgium to secure qualification for the host nation.

Winless England drew 2-2 with Wales in their opening match on Saturday and trail second-placed Spain by two points heading into their final Pool A match.

The top two teams in Pool A and B qualify for the semi-finals in Antwerp.

The tournament also serves as a direct qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with the winner qualifying.

England head coach Danny Kerry said: "Like yesterday, we prepared well. I'd need to check the performance stats but I felt we generated good opportunities and held Belgium with good intelligence. The lads and staff should be proud of the performance and continue to push the detail. Now we reset for Spain on Tuesday."

BBC Sport

England beat Ireland 2-1 in opener

A superb Giselle Ansley goal secured England's women a hard-earned win over Ireland in their opening EuroHockey Championships match in Antwerp.

Suzy Petty put England ahead in the final action of the opening quarter, sweeping home from close range.

And Ansley struck from a penalty corner just before half-time when her drag flick found the roof of the net.

Beth Barr got Ireland back into it in the third quarter but England held on thanks to late saves from Maddie Hinch.

Petty was visibly thrilled with her first England goal but the win owed much to the experience of Hinch.

She was in inspired form and after Ansley's finish, kept England two-up at half-time with a fine save to deny Elizabeth Colvin.

With just two minutes of the fixture left, she saved again with her feet, ensuring England go into Monday's game with Germany off a winning start; Ireland play Belarus on the same day.

"We knew it would be a tough, physical game and I thought we started really well," said England coach Mark Hager.

"It was good to score from our penalty corners and we want to build on that performance for tomorrow as we know that too will be a tough one."

The winner of the championships, which conclude on 25 August, will secure qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Should Mark Hager's England side secure the title, they would consequently qualify Great Britain for the women's event at the Tokyo Games.

If England do not win the tournament in Belgium, Great Britain will play in a two-legged winner-takes-all Olympic Qualifier in November.

BBC Sport

Green Army thwarted in rousing fightback against England

Katie Mullan leads the team talk. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Ireland’s women produced a rousing last quarter but could not find an equaliser from their opening Belfius EuroHockey Championships tie in Antwerp.

Trailing 2-0 at half-time to a pair of penalty corner goals, Ireland bossed large parts of the second half with Beth Barr getting one back with 17 minutes to go.

And they had chance after chance in the closing 10 minutes but could not find a way past the defences of two-time world goalkeeper of the year Maddie Hinch.

“We’re pretty frustrated with the result, not the performance we put in, especially in the second half,” Irish captain Katie Mullan said afterwards.

“We were a bit slow to start but they felt our pressure in the second half and we could have done with a couple more minutes at the end. We would have got the goal with another quarter!

“But it does say a lot about where we are at and where we are moving to. It wasn’t about hanging on. For us, we controlled phases of the game, had a lot of opportunities. In the past against England, it would be a different story so that is a positive.

“It was a physical game, some hard tackles from both sides. I personally enjoy that bit of physicality, a good battle.”

Coach Sean Dancer agreed, adding: “Disappointed as a group to lose the game. Every result here is a really big deal. I can’t fault the effort and work rate. It just showed a few areas we need to fix up on and if you don’t get them right, it can cost you the game.

In the first half, England took what looked like full control in the first half with penalty corner goals in either quarter for a 2-0 advantage.

Hannah Martin was the key player, her bounding runs causing plenty of problems, and she won the corner which led to their opening goal.

It is one that Ireland could have avoided. In the last 20 seconds of the quarter, Zoe Wilson took a quick free-out but did not get the full weight behind her overhead and Martin intercepted.

It proved costly. Ayeisha McFerran saved Ansley’s first shot but Anna Toman kept the ball live and, after a couple of swipes, Petty nudged in at the left post for 1-0.

“I want to give the players the freedom to do what they think they can do so I am certainly not going to turn around and say it was a bad decision,” Dancer said of the free.

“But the quality and execution could be better. When we do turn the ball over, how do we close it down quickly – with 20 second to go on the clock, maybe it wasn’t the best option. In the end, it wasn’t the reason we lost the game.”

Anna O’Flanagan holds off a physical challenge. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Ansley doubled the lead from another set piece, a breathtaking drag-flick that was too quick for the out-stretched reach of McFerran.

For Ireland, the pick of their first half manouveres came in the last minute via a corner. Roisin Upton’s push took a deflection from Anna O’Flanagan, hopping and skipping over Maddie Hinch but Toman was in place to clear up.

But, after a scrappy phase of the game, Ireland got a goal back from their second corner while England were down to 10 players with Martin on a yellow. Chloe Watkins – who was outstanding in midfield – won the corner and then slapped the ball into Beth Barr whose touch made it through Hinch, setting up a fascinating final quarter.

Martin thrashed inches wide with a great chance before Ireland started to step on once again, creating chance after chance. Cards became more prevailent, too, with Zoe Wilson and Sarah Evans taking yellows.

Maddie Hinch made two hugely important saves while Shirley McCay’s penalty corner shot went inches wide. That corner was given for a forceful foul on Anna O’Flanagan which led to Evans’ yellow.

Plenty of neutrals backed calls for a stroke; Dancer did not want to be overly drawn on the decision as his side fell to a slender loss.

“The rule says a deliberate foul in the circle is a penalty stroke. Once again, I am not going to criticise the umpires – they are doing the best job they can so we will just let them review it and see what they think.”

“Disappointed as a group to lose the game,” he continued. “Every result here is a really big deal. I can’t fault the effort and work rate. It just showed a few areas we need to fix up on and if you don’t get them right, it can cost you the game.”

Beth Barr celebrates her goal. Pic: Koen Suyk / World Sport Pics

Ireland play Belarus on Monday (2.45pm, Irish time) in a quick turnaround, hoping to get their first win of the campaign. Belarus lost 13-0 to Germany and so a victory is imperative.

“You’ve got to move on very quickly in tournament hockey,” Mullan added. “We won’t reflect too much on today but we will look to control and play like the second half to tee up a big game for ourselves against Germany.”

Belfius EuroHockey Championships

Women’s Pool B: England 2 (S Petty, G Ansley) Ireland 1 (B Barr)

Umpires: C Druijts (NED),  C Wright (WAL)

Ireland: A McFerran, N Evans, L Tice, K Mullan, B Barr, L Colvin, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke, A Meeke
Subs: R Upton, G Pinder, S McCay, C Watkins, S Hawkshaw, L Murphy, N Daly

England: M Hinch, L Unsworth, A Toman, H Martin, S Townsend, S Petty, E Rayer, G Ansley, H Pearne-Webb, L Owsley, I Petter
Subs: S Evans, T Howard, E Deforand, S McCallin, J Hunter, G Balsdon, A Tennant

The Hook

Scotland denied win over Ireland by late penalty stroke

Scotland men were denied victory over Ireland when a late penalty stroke was awarded to the Irish by the Video Umpire, and converted by Shane O’Donoghue to share the points. Scotland had gone into a 3-1 lead with two goals by Kenny Bain and a superb finish by Craig Falconer at the Belfius EuroHockey Championships in Antwerp. Scotland will face the Netherlands in their final Pool B match on Tuesday.

On the day Gavin Byers won his 150th cap for Scotland, the Blue Sticks came out quickly and created an early chance when a backhand pass across goal by Lee Morton narrowly evaded all the forwards at pace.

Then Andy Bull saw a fierce penalty corner deflected onto the post by Ireland’s goalkeeper, and the sheer force of the shot saw the ball zip up the pitch.

Ireland looked dangerous as well and Benjamin Walker came close in their first chance of the game; he bundled his way into the Scots D and rolled his effort just wide of the far post.

Ireland then took the lead with a top corner finish by Shane O’Donoghue. The ball somehow found its way through the Scotland defence from wide left and O’Donoghue at the far post picked his spot in the top right corner to give his side the lead. 1-0.

Scotland came into the second quarter searching for an equaliser and it nearly came when another Bull penalty corner caused a scramble in the Ireland D, but eventually the was ball booted clear by the goalkeeper.

Then a Blue Sticks attack down the right saw the ball bounce to Alan Forsyth but his instinctive shot on the turn was well saved at the near post.

Scotland’s deserved equaliser would come as half time approached. Kenny Bain found the net for Scotland with a deflection into the roof of the goal after some good play by Lee Morton on the right.

Bain scored his and Scotland’s second right at the start of the second half. Aidan McQuade dummied a strike from the top of the D at a penalty corner, Bull fired it towards goal and Bain pounced on the rebound to make it 2-1.

Photo: Benjamin Walker ©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Scotland enjoyed a quarter of serious pressure with Ireland hanging on. The Scots were denied a third when an excellent save denied Cammy Golden at near post high under the bar. Morton ran through Irish midfield at pace, picked out Bain, and the ball broke for Golden who aimed for the roof of the net, but the keeper was out quick to block.

Then a great break down left by Duncan Riddell found Forsyth who turned the defender inside out but his shot went just wide of the mark.

A third goal would come soon enough and Craig Falconer scored an absolute beauty to make it 3-1 to Scotland. From the baseline Falconer twisted and turned in the D and found the back of the net via the crossbar from a tight angle to make it 3-1.

Golden was then denied a fourth for Scotland when his powerful shot goal-ward was padded into the air.

Ireland pulled it back to 3-2 to Scotland with five minutes to play. A solid strike by Tim Cross into the bottom left corner left Alexander with no chance.

Then with minutes remaining a penalty stroke led to the equaliser for Ireland. The Video Umpire over turned the initial decision and awarded the stroke. Regardless, Shane O’Donoghue made no mistake from the spot and took a share of the points for Ireland going into game three.

Kenny Bain said, “We made a big step up from yesterday, but I’m devastated to draw the match and with my part to give away the corner that led to the Ireland goal at the end. Our performance was outstanding, we were unlucky not to win, but respect to Ireland – they’re a good side.

“We did a lot of video work last night to connect better high up the pitch and it worked well. It’s about competing, we’re not here for nothing, we’re here to take these teams to the brink. The next game against the Netherlands will be really hard but we’re going to go for it – were looking forward to playing a great side.”

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Cross and O’Donoghue rescue point in stunning late finale against Scotland

Shane O’Donoghue celebrating one of his two goals. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

A huge late fightback saw Ireland salvage what could be a crucial point in their Belfius EuroHockey Championships campaign, coming back from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Scotland in Antwerp.

Tim Cross and Shane O’Donoghue both scored in quick succession in the last five minutes to complete the comeback and earn a point. It means, at the very least, they are just about still alive in the semi-final chase going into their final group game against Germany.

It continued Ireland’s 24-game unbeaten run against the Scots but it only papered over some cracks for coach Alexander Cox’s mind in some respects as he feels the Green Machine need to make marked improvements.

“We got out of jail but if there was one team that deserved to win today, it was us, not Scotland,” he said aftewards.

“But the way we defend as a group and individuals, I am not too happy. On the ball, I am quite happy with what we are doing.

“If you see the Holland game and this one, the semi-final spot is not one we deserve so we have to see how it goes against Germany or see how it goes in the other pool to make sure we don’t get relegated.

“The way we defend in our 25 was not good enough; every little chance they got was dangerous. If we do the same against Germany, we will have a big problem.”

In a lively first quarter, Scotland were first to show what they can offer in front of goal, Andy Bull’s corner push hitting the post after Jamie Carr got a crucial boot to the shot.

Ireland replied in kind, making most of the play with a speedy set of counter-attacks and they went in front in the 12th minute when John Jackson stole possession in the left corner. He crossed through a forest of legs to find Shane O’Donoghue unmarked and he picked his spot for his second goal of the tournament.

They looked the more likely to add to their total until the last few minutes of the second half but a late Scottish salvo put the pressure on. Lee Morton delivered the perfect ball and Kenny Bain stepped in front of his marker to deftly touch in for 1-1 in the 28th minute.

Scotland then carried that momentum into the third quarter, moving in front for the first time from their third penalty corner. The first drag was saved by Mark Ingram but Bain was on hand to poach the rebound.

It gave them a noticeable lift in confidence as they made most of the attacking moves. Murray Collins did get a yellow card but it didn’t slow their momentum and in his absence, Alan Forsyth was only denied by an amazing Ingram save.

It became 3-1 when Craig Falconer got in behind his man on the left side, spun around his marker and flicked into the top of the goal.

John Jackson battles for possession. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Ireland were in a desperate position but they got a lifeline via Tim Cross’s first goal in green, a sweetly-timed strike from right to left in the circle after Michael Robson had bounced the ball his way.

“The ball just sat up nicely from Robbo, got a good piece of it on the half volley and it went sort of where I was aiming!” Cross said of the moment which he celebrated passionately.

“3-1 down, you need something from anyone – a big tackle, big corners or big goals will bring that energy. It could have been anyone who got the goal – I would have been as excited!”

That came with five minutes to go and they went on to win two penalty corners in the endgame, one of which was given as a stroke after a controversial video review.

O’Donoghue whizzed a ball to the right of goal where Ben Walker dived, lifting the ball goalward off the handle of his stick. It hit Forsyth in his stomach with goalkeeper Tommy Alexander seemingly covering.

A stroke was awarded only for the halfway line umpire to overturn the decision to say the ball hit Walker’s body. Scotland argued Ireland could not refer due to this over-rule as everyone piled in with an opinion.

But the video review went ahead and Bruce Bale in the box who ruled the stroke go ahead. O’Donoghue kept his nerve and flicked into the left of the goal for 3-3.

And it might have been even better but Sean Murray saw Tommy Alexander somehow save his deflection in the last minute.

“We back ourselves in the way we play to get a result,” Cross said after inspiring the comeback. “We had patches where we were loose across the whole field and, in international hockey, teams will punish you.

“We managed to fight back at the end which was class by us but we just need to bring that energy to all four quarters rather than patches of it.

Umpire Andres Ortiz awards the penalty stroke. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

“It keeps us alive and anything can still happen. We got into Germany positive and looking to win – there’s always a chance if we turn up and play our best stuff.”

Ireland are back in action on Tuesday at 2.45pm (Irish time) against Germany.

Belfius EuroHockey Championships

Men’s Pool B: Ireland 3 (S O’Donoghue 2, T Cross) Scotland 3 (K Bain 2, C Falconer)

Ireland: J Carr, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, C Harte
Subs: T Cross, S Murray, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole, M Ingram

Scotland: T Alexander, C Duke, M Bremner, A Bull, A Forsyth, L Morton, K Bain, M Collins, D Riddell, E Greaves, C MacKenzie
Subs: T Atkins, C Falconer, C Golden, A McQuade, N Parkes, G Byers, D Forrester

Umpires: J van ’t Hek (NED), A Ortiz (ESP)

The Hook

Ireland strike late to draw against Scotland

Shane O'Donoghue's late penalty stroke earned Ireland a point in a 3-3 draw against Scotland at the European Championships.

O'Donoghue put Ireland ahead early before two Kenny Bain goals and a Craig Falconer strike put Scotland in a strong position.

However Tim Cross and O'Donoghue struck late to salvage a draw for Ireland.

In truth it is a result that suits neither side, given both lost their opening games.

Germany and the Netherlands still lead Pool B with three points each, and will meet on Sunday evening with the winner now assured of a place in the semi-finals.

Ireland and Scotland return to action on Tuesday, knowing they must win in order to stand any chance of making the last four.

O'Donoghue's back-post finish gave Ireland the lead at the end of the first quarter before Bain deflected Lee Morton's low drag beyond Ireland keeper Jamie Carr.

Bain was on hand again shortly after half-time to put Scotland ahead, turning in a rebound after a well-worked penalty corner.

It looked as though Falconer's emphatic effort had secured the three points for Scotland but Cross slammed home a low effort to set up a grandstand finish.

A late referral to the video umpire led to a chance for O'Donoghue to level, and the forward made no mistake as he drove his shot into the top corner with just two minutes remaining.

BBC Sport

Ireland got out of jail, says Cox

By Stephen Findlater

Ireland’s men produced a stunning late two-goal salvo to draw 3-3 with Scotland to just about keep their European Championships campaign alive in Antwerp.

Tim Cross and Shane O’Donoghue both struck in the last five minutes to come back from 3-1 down against their unfancied opponents. It stretched Ireland’s unbeaten run to 24 games against the Scots, but it papered over the cracks of what was a lacklustre performance in the eyes of coach Alexander Cox.

Cox admitted his side “got out of jail”, but was concerned that — following a 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands on Saturday — they are creating too many problems for themselves.

“The way we defend as a group and individuals, I am not too happy. On the ball, I am quite happy with what we are doing,” he said.

“If you see the Holland game and this one, the semi-final spot is not one we will deserve at the moment.”

Things looked to be going well in the first quarter when O’Donoghue finished off John Jackson’s cross. But two Kenny Bain goals and an opportunistic Craig Falconer finish had Ireland two goals down with five minutes to go.

Only a win over Germany on Tuesday gives them a chance of reaching the semi-finals, but the draw does mean Ireland will carry at least one point into the relegation pool.

The Irish women’s wait for a first competitive win against England in a ranking competition goes on, after a frustrating 2-1 defeat to a side that had seven Olympic gold medalists.

Penalty-corner goals from Suzy Petty and Giselle Ansley had England on the front foot at half time, but Ireland pinned them back in a feisty and physical second half packed with sin-binnings.

Beth Barr guided in Ireland’s goal with 17 minutes left and they aggressively set about chasing an equaliser. It would never come though, as two-time World Goalkeeper of the Year Maddie Hinch made two big saves, while Shirley McCay’s corner shot skimmed the outside of the post.

Ireland have to bounce back quickly as they play Belarus — who lost 13-0 to Germany — today (2.45pm, Irish time) in a must-win tie to keep their hopes of a first-ever semi-final berth alive.

Ireland men:

J Carr, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, C Harte
Subs: T Cross, S Murray, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole, M Ingram

Ireland women:

A McFerran, N Evans, L Tice, K Mullan, B Barr, L Colvin, H Matthews, A O’Flanagan, Z Wilson, D Duke, A Meeke Subs: R Upton, G Pinder, S McCay, C Watkins, S Hawkshaw, L Murphy, N Daly

Irish Examiner

Ready Steady Tokyo Hockey (Men) - Day 3
Tokyo (JPN)


18 Aug 2019     MAS v JPN (RR)     1 - 3
18 Aug 2019     NZL v IND (RR)     2 - 1

19 August is a rest day

Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 New Zealand 2 2 0 0 6 4 2 6
2 India 2 1 0 1 7 2 5 3
3 Japan 2 1 0 1 6 5 1 3
4 Malaysia 2 0 0 2 1 9 -8 0

FIH Match Centre

Ready Steady Tokyo Hockey (Women) - Day 3
Tokyo (JPN)


18 Aug 2019     IND v AUS (RR)     2 - 2
18 Aug 2019     CHN v JPN (RR)     1 - 2

19 August is a rest day

Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 India 2 1 1 0 4 3 1 4
2 China 2 1 0 1 4 4 0 3
3 Japan 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 3
4 Australia 2 0 1 1 4 5 -1 1

FIH Match Centre

Blacksticks reach Ready Steady Tokyo hockey test event Final

Tokyo, Japan: New Zealand scored in the last minute of their match against India to register their second win (2-1) in as many matches. India had taken an early lead in the game but conceded two goals in the last quarter. It was the 200th international match of Indian player Kothajit Khadangbam.

Meanwhile, Japan won against Malaysia. After the hosts took the lead in the first half, Malaysia managed to come back. But two goals in the last quarter sealed Japan’s success (3-1).

Thanks to their win, the Blacksticks have already qualified for the Final since Japan and India (3 points each) will play their last group match against each other.

After having been both defeated in their tournament’s first game yesterday, Japan’s teams enjoyed a much nicer outcome on Day 2.

Indeed, the Japanese women produced a convincing performance to overcome China (2-1). After leading (1-0) at half-time, Japan conceded a goal. But, with the support of their fans, the home team managed to take the lead again in the fourth quarter and kept it until the end.

At the same time, India and Australia drew (2-2), with India scoring the equalizer in the 59th minute. With this result, India has taken the lead of the tournament.

The action continues on 20 August with the following matches and schedule (local time):

09:30    Malaysia – New Zealand (Men)
11:45    India - Japan (Men)
17:30    Australia - Japan (Women)
19:45    China – India (Women)


FIH site

Sam Lane’s late goal boosts Vantage Black Sticks past India

The Vantage Black Sticks pulled off a victory over world-ranked No. 5 India, 2-1, overnight in their second game of the Ready, Steady, Tokyo test series.

The Indian men came out with guns blazing scoring their first goal of the game when captain and drag flicker Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner in the second minute of play to put the Indian men up 1-0. 

The next two quarters saw the teams go neck and neck on the defensive front to hold off all goals. This left India with a 1-0 advantage going into the final quarter of the game.

Heading into those final 15 minutes, the Indian defense could only hold off the Kiwi’s for so long. Jacob Smith battled his way through the India defense to even the game, 1-1, in the 47th minute.

The men in black weren’t leaving it to a draw though. Just like the night before against Japan, the Vantage Black Sticks found the back of the net in the final minute of match play with a Sam Lane goal to give New Zealand a 2-1 win over India.

Next up the men will face Malaysia in two days time (Tuesday, August 20) at 12:30pm NZT in the last of the round robin match ups.

Vantage Black Sticks: Jacob Smith (’47), Sam Lane (’60)
India: Harmanpreet Singh (’2)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

India face 1-2 defeat against New Zealand at Olympic Test Event

Edited By Snehadri Sarkar

The Indian men's hockey team suffered a defeat at the hands of world number eight New Zealand by 1-2 in their second match of the Olympic Test Event at the Oi Hockey Stadium here on Sunday.

Captain Harmanpreet Singh gave India the lead in the second minute by converting a penalty corner, but New Zealand struck back in the last quarter through two well-crafted field goals, which were scored by Jacob Smith (47') and Sam Lane (60').

World number five Indian side started the match with an aggressive approach and dominated possession in the opening few minutes. India won their first penalty corner in just second minute, which was beautifully converted by Harmanpreet to give his team a quick start and a 1-0 lead.

The team continued to attack and won another penalty corner in the 6th minute, but could not find the target from the execution.

It was a difficult phase for the New Zealand team as they were under constant pressure, but given their recent experience of playing in the FIH Pro League, the side defended well and avoided giving away another goal before the half-time break.

India tried to extend their lead in the initial few minutes of the third quarter through some good combination play inside New Zealand's striking circle. However, they could not find another break-through.

Harmanpreet Singh had another chance to extend his team's lead in the 42nd minute, but could only force New Zealand's goalkeeper Richard Joyce into making a good save.

The last quarter of the match saw New Zealand turn around the momentum as they started to attack the Indians on the counter. It was in the 47th minute that New Zealand worked out a good combination in the Indian half, and produced an effective attack which saw Jacob Smith find the back of the net to equalize.

The Indians were dealt with a huge blow but looked to restore their one-goal advantage in the remaining minutes.

The Indian team had some opportunities inside the last quarter but could not capitalise. With barely a minute remaining on the clock, it was New Zealand's turn to counter and their execution was perfect as they scored the winner through Sam Lane, who took advantage of India being short of players in defense.

Earlier, India registered an impressive 6-0 win against Malaysia in their opening match of the tournament.

India stands at the second spot in the points table and will play against hosts Japan on August 20.

Daily News & Analysis

Not up to mark against Japan

By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA lost their second straight match in the Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event when the World No 12 were beaten 3-1 by hosts Japan yesterday.

On Saturday, coach Roelant Oltmans’ men were clobbered 6-0 by India. They will face New Zealand tomorrow.

Yesterday, World 16 Japan took the lead through Kentaro Fukuda in the 26th minute before Nabil Fiqri netted the equaliser nine minutes later.

However Japan hit back through Kazuma Murata (48th) and Kota Watanabe (49th) for the win.

The Four-Nation tournament is being held to test the Olympic venue in Tokyo ahead of next year’s Games.

l FORMER national hockey player Lawrence van Huizen, who died on Saturday, will be cremated at the Jalan Templer Crematorium in Seremban tomorrow.

New Straits Times

Indian women hold Australia

Men lose 2-1 to New Zealand

Delighted: The Indian women cannot hide their joy after holding World No. 2 to a draw. 

The Indian women’s hockey team came back twice to hold World No. 2 Australia 2-2 in a round-robin league match of the Olympic test event here on Sunday.

Vandana Katariya (36th) and Gurjit Kaur (59th) cancelled out strikes by Kaitlin Nobbs (14th) and Grace Stewart (43rd). India had beaten host Japan 2-1 on Saturday.

World No. 10 India matched Australia’s attacking hockey with its own brand of aggression. But in the 14th minute, Australia was awarded a penalty stroke and Nobbs made no mistake.

Australia dominated the second quarter completely, putting the Indian team under intense pressure through multiple attacks and penalty corners. But India’s defence held firm and goalkeeper Savita made a couple of great saves.

The third quarter again saw Australia dominate possession and create a couple of goal-scoring opportunities through penalty corners. However, Savita again denied the Australians.

India struck on the break as Vandana finished off a superb move to equalise in the 36th minute. But the lead did not last long.

It was in the 43rd minute that Australia found its second goal through some exquisite team work, which saw Stewart registering her name on the score-sheet.

It was a tough task after that for the Indians, denied space inside the striking circle. However, the Indians kept looking for the equaliser.

With moves breaking down, and chances going waste, it looked like Australia would hold onto the 2-1 lead, but with just a couple of minutes remaining, India won a penalty corner.

And, prolific drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur stepped up and struck a sweet blow into the back of the net to earn India a well-deserved draw.

The Indian women will face China on Tuesday in their third and last round-robin match.

Meanwhile, the Indian men squandered an early lead to lose 2-1 to New Zealand.

Skipper Harmanpreet Singh converted a penalty corner to put India ahead in the second minute, but New Zealand struck back in the last quarter through Jacob Smith (47th) and Sam Lane (60th).

India will face Japan on Tuesday.

World No. 5 India’s aggressive approach had New Zealand under constant pressure, but the World No. 8 side defended well, and denied India another goal before the break.

Harmanpreet, after his second-minute strike, had another chance in the 42nd minute, but New Zealand goalkeeper Richard Joyce pulled off a fine save. The last quarter of the match saw New Zealand turn around and attack on the counter.

The Hindu

Indian women earn creditable draw against Aussies

Hockey Indian women celebrate a goal against Australia in Tokyo on Sunday; Pic: FIH

The Indian women held world No. 2 Australia to a 2-2 draw in the second round-robin match of the Olympic test event in Tokyo on Sunday.

The match saw India twice cancel Australia's lead through Vandana Katariya (36th minute) and Gurjit Kaur (59th) to earn a creditable draw. Kaitlin Nobbs (14th) and Grace Stewart (43rd) scored for the Australians.

World No. 10 India started aggressively, matching Australia's attacking hockey with their own which saw both teams earn penalty corners. However, neither managed to score.

In the 14th minute, when Australia were awarded a penalty stroke after an Indian defender blocked a shot at goal, Kaitlin Nobbs made no mistake in converting from the spot. The Hockeyroos dominated the second quarter completely, putting the Indian team under pressure through multiple attacks and penalty corners.

But, India's defence held firm and goalkeeper Savita made a couple of great saves to deny her opponents as Australia took their lead into the half-time break.

The starting of the third quarter again saw Australia dominate possession and creating a couple of goal-scoring opportunities through penalty corners. However, Savita made fine saves again to deny the Australians.

On the other hand, India struck on the break as Vandana Katariya finished off a superb team-move to equalise for her team in the 36th minute. But the lead did not last for much time as Australia started to look for their second goal. It was in the 43rd minute that they finally found a second through some exquisite team work, which saw Grace Stewart also registering her name on the score-sheet and giving Australia a 2-1 lead.

It was a tough ask for the Indian team as Australia played well, and did not give them enough space inside the striking circle. However, the World No. 10 team showed determination as they kept looking for the equalizer in the last quarter. With moves breaking down, and chances going begging, it looked like Australia would hold onto their 2-1 lead, but with just a couple of minutes remaining on the clock, India won themselves a crucial penalty corner in the 59th minute. India's prolific drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur stepped up, and struck a sweet blow into the back of the net, to earn her side a well-deserved draw.

Men go down to New Zealand

After an impressive 6-0 win against Malaysia in their opening match, the Indian men's hockey team suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of World No. 8 New Zealand. Captain and drag-flicker Harmanpreet Singh gave India the lead in the second minute by converting a penalty corner, but New Zealand struck back in the last quarter through two well-crafted field goals which were scored by Jacob Smith (47th) and Sam Lane (60th). The defeat means that India sit at the second spot in the points table with one match to go, which will be against hosts Japan on August 20.

Daily News & Analysis

Post match reaction after draw with India

Nic Kerber

Hockeyroos defender Edwina Bone gave her take on the 2-2 draw with India in the team’s second match of the Tokyo Test Event.

In contrast to their slow start against China less than 24 hours earlier, the Hockeyroos were on the front foot early and went ahead courtesy of a successful penalty stroke from Kaitlin Nobbs.

The Hockeyroos maintained their slender lead going into the second half before India levelled in the third period. But seven minutes later Grace Stewart put the Hockeyroos back in front. Then, just as the Hockeyroos looked on track to secure their first win of the competition, Gurjit Kaur struck in the dying stages to salvage a draw for India.

The Hockeyroos have a rest day tomorrow before taking on Japan on Tuesday.

After yesterday’s slow start, the team appeared to be much more focussed early on against India. Did Coach Paul Gaudoin reinforce the need to start the match well?

Edwina Bone (EB): “We spoke about how we needed to start the game on the front foot. It’s always going to be beneficial for us because in this heat teams are going to get tired towards the end of matches, so if we can put a couple of goals in early and grind it out we know we’ll be able to overpower teams towards the end.”

We definitely spoke about how slow we started against China and it was certainly a focus today, especially mentally trying to make sure we were switched on. It was just that mental switch that we had to be on from the get-go instead of getting to the last quarter and chasing the game.”

The way the game went, it seemed like it was somewhat of a reversal from the match against China – started brightly but then India scored late to snatch a draw?

EB: “India were lucky to get a corner right at the end through a referral, and we had a couple of chances right at the end as well. It was a bit of a see-sawing game. I felt we had a few more opportunities today. The circle was really crowded so the strikers did really well earning penalty corners. I think we had a about 12 penalty corners but our execution had to be better for those set pieces to put those opportunities away.”

Do you feel like the team is on the right track heading into the Oceania Cup?

EB: “The score lines in our two matches so far in the Test Event haven’t been desirable. They’re not the end results we wanted but in terms of the way we’re playing, the style we’re playing and the connections that we’re getting, it’s very close and it’s almost there. We still have an opportunity to make the Final if we beat Japan on Tuesday so we’ll be going into that match treating it like our semi final. I really believe we have it in us to do that.

Putting that kind of pressure on yourself is going to be great in lead in to the Olympic qualifiers because those games against New Zealand in Rockhampton are going to be massive.”

Do you think this time in Tokyo will really help the team for the Oceania Cup, particularly from a climatic perspective?

EB: “Definitely. I think this weather (in Tokyo) is really good preparation for us. I think playing in tough conditions is always challenging for a group but it also brings us closer together in terms of the fact that you’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to work hard for each other in this kind of weather.

We’re coming up with really good game plans and putting together some good performances out on the park. I know there are only 16 girls here in Tokyo and a number of girls are back in Perth, but both groups are working hard so when we come back together next week we’ll be able to put those final touches on. I feel like we’re playing really good hockey at the moment and hopefully we can just tweak a few things heading into the Oceania Cup.”

Match Details

India 2 (Vandana Katariya 36’, Gurjit Kaur 59’)
Hockeyroos 2 (Kaitlin Nobbs 14’, Grace Stewart 43’)
@ Oi Stadium, Tokyo, Japan

Hockey Australia media release

How Dronacharya awardee Merzban 'Bawa' Patel shaped hockey in Mumbai

Merzban Patel aka Bawa, who was conferred with the Dronacharya award, opened up on his coaching philosophy, the Bombay Republicans club and hockey in Mumbai.

Nandakumar Marar

Indian World Cupper Yuvraj Walmiki and his brother Devinder both help out 'Bawa' Merzban Patel at the Mumbai Hockey Limited turf in Churchgate.   -  Twitter (@YWalmiki)

The Dronacharya award (lifetime category), conferred on Merzban Patel by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sport, took Vile Parle-based Bawa, as he is popularly called in hockey circles, by surprise. “I have not chased awards and was not aware that work done by me to promote hockey at the local level is being noticed by national sports administrators,” he said.

The awards ceremony is in New Delhi on August 29, hockey genius Dhyan Chand’s birthday, celebrated as National Sports Day in memory of a player who put Indian hockey on the world map.

Bawa, 68, is co-founder of Bombay Republicans Club (launched on Republic Day by the late B K Mohite) which participates in Mumbai tournaments and the local league. He also set up hockey at the Children’s Academy (Malad), Our Lady of Dolours (Marine Lines) and the teams compete in inter-school tournaments.

Without a formal degree or diploma in hockey coaching, his forte is talent-spotting and giving exposure to young players at the Republicans teams. It earned him tremendous respect in every corner of the nation where hockey is popular. The highest award by the Sports Ministry is only recognition of selfless work by an individual donning multiple roles.

Mr Patel states: “Coaching is not limited to guiding the players on the ground. Spotting talent early, giving them a chance to train and compete, teaching them discipline, keeping in touch with the parents to know the situation at home and handle their children accordingly, pushing them to keep in touch with studies is also part of coaching.”

‘Bawa’ is also known to give Republicans kids a tongue-lashing when he senses they are losing concentration due to other distractions. “Scolding is part of my nature and kids accept it as there is no other motive except to make them focussed on hockey,” he said.

Other coaches attached to bigger clubs in the city, private and public sector teams across India recruit talent hand-picked by the Mumbai mentor on stipends or contract, many ex-Republican players have gone on to represent India at the highest level (junior & senior India, junior World Cup & men’s World Cups, the Asian Games and the Olympic Games).

“Forget the World Cuppers, the Olympians and internationals for a while, it is the many amateur Republicans players now paid to play hockey who make my effort worthwhile.”

The oil companies, different Railway units and the armed forces recruit hockey players on contracts or employment basis. Promotions are linked to India selection for prestigious international competitions. India goalkeeper Suraj Karkera is the latest schoolboy from Bombay Republicans to aspire for the national colours.

“He is from Children’s Academy school and after playing for us, joined the army unit, Bombay Engineering Group (BEG). I hope he is chosen for a World Cup, the Olympic Games or Asian Games,” said Mr. Patel, whose team player Devinder Walmiki represented India at the 2016 Rio Olympics in men’s hockey.

Walmiki’s elder brother, Yuvraj, is a World Cupper, and both help out the Republicans co-founder by coaching kids at the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited turf, Churchgate. “Republican players who a mark in Indian hockey have responded to my request to guide the boys and pass on latest techniques learnt in national camps.”

Age is taking its toll and Bawa, a bachelor married to hockey, passed the baton of club management to Conroy Remedios, one-time hockey student under the mentor and employed with Mumbai Customs.

Mr Patel, honoured with the Shiv Chhatrapati sports award by the Maharashtra state government, hopes his deputy will be able to make the journey to New Delhi for the national sports awards ceremony.

“I hope Bombay Republicans players will be there when the award is announced. Many are busy with tournaments, some away in club leagues abroad, others busy with work. Calls and messages keep coming, I don’t know how to react.”


Kaleemullah, Nasir Ali to join PHF selection committee

Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) have decided to increase the number of its selection committee members from four to six and former Olympians Kaleemullah and Nasir Ali are likely to join the committee next week.

The PHF had announced a four-member committee headed by Olympian Manzoor Junior with three members Khalid Hameed, Wasim Feroze and Ayaz Mahmood last month and after the inclusion of Kaleemullah it will gain more weight.

A PHF official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the decision to expand the members of the selection committee has been taken to adjust more former Olympians who had served in two famous victories of Pakistan, namely the 1984 Olympic Games and the World Cup 1994 win. Both Kaleem and Nasir were the part of the Olympics 1984 where Pakistan earned its last gold medal. From World Cup 1994’s winning side, Wasim Feroze has already been taken on board as selector.

After retiring from the international hockey in 1988, Kaleemullah was not seen in the hockey circles but the PHF and chief selector Manzoor Junior made efforts to convince him to come and serve the national game and help revive it.

Kaleemullah had scored the winner in the final of the Los Angles Olympics against Germany which was extended to extra-time and eventually Pakistan won 2-1. Kaleemullah, who had played 176 international matches, has 97 goals to his credit. He was also member of the Pakistan team which won the World Cup in 1982. He was conferred Pride of Performance award by president of Pakistan in 1984.

Kaleemullah’s elder brother, legendary hockey player Samiullah, however, is reluctant to join the PHF and has been a strong critic of the federation and its ways of working for the last many years.

Nasir had served the PHF as coach of the national women’s hockey team and as member of the national junior selection committee in the past.

Meanwhile, hockey has been excluded as event from the upcoming South Asian Games 2019 after the host country Nepal failed to lay down an astro turf. Therefore, Pakistan’s next assignment now is to play the qualifying rounds for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Pakistan had to deposite a first installment of USD 15,000 fine out of a total of USD 50,000 last week to become eligible for playing the Olympics qualifying rounds.

The FIH imposed a total amount of fine of USD 100,000 on Pakistan for not fulfilling an international commitment of fielding its team in the Pro Hockey League early this year. However, from the total amount it had ordered the PHF to spend half of the amount at the development of the game at the grassroots level in the country and pay the remaining half amount in three installments.


Recapping UNC field hockey's flawless championship season in 2019

By Jared McMasters

The North Carolina field hockey team poses with the National Championship trophy following a 2-0 win over Maryland at Trager Stadium in Louisville, Ky. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey A. Camarati.

An undefeated year that ends with a national championship is the season that every team dreams of having. For the North Carolina field hockey team, that dream became a reality in 2018.

The Tar Heels went 23-0 overall and 6-0 in conference play last season, defeating Maryland 2-0 in the NCAA title game to capture their seventh national championship.

Early season challenges

UNC opened the season with a pair of tough opponents, hosting Michigan and Iowa in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Both visiting teams would go on to finish the season ranked in the top 25, and Iowa tested UNC unlike any other team all season. The Tar Heels narrowly escaped that game, winning 2-1 thanks to a late goal by senior Ashley Hoffman in the only overtime win of the season.

After recording eight shutouts in the regular season, North Carolina went into the ACC Tournament riding a 17-game winning streak. UNC had scored 76 goals and conceded just 10 in the 17 games prior to the tournament, making the Tar Heels the clear favorite to retain the ACC crown.

After earning a bye into the semifinals, UNC faced off against Virginia, a team that would later end the year ranked No. 12 in the country. The Tar Heels were able to secure a spot in the ACC Championship after defeating the Cavaliers, 5-1.

Against Virginia, North Carolina scored three goals in the first 12 minutes of play with first-year Erin Matson scoring two goals and assisting on another that afternoon.

In the final game of the tournament, the Tar Heels were able to dominate Wake Forest, 7-2, en route to the program’s 21st ACC Championship. The title expanded North Carolina's ACC championship lead over second-place Maryland by more than double. Maryland moved to the Big Ten conference in 2014.

Despite not scoring or assisting in either game, senior Ashley Hoffman, the captain of the team, was named MVP of the tournament for the second year in a row based on her remarkable passing abilities and defensive talents.

However, Hoffman and the rest of the Tar Heels weren’t satisfied with simply being conference champions. They quickly set their sights on the most important goal of the season: winning a national championship.

Finishing Strong

North Carolina breezed through the first round of the NCAA tournament, defeating William & Mary, 4-0, with Matson scoring one and assisting two more goals for UNC.

The next two rounds of the tournament featured rematches with a tandem of formidable opponents from earlier in the season. That didn’t stop the Tar Heels from sweeping through Michigan and Wake Forest again, winning 5-2 and 4-1, respectively.

With those two wins, the national championship game was set. North Carolina was slated to play Maryland, a team that had just defeated then-No. 3 Princeton in overtime and boasted a record of 22-2 heading into the final game of the year.

Sophomore Meredith Sholder was able to find junior Megan DuVernois on a breakaway to score the first goal of the game for UNC in the 21st minute. Just 10 minutes later, Matson was able to put the Tar Heels up two by capitalizing on the rebound from her own shot. North Carolina clinched the victory, 2-0, and the national title in the process.

Hoffman was named MVP of yet another tournament, proving how integral the senior’s role was to the undefeated season. In addition to Hoffman, the field hockey team saw Malin Evert, Morgan Goetz, Eva van’t Hoog, Leila Evans and Mary Kathryn Harrah graduate this past spring.

Looking Ahead

Four of the six seniors that have moved on from the program were starters in the national title game against Maryland. The 2019 season will be an opportunity for young talents like Matson, Sholder and goalkeeper Amanda Hendry to step up even more in an attempt to repeat as national champions.

The field hockey team will take on Duke in an exhibition match on Saturday, Aug. 24 before heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., to compete in this year’s ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

The Daily Tarheel

Hockey legend Lawrence Van Huizen a gentleman who prioritised discipline and respect above all else


Lawrence Van Huizen leaves behind a legacy of hockey in Malaysia. — Picture courtesy of Joel Van Huizen

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia mourns the loss of hockey legend Lawrence Van Huizen who passed away at the Seremban Hospital at 4.30am yesterday. He was 89.

Lawrence had been warded for two weeks before succumbing to old age.

Lawrence leaves behind a legacy of hockey as his son Stephen Van Huzien is currently the assistant national men’s team coach and his grandson Joel, has been a mainstay in the team for many years.

“He loved hockey more than anything else and always emphasised respect and discipline on his team,” said Datuk G. Vijayanathan the former for Malaysian Hockey for 26 years and world-class umpire from 1973 to 1976.

Vijay recalled how he and Lawrence went for the 1976 Quaid-E-Azam International Hockey Tournament in Lahore, Pakistan. Vijay was the team manager while Lawrence was part of the panel of coaches for the men’s team.

“He was a disciplinarian. One day he saw me carrying my heavy bag as I alighted from the transport and he would question the boys as to why I was carrying my bag? He would tell the boys that they should be helping me out.

“Little things like this he imparted on the younger generation. He was very keen on making sure everyone learnt to respect one another and their elders.

“With guys like Lawrence we never needed foreign officials or coaches. He was always on time for training, down to earth and respectful,” Vijay recalled.

One of his former charges Brian Sta Maria likened Lawrence Van Huizen's coaching style to that of legendary Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson. — Picture courtesy of Joel Van Huizen

One of his former charges Brian Sta Maria, who was part of the 1976 team in Lahore recalled how Lawrence had his own unique way of dealing with the players of whom he felt had potential but would never say it to them personally.

“I’d say he was a taskmaster,” Brian told Malay Mail.

“Training was tough, he would put us through our paces and we’d be cursing as to why were we going through such difficult training. But then when the tournament proper started we’d have been in top condition with lots of stamina.

“Sometimes, we would wonder why he would pinpoint several players and be extremely strict with them. They’d ask us if Lawrence had it in for them. But the truth is if Lawrence felt you had potential and had plenty of respect for you he would tell everyone else but you.

“He needed to keep that separation between player and coach as he did not want to spoil them. This approach was very good and all of us on the team with him learnt a lot from that. In a way he didn’t need to explain a lot of things to us, he knew if we put the work in the results would come.”

“In that sense, he was a bit like Alex Ferguson,” said Brian of the legendary and most decorated English football manager in history who coached Manchester United for 26 years.

Another one of Lawrence ex-students Wong Choon Hin said Lawrence always emphasised playing hockey in a gentlemanly way.

“As a midfielder and Lawrence being a midfielder there was plenty of knowledge I gained from being around him,” Wong told Malay Mail.

“He was a gentleman. He would tell us don’t play dirty. Whatever he was teaching us on the field he wanted us to emulate off the field which was respect, honour and integrity.

“Yes, he was strict and wanted us to pay 100 per cent attention during training as that’s his time with us and time for him to impart tactics and strategies as well as skills. He did not want to repeat himself many times; hence, I learnt a lot about hockey and positional play as well as playing within your zone from Lawrence.”

Lawrence Ven Huizen played hockey professionally until the 1960s before taking up coaching. — Picture courtesy of Joel Van Huizen

Lawrence played till the 1960s before taking up coaching. He played at the 1964 Olympics and the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games in Tokyo and Japan. He was then involved in women’s hockey for several years before being avidly involved in Negri Sembilan hockey.

He was assistant coach to the late Ho Koh Chye in the 1975 World Cup in Kuala Lumpur, when the Malaysian team finished a respectable fourth.

He was also the coach of the national women’s team for five years from 1981.

Lawrence, a former student of St Paul’s Institution, also coached the school’s Under-18 hockey team for 43 years from 1958, and the team from the Convent School.

He saw five of his players featuring in the Paris Junior World Cup in 1979.

The five were Stephen, Colin Sta Maria, Derek Fidelis, Kevin Nunis and William Lazaro.

Lawrence is survived by his wife Doreen Philomina Van Huizen @ Koh Kim Bee and children Johan, Stephen, Stanley, Diana, Valarie, Cassian and Francis as well as 12 grandchildren.

The wake service will be till tomorrow at 832 Taman Nee Yan, Jalan Temiang, 70200 Seremban with prayer time at 5pm.

The funeral mass will be on August 20 at 10am at Church of Visitation, Seremban, thereafter the cremation at Jalan Templer, Seremban.

For further details, members of the public can call Catherine at 010-3661847 or Joel 010-2254253.

Malay Mail

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